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Sports

The Herald-News All-Area Girls Basketball Team

Joliet West all-area selection Sarah Gersch shoots over two Joliet Central's defenders during a game earlier this season that West won, 63-37. | Larry W. Kane for Shaw Media
Joliet West all-area selection Sarah Gersch shoots over two Joliet Central's defenders during a game earlier this season that West won, 63-37. | Larry W. Kane for Shaw Media

FIRST TEAM

BROOKLYN BACHMANN

Minooka

Height/Year/Position: 5-10, Sr., G

Highlights: Averaged 20.9 points, 2.5 assists, 3.5 rebounds … school record in career scoring with 1,523 points … three-time All-Southwest Prairie … IBCA all-state honorable mention ... will attend Bemidji State.

Coach Ray Liberatore: “Brooklyn is definitely one of the best athletes in Minooka High School history. She was the starting setter for this year’s state runnerup volleyball team and has made it downstate as a pole-vaulter. She was all-conference sophomore and junior year, and senior year she was league MVP runnerup. Her ability to score definitely makes her a next-level player in basketball.”

SARAH GERSH

Joliet West

Height/Year/Position: 5-6, Jr., G

Highlights: Averaged 14.0 points, 2.8 assists and 2.9 steals ... Shot 67 percent from free throw line, 40 percent from field … All-Southwest Prairie … All-Lincoln-Way Central Tournament … All-Oak Lawn Tournament … team captain.

Coach John Placher: “Sarah led the team in scoring and steals this year. She was team captain and a leader on and off the floor.”

OLIVIA JENKINS

Plainfield East

Height/Year/Position: 6-0, Jr., F

Highlights: Averaged 12.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.4 blocks ... Short 52 percent from the field and 73 percent from the free throw line … All-Marist Tournament ... IBCA all-state honorable mention.

Coach Anthony Waznonis: “Olivia is a fierce competitor who will do whatever it takes to help the team win. Some games it was score, some it was rebound, others she set the tone by diving on the floor for loose balls. She refused to let us lose.”

COURTNEY O’DONNELL

Lincoln-Way West

Height/Year/Position: 5-9, Sr., F

Highlights: Averaged 13.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists ... Shot 50 percent from the field and 67 percent from the free throw line… two-time All-SouthWest Suburban Red … All-Lincoln-Way Central Tournament … All-Nazareth Tournament... IBCA all-state honorable mention.

Coach Ryan White: “Courtney was a player who could could score inside or outside. She is a very good shooter from the perimeter. On most nights she was going against someone bigger than her. She would use her inside outside skill set to take advantage of what was given to her.”

RYANN OGAREK

Providence

Height/Year/Position: 5-10, So., G

Highlights: Averaged 16.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 1.0 blocks … All-Girls Chicago Athletic … All-Beecher Tournament ... IBCA all-state honorable mention.

Coach Eileen Copenhaver: “Ryann had a superb year as our leading scorer and rebounder. She has improved in all areas of the game. We are looking forward to the next two years with Ryann as she keeps expanding her game.”

LOTANNA ONUA

Plainfield East

Height/Year/Position: 5-10, Sr., F

Highlights: Averaged 11.3 points, 2.0 assists, 6.4 rebounds, 2.7 steals and 1.2 blocks ... Shot 53 percent from the field and 60 percent from the free throw line … All-Southwest Prairie ... All-Nazareth Tournament … All-DeKalb Tournament ... IBCA all-state honorable mention.

Coach Anthony Waznonis: “Lota is the embodiment of a competitor. She was a key part in helping lead us to the success we had this year, not just as an athlete, but also as a leader.”

MYA SHANNON

Morris

Height/Year/Position: 5-7, Jr., G

Highlights: Averaged 20.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 4.0 steals with only 2.0 turnovers ... Short 77 percent from the free throw line ... IBCA all-state honorable mention ... Morris Herald-News Player of the Year.

Coach Kate Carey: "Mya hardly ever sat for us all season. She just has a motor that is always running and she always seems to make the right decision."

GABRIELLA SMITH

Bolingbrook

Height/Year/Position: 5-11, Jr., G

Highlights: Averaged 13.7 points, 2.1 assists and 1.9 steals ... Shot 46 percent from the field and 74 percent from the free throw line … All-SouthWest Suburban … All-Rich South Tournament … All-Naples (Florida) Tournament ... IBCA all-state honorable mention.

Coach Chris Smith: “Gabby was our leading scorer for the second consecutive year. She shot 45 percent from the field this year, 46 percent on twos and 40 percent on threes. She also topped the 1,000-point mark for her high school career.”

JAHARI SMITH

Bolingbrook

Height/Year/Position: 6-2, Jr., P

Highlights: Averaged 12.4 points, 10.1 rebounds and 2.0 steals ... Shot 63 percent from the field … All-SouthWest Suburban… Rich South Tournament MVP… All-Naples (Florida) Tournament ... IBCA all-state honorable mention.

Coach Chris Smith: “Jahari is a post player with eight Division I scholarship offers. Her combination of points, rebounds and steals truly makes her an first-teamer. Jahari is over 1,100 points for her high school career.”

KENNA WILKEY

Reed-Custer

Height/Year/Position: 5-9, Sr., F

Highlights: Averaged 18.5 points, 8.2 rebounds, 4.7 steals and 1.8 assists ...Shot 67 percent from the free throw line and 49 percent from the field …. Team MVP… All-Interstate Eight … All-Beecher Tournament, All-Lisle Tournament … IBCA 1A/2A all-state fourth team … will attend Northwestern and play softball.

Coach Nicholas Klein: “Kenna rewrote the record books at Reed-Custer She is one of the best scorers to ever put on a Comet jersey. She finished her career with over 1,600 points, over 800 rebounds and over 400 steals. She helped us get to 17 wins and make it to the regional championship.”

SECOND TEAM

COURTENEY BARNES

Lincoln-Way Central

Height/Year/Position: 6-1, Sr., G

Highlights: Averaged 10.1 points and 7.3 rebounds … All-SouthWest Suburban Red … will attend Hope College.

Coach Dave Campanile: “Courtney is a long defender with a good inside/outside game. She could post high/low and shoot it, ran the floor well for us this year and was probably my best player throughout year.”

KENNEDY COLLINS

Plainfield East

Height/Year/Position: 5-7, Sr., G

Highlights: Averaged 11.3 points, 2.4 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 2.6 steals ... Shot 60 percent from the field and 63 percent from the free throw line … All-Southwest Prairie… All-Marist Tournament … IBCA all-state honorable mention ... will attend Dubuque.

Coach Anthony Waznonis: “Kennedy was the key to helping our pressure defense be so successful with her athleticism and hard work at the top spot. Her defensive commitment is what led to our and her offensive success this year.”

TAYLOR GUGLIUZZA

Lincoln-Way West

Height/Year/Position: 5-6, Fr., G

Highlights: Averaged 11.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.6 steals per game with 53 3-pointers … All-Lincoln-Way Central Tournament ... All-Nazareth Tournament.

Coach Ryan White: “By the end of the year, Taylor was playing as well as anyone for us. ”

TAYLOR HOPKINS

Lockport

Height/Year/Position: 5-8, Jr., G

Highlights: Averaged 13 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.6 steals … All-Oak Lawn Tournament ... All-SouthWest Suburban.

Coach Dan Kelly: "Taylor is an all-around player. She is a pure shooter who also has the ability to be a lockdown defender.”

LAUREN HUNTER

Lincoln-Way East

Height/Year/Position: 5-9, Jr., F

Highlights: Averaged 11.9 points and 6.4 rebounds … Lincoln-Way East Tournament MVP… All-DeKalb Tournament.

Coach Jim Martin: “Lauren led the team in scoring average and led team with 167 rebounds.”

ALEXIS MARIN

Romeoville

Height/Year/Position: 5-5, Sr., PG

Highlights: Averaged 13.7 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.7 steals … All-Southwest Prairie … All-Romeoville Tournament … All-Nazareth Tournament … scored more than 1,000 points in her career.

Coach Julio Carrasco: "Alexis has been our starting point guard for four years and one of our top scorers. She is a nightmare to defend and can create her own shot or hit from the outside. She will be truly missed."

SHANNON O’DONNELL

Lemont

Height/Year/Position: 5-8, Sr., PG

Highlights: Averaged 10.5 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.9 steals ... Shot 76 percent from the free throw line … All-South Suburban Blue … All-Oswego East Tournament… Team MVP… four-year varsity player ... two-year captain... will attend Illinois Institute of Technology.

Coach Brian Storako: “Shannon is an exceptional leader both on and off of the court. She did an excellent job running the point this season and never let situations in games get her frustrated. Shannon was the player teammates and coaches turned to when the game was on the line and she came through all season long whether it was a key shot, pass or defensive assignment. Shannon led Lemont in points per game, free throw percentage and assists.”

CLAIRE PACIGA

Providence

Height/Year/Position: 5-7, Sr., G

Highlights: Averaged 10.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.0 steals … All-Girls Chicago Athletic Conference … All-Lincoln-Way East Tournament.

Coach Eileen Copenhaver: “Claire was our all-around best player, providing defense, rebounds, scoring assists, leadership and playing hard each game.”

JENNI PRICE

Gardner-South Wilmington

Height/Year/Position: 5-4, Sr., PG

Highlights: Averaged 13.8 points, 5.6 steals per game. 2.4 assists and 2.2 rebounds ... Shot 64 percent from the free throw line and 50 percent from the field… school record for season steals with 151 … All-River Valley Conference… All-Iroquois West Tournament.

Coach Adam Leigh: “Jenni scored a total of 372 points and made 38 3-pointers. She made the players around her better. She made life easier for all of her teammates, helping to create shots for others. Without her on the floor, we were a different team."

CAROLYN WALESKI

Lincoln-Way East

Height/Year/Position: 5-10, Jr., G

Highlights: Averaged 11.4 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 3.4 steals … Set school record in single-game steals with 11 … All-Lincoln-Way East Tournament … All-SouthWest Suburban Blue ... IBCA all-state honorable mention.

Coach Jim Martin: “Carolyn led the team in scoring this year with 343 points, tied Bailey Kramer with 39 3-pointers and set a school record with 11 steals in the game against Lockport.”

HONORABLE MENTION TEAM

Coal City: Mackenzie Bugg, Sr., F; Bridget Kauzlaric, Jr., PG

Dwight: Rachel Dawson, Sr., F

Gardner-South Wilmington: Celia Barna, Sr., F; Kaitlynn Kavanaugh, Fr., F

Joliet Central: Anette Hymon, So.

Joliet West: Jazzpher Evans, Fr., G.

Lemont: Emma Bozue, Jr., G; Sarah Knoepfle, Jr., G; Paige Terrazas, Sr., F

Lincoln-Way Central: Colleen Barrett, Sr., G; Abi Baumgartner, So., F

Lincoln-Way East: Bailey Kramer, Sr., G

Lincoln-Way West: Emily Atsinger, Sr., G; Tara Hasting, So., G

Lockport: Laurel Kucharski, Sr., G/F; Treasure Thompson, Fr, C; Elena Woulfe, Sr., G;

Minooka: Hailey Arlis, Sr.; Cierra Bachman, So., PG; Savannah Johnson, So., C

Peotone: Josie Graffeo, Jr., G; Cameron Hunter, Sr., F

Plainfield Central: Erin Graefen, Sr., G/F

Plainfield East: Jada Neal, Sr., G; Maddie Sidman, Sr., G; Ashley Smoldt, Sr., G

Plainfield North: Kelle Knopp, Jr., F

Plainfield South: Anya Brooks, Jr., F/C; Jaianna Brooks, Sr., G

Romeoville: Brittany Osborne, Jr., G

Seneca: Paige Hacker, Sr.; Lyda Robinson, Jr.; Cora Wilkinson, Sr.

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