The 2019-20 girls basketball season will rank among the very best in the history of the Joliet area, as seven teams won 26 or more games, and four others had at least 19 wins.
For the first time in the area’s history in any girls sport, two local teams met in a state semifinal when Lincoln-Way West beat Bolingbrook, 68-57, at the IHSA Class 4A Finals in Normal. The 32-4 Warriors claimed second place, while the 26-8 Raiders finished third.
Those two squads lead the way with four selections each in the 2020 Herald-News All-Area Girls Basketball Team, which features 20 individuals from nine schools. The team is led by Lincoln-Way West senior Taylor Gugliuzza, who earns the rare distinction of being a three-time player of the year and is an all-area selection for the fourth straight year.
Seven other individuals are on our all-area team for the third year in a row. The five senior selections are Plainfield Central’s Kachae Donald, Joliet West’s Jazzpher Evans, Providence Catholic’s Lauren Knight and Bolingbrook’s Danyel Middleton and Treasure Thompson. The two juniors are Lincoln-Way West’s Tara Gugliuzza and Joliet Central’s Jalysa Stokes.
Three others are two-time selections, with the seniors being Lincoln-Way Central’s Regan LoConte and Bolingbrook’s Jayden Marable, and a sophomore is Joliet West’s Grace Walsh.
Here is the 2020 Herald-News Girls Basketball All-Area Team:
Allasha Alexander, Joliet Central: The senior forward earned All-Southwest Prairie Conference East Division honors after averaging 11.2 points and six rebounds a game.
Mia Bertino, Joliet Catholic Academy: The senior guard averaged 13.7 points and 4.8 rebounds a game to help her team advance to the sectional finals.
Jasmine Brown, Joliet Catholic Academy: An Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Class 2A All-State First Team selection and All-East Suburban Catholic Conference pick, the freshman guard averaged 16.6 points and 5.4 rebounds a game.
Kachae Donald, Plainfield Central: The senior guard was an SPC East Division pick, averaged 14.6 points a game and made 65 3-pointers.
Jazzpher Evans, Joliet West: SPC East and Sandburg Invitational MVP and an IBCA Third Team Class 4A All-State selection, the senior guard averaged 16 points, four rebounds and four assists a game.
Ava Gugliuzza, Lincoln-Way West: The freshman guard was an IBCA Class 4A All-State special mention, averaged 13.5 points a game and made 115 3-pointers, with 23 at the State Farm Classic.
Tara Gugliuzza, Lincoln-Way West: The junior guard, an IBCA Class 4A All-State Third Team selection and All-SWSC Red selection, averaged 11.8 points and 5.2 rebounds with 72 3-pointers.
Taylor Gugliuzza, Lincoln-Way West: The senior guard, a three-time Herald-News Player of the Year, is an Associated Press and IBCA 4A All-State 1st Team pick. All-tournament at the State Farm Classic and SouthWest Suburban Conference Red Division MVP, she averaged 17.6 points, three rebounds and three assists a game.
Lauren Knight, Providence Catholic: The Girls Catholic Athletic Conference White Co-Player of the Year, the senior guard averaged 13.7 points a game and made 70 3-pointers.
Regan LoConte, Lincoln-Way Central: An All-SWSC Red Division selection, the senior guard averaged 14.7 points a game and made 84 3-pointers.
Jayden Marable, Bolingbrook: An IBCA Class 4A All-State special mention and All-SWSC Blue Division selection, the senior guard averaged 9.9 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.9 assists a game.
Danyel Middleton, Bolingbrook: The senior guard was an IBCA Class 4A All-State special mention and averaged 9.4 points and 4.1 rebounds a game.
Olivia Molnar, Lincoln-Way East: SWSC Blue Division and Medieval Classic MVP, the senior guard averaged 15 points a game and also led her team in assists and steals.
Kennedi Perkins, Bolingbrook: An IBCA Class 4A All-State special mention and All-SWSC Blue Division selection, the sophomore guard averaged 13.9 points and 4.5 rebounds a game.
Ashley Raymer, Providence Catholic: An All-GCAC White Division selection, the junior guard averaged 11.4 points and 3.5 rebounds a game.
Jalysa Stokes, Joliet Central: An All-SPC East selection and Oswego East Invitational MVP, the junior guard averaged 15.7 points, four rebounds and 2.3 assists a game.
Lisa Thompson, Joliet West: The freshman guard earned All-SPC East Division honors after averaging 15 points, 4.5 assists, four rebounds and three steals a game.
Treasure Thompson, Bolingbrook: An AP and IBCA Class 4A All-State Second Team member and All-Tournament selection at Montini, the senior forward averaged 13.1 points and 8.3 rebounds a game.
Grace Walsh, Joliet West: The sophomore guard averaged 10 points and four rebounds a game for the Tigers, who went 29-4 and won the SPC East title.
Brianna Wooldridge, Lincoln-Way West: An IBCA 4A All-State Third Team pick and an All-SWSC Red Division pick, the sophomore forward averaged 11.9 points and 7.3 rebounds a game.
Natalie Bearbower, Plainfield North; Abby Beck, Gardner-South Wilmington; Ashanti Brown, Joliet Central; Jaden Christian, Reed-Custer; Jenna Cotter, Lockport; Sophie Darden, Minooka; Tamia Edom, Plainfield East; Mae Graffeo, Peotone; Grace Harris, Plainfield South; Tykara Harrison, Plainfield Central; Aberita Jashari, Seneca; Kaitlynn Kavanaugh, Gardner-South Wilmington; Aniya Mabry, Plainfield South; Callie Madej, Lemont; Claire McGrath, Providence Catholic; Lindsey Novak, Romeoville; Azyah Newson-Cole, Lincoln-Way Central; Chloe Sanford, Wilmington; Elizabeth Sochacki, Lockport; Haley Stoklosa, Lincoln-Way Central.