Laker girls net All-League awards
Four North Tahoe girls basketball players earned Northern 2A All-League recognition for their play during the Lakers’ inaugural season in the league.
Juniors Kelly Hester and Sydney Courcier were voted by coaches to the All-League first team, and Junior Brit Johnson was voted to the second team and senior Kacie Conn received honorable mention.
Hester, a 5-foot-8 point guard, is about as athletic as they come, boasting a 26-inch vertical leap that also helped her excel in volleyball this past season.
The co-team captain led North Tahoe in scoring and assists, averaging 11.9 points and 3.3 assists, while amassing 107 field goals, 286 points and 111 rebounds. She also led the team with 65 steals in 24 games and 30 blocked shots.
“Kelly Hester I believe has the entire package,” said North Tahoe coach Scott Conn. “She has speed, agility, excellent technical defense and she can hit the outside jumper. I could play her at any position and know she’d deliver.”
Conn said in his opinion, Hester would have been the third-best choice for league MVP behind Battle Mountain’s Jordan Waugh and Pershing County’s MacKenzie Hodges, who were voted co-MVPs.
Courcier, a junior shooting guard, averaged 7.5 points per game, scored 180 points, had 48 steals and blocked 18 shots.
“She was probably the most improved player on the team this year,” Conn said. “Sydney has always had great offensive skills, but she really picked up her defensive game this year.”
A quick defender, Courcier also is skilled on the offensive end, with the ability to use either hand and the competence to keep defenders honest with a solid mid-range shot.
Johnson, also a junior, is the Lakers’ best pure shooter, Conn said. She led the team in 3-pointers, making 21 on 30 percent shooting from behind the arc, and scored 217 points.
“She’s absolutely an offensive force,” her coach said. “In the second half of the season, I was very, very pleased with her ability to pump fake, drive to the hoop, get contact and still make the bucket.
“She has the finest technical shot that you’ll ever see anywhere in the league. When she’s on you can’t stop her.”
Kacie Conn, the only senior to make All-League, was the Lakers’ second-leading rebounder with 114 total and 6.3 per game. The co-team captain established herself as the go-to defender, whose job was to shut down the opposition’s leading scorer.
“Coach Brad Hester and I believe she’s the best defender in the league,” Scott Conn said. “Whoever was the other team’s best player, that’s who I put Kacie on.”
Despite missing close to 10 games early in the season with an ankle injury, Kacie Conn grabbed 114 rebounds ” second-most on the team ” and had 25 steals and 13 blocked shots.
Most Valuable Player
Player School Grade
Jordan Waugh Battle Mountain 10
MacKenzie Hodges Pershing County 12
Coach of the year:
Mike Fitzgerald Mineral County
Kendra Koskin Whittell 12
Kelly Hester North Tahoe 11
Kalee Dorman Battle Mountain 12
Courtney Baker Mineral County 12
Heather Gibson Pershing County 12
Sydney Courcier North Tahoe 11
Amber Piper Silver Stage 10
Kayla Brinkerhoff Pershing County 11
Tierney McKool Whittell 11
Alyssa Tremain Battle Mountain 12
Brit Johnson North Tahoe 11
Alysia Villareal Mineral County 12
Shayla Westwick Pershing County 11
Isabel Concha-Foley Whittell 10
Brittney Makara Whittell 12
Amanda Maraluch Battle Mountain 11
Kacie Conn North Tahoe 12
Michelle Montez Pershing County 10
Mariah Gramolini Silver Stage 10
Megan McConnell Mineral County 12
Josi Ragland Battle Mountain 12
Sarah Brinkerhoff Pershing County 9