PLAYERS: Athletes Catch Writer’s Attention
only and to give “our players” some well- deserved love.
College coaches won’t stop recruiting a player just because they didn’t make this list, so no harm, no foul.
These are the players who caught my attention during the limited amount of time I was able to follow the games.
I truly hope no one takes these as seriously as I did while trying to make them as fair as possible, but also making them as accurate as possible.
Only a few teams publish stats online, so I didn’t get to compare rebounds per game or assist-to-turnover ratios or anything like that.
If I had to coach a team, I would begin my boys squad with Farmington’s Matt Wilson and my girls squad with Farmington’s Tori Hamley.
That’s essentially how I chose the teams. I imagined coaching a team — minus dealing with any “helicopter parents” — and selected the players I believe gave my team the best chance to win.
Now, there are many strong players that did not make the squads or earn any awards. The depth of Prairie Grove’s girls alone made the girls selections a tad lopsided.
Just to note, I could make an argument for a couple of Lady Tigers who didn’t make the team, too.
Out of the six girls and boys teams in the WCEL coverage area, only Prairie Grove’s girls finished with a winning record.
That’s why I debated with myself — and other basketball folks I ran into around town — about picking a Prairie Grove player as the All-WCEL Player of the Year. But who? The Hartins are dynamite players, but which twin was the team’s Player of the Year?
Mattie Hartin averaged more points (11.9 per game) than Taylor (9.7), but Taylor seemed to hit a 3 or make a key play multiple times throughout the postseason that I’m not sure I wouldn’t have picked Taylor ahead of Mattie for POTY.
I actually began with the sisters listed as “Co-POTYs,” but have never been a fan of that either.
That’s why I was glad when I took a closer look at what Hamley meant to the Lady Cardinals this season.
Hamley was asked to step up her offense and nearly tripled her scoring output from her seasons.
She was a matchup problem for opponents because of her ability to step outside to hit a 3-pointer, take them off of the dribble or post them up on the block with equal effectiveness.
Sure, the Lady Cardinals did not have a winning record, but that wasn’t factored into this list like it was for that other one — the one that left all of “our players” on the bench.
senior MIKE CAPSHAW COVERS SPORTS FOR THE WASHINGTON COUNTY ENTERPRISE-LEADER AND NWA NEWSPAPERS. CONTACT MIKE VIA TWITTER @NWACAPPY OR BY EMAIL AT MCAPSHAW@ NWADG.COM.
Trish O’Connell (10) of Farmington fights for a loose ball with Morrilton’s Mary Kate Kordsmeier (24) and Quanyea Hilton (5) during their game Feb. 23 in Farmington.