Boston High School: Dana Theobald

Hoophall: Cicero North (N.Y.) 60, West Side 20

January, 13, 2012

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- In a tournament typically stacked with some of the nation's premier high school basketball talent, there are times at the Hoophall Classic where a dominant player puts on an impressive, all-out dominant show.

Then there are times where the show evolves into a comedy.

To put it bluntly, Cicero-North Syracuse (N.Y.) senior center Breanna Stewart -- the No. 1 ranked overall senior on ESPN HoopGurlz -- put on a cartoonish display in the Northstars' 60-20 thrashing of West Springfield (9-1), racking up 22 points, 18 rebounds, seven blocks and four assists. Through one half, the 6-foot-4 UConn commit had racked up 14 points and 12 rebounds seemingly without effort, scoring from wherever she wanted and violently muscling defenders out of her way to pounce on loose boards.

Stewart was fluid in every aspect of the game for the Northstars (8-2), as adept at hucking 50-foot outlet passes up court as she was at stepping out to the wing and hitting jump shots. Underneath, she redirected nearly every shot that came in her radius, with her endless length, and demonstrated exceptional leaping ability on second-chance opportunities.

"She's the only high school kid on the National team for a reason," West Side coach Paul Taylor said of Stewart. "She's very good, and if you can find some holes in her game, nobody else has."

By halftime, the Northstars were up 39-9. By the third quarter, she was putting together sequences that drew smiles from all over. First, she swatted two shots in one possession in the first minute. A minute later, in transition, Stewart stopped at her own foul line to attempt to tie her shoe; after a second, she just tucked the laces in, joined the 4-on-5 rush and sank a three-pointer from the top of the key.

With about a minute to go in the stanza, she sent her seventh block of the night square off the referee's head, drawing laughter.

"When did I do that?" she laughed. "I didn't even see it, I'm not sure."

Fog of war, perhaps?

West Side's star point guard, 5-foot-5 Boston University commit Dana Theobald admitted "it was a lot of fun" playing against Stewart; she let out a smile and laughed a bit when Stewart sent one of her layups flying out of bounds.

Even when she had the ball, Theobald admitted finding herself watching Stewart work down low.

"Yeah, she's amazing to watch," Theobald said. "Even when she blocked my shots, it was like 'Wow, that's amazing'...It was like a volleyball spike."

Senior Brittany Paul also had 18 points in the win for Cicero.

Perimeter Pestulence: As much as Stewart stole the show, it was an impressive display overall by the Northstars' defense, pressuring Theobald high in the zone, trapping the ballcarrier and denying clean ball movement around the perimeter. Between Paul, junior Sarah Bowles and junior Abbey Timpano, Cicero played tight enough to make the Terrier uncomfortable.

At times, Theobald settled for off-balance, low-percentage shots. Other times, the defense funneled things down to Stewart, who took care of the rest. As a team, the Terriers were a measly 5 for 62 from the field, and were outrebounded 60-34 (including 44-20 on defensive boards).

Matchup nightmare: How do you match up with a 6-foot-4 center ranked as the No. 1 player in the country? If you're the 99 percent, you can't.

Taylor matched up guard/forward Emily Taylor on Stewart, acknowledging that she was giving up nearly 10 inches, and kept his 5-foot-10 freshman center Nicole Longey at the weak post. The plan didn't go as well as Taylor wanted, but he praised her efforts nonetheless.

"She's 5-foot-7, and we only have one center, so we wanted to have the center on the back side and have the guard help out on the front side," Taylor said. "It didn't work out as planned. We didn't shoot as well as we usually do, Stewart's a great talent. But it's a good team overall, they have a lot of good players on the team."

Preseason MIAA All-State girls hoop team

December, 12, 2011
ESPN Boston will be unveiling its first MIAA girls basketball poll of the season later today. Here are ESPN Boston's preseason MIAA All-State girls basketball teams:

G – Nicole Boudreau, Sr., Andover
G – Lexi Sells, Sr., Bishop Feehan
F – Elizabeth Belanger, Sr., Acton-Boxborough
F – Ariel Ward, Sr., East Longmeadow
F – Bri Schnare, Sr., Wachusett

G – Monique Heard, Sr., Holyoke
G – Tianna Johnson, Sr., New Mission
G – Dana Theobald, Sr., West Springfield
F – Jen Narlee, Jr., Medfield
F – Olivia Healy, Jr., Reading

G – Kayla Burton, Jr., Newton South
G – Brooke Stewart, Sr., Masconomet
G – Emma Roberson, Sr., Arlington Catholic
F – Casey McLaughlin, Jr., Central Catholic
F – Jen Gonsalves, Sr., Harwich

ESPNBoston's MIAA All-State Girls Basketball Team

March, 25, 2011

Guard – Nicole Boudreau, Jr., Andover
The state's Gatorade Player of the Year and Merrimack Valley Conference Player of the Year led the Golden Warriors to their second straight Division 1 state title, and put up impressive numbers in her junior season: 23.1 points, 7.7 rebounds, 4.9 steals, 4.5 assists and two blocks, as the Warriors went 27-1. Boudreau is verbally committed to Boston College.

Guard – Natalie Gomez-Martinez, Sr., Andover
Together with Boudreau, the 5-foot-6 Gomez-Martinez formed the state's most formidable backcourt, and backed it up with some impressive numbers of her own. She averaged 13.5 points, 5.6 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 4.3 steals as the Golden Warriors won their second straight Division 1 state championship. Gomez-Martinez will continue her career next fall at Division 1 Marist College.

Guard – Blake Dietrick, Sr., Wellesley
The Raiders made a surprise early exit from the Division 1 South tournament, but the 5-foot-11 Dietrick leaves Wellesley as one of the school's all-time greatest athletes. This season she averaged 20.1 points, 8.3 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 3.9 steals and was named the Bay State Conference's MVP. She also hit 52 three-pointers this season. She leaves Wellesley with 1,440 career points, and is the school's all-time leading scorer for either gender in both basketball and lacrosse. Dietrick will continue her basketball career next fall at Princeton University.

Forward – Elizabeth Belanger, Jr., Acton-Boxborough
The 5-foot-11 junior continued the momentum from sophomore season, in which she won the Dual County League's MVP, to held the Colonials break through to the TD Garden floor in 2011. After outlasting archrival Lincoln-Sudbury in overtime, the Colonials made it to the Division 1 North final at the Garden, where they lost to eventual state champ Andover. For the season, Belanger averaged 20.5 points, 11.4 rebounds and 2.7 steals, and registered her 1,000th point in a D1 North first round win over Billerica.

Center – Tori Faieta, Sr., St. Mary’s
At 6-foot-2, the senior imposed her will around the rim for four years, culminating this season with a Division 3 state championship, the school's first state title since 2003. She was named the Catholic Central League's MVP, and is a four-time league all-star. This season, she averaged 13 points and 11.2 rebounds, and finishes as the all-time leading scorer (1,471 points) and rebounder (1,416 boards) in school history. She will continue her basketball career next fall at Stonehill College.


Cassi Amenta, Sr., St. Mary’s
Together with Faieta, the 5-foot-11 Amenta formed one of the state's most vicious frontcourts, culminating with a Division 3 state title. The two-time Catholic Central League All-Star leaves St. Mary's as the third all-time leading scorer (907 points), including averages of 10.5 points and 7.6 rebounds this season.

Nicole Beresford, Sr., Marshfield
The 5-foot-11 Beresford has been a rock for the Lady Rams since her freshman year, earning Atlantic Coast League All-Star nods in all four of her years on the varsity and earning a McDonald's All-American nod this season. She averaged 22.4 points and 11.2 rebounds in her senior season, and leaves Marshfield as the school's all-time leading scorer for either gender (1,804 points). Beresford will continue her career next fall at Dartmouth.

Sophie Bikofsky, Sr., Newton South
As co-MVP of the Dual County League for the Large division champs, the 5-foot-11 Bikofsky honed her reputation as one of the area's best shooters. This season she averaged 18.5 points, seven rebounds and 2.7 steals, and memorably got her 1,000th point within 30 seconds of teammate and fellow All-Stater Kendall Burton. Bikofsky will continue her career next fall at Brown.

Kendall Burton, Sr., Newton South
The DCL's other co-MVP was just as versatile on the court as her counterpart Bikofsky. She averaged 15.5 points, six rebounds and 1.7 assists for the Lions as they advanced to the Division 1 South semifinals. Burton, along with Bikofsky, was also a McDonald's All-American nominee this season. She will continue her career next fall at Villanova University.

Amber Dillon, Sr., Brookline
The 5-foot-4 Dillon led the Warriors to a 14-7 campaign in her senior season, while finishing second to Wellesley's Blake Dietrick in scoring in the Bay State Conference. She averaged 15.3 points, four rebounds, four assists and earned a McDonald's All-American nomination this season.

Khadijah Ellison, Sr., Burke
With freakish athletic talents, the 5-foot-8 senior established herself as one of the state's craftiest ballhandlers, if not the best in the city of Boston. The Bulldogs made an early exit in the Division 3 South tournament, but her brightest days are ahead of her. Ellison, the No. 44 overall player nationally in the Class of 2011 by ESPNU, will continue her career next fall in the SEC at Mississippi State.

Julie Frankian, Sr., Millbury
The 5-foot-11 Frankian established herself as one of the most dynamic scorers outside of I-495, leading the Woolies to a fifth straight Central Mass. Division 2 title and fourth straight appearance in the Division 2 state championship. Frankian leaves Millbury as the school's all-time leading scorer, and for her senior season averaged 19.3 points, 8.9 rebounds and three assists. She will continue her career next fall at Division 2 Assumption College.

Arielle Gomes, Sr., New Bedford
The 5-foot-11 power forward was a force in the middle for the Whalers, who went 20-0 during the regular season to earn the No. 1 overall seed in the South and advance to the Division 1 Eastern Mass finals, where they lost to eventual state champion Andover. Before losing to Andover, the Whalers allowed just 40 points per game in the playoffs. For the season she averaged 17.7 points and five assists, and finishes her career at New Bedford as the second all-time leading scorer (1,284 points).

Brenna Gonsalves, Sr., Coyle-Cassidy
The 5-foot-10 Gonsalves leaves Coyle as the school's all-time leading scorer for both boys and girls, with 1,615 points. She was also a three-time Eastern Athletic Conference scoring champion. With Gonsalves leading the way, the Warriors won three straight EAC titles, and took the Division 3 South crown earlier this month. She finishes with a career scoring average of 17.9 points, and amassed 672 rebounds, 254 steals, 202 assists and 140 blocks. She will continue her career next fall at Division 2 Adelphi University.

Monique Heard, Jr., Holyoke
Holyoke's spark plug of a 5-foot-5 point put in a dazzling junior season for the Purple Knights, averaging 22.5 points and six assists per game as they went 19-3 and advanced to the Western Mass. Division 1 semifinals. Heard was also the inaugural recipient of the Basketball Hall of Fame/MassLive Western Mass Player of the Year.

Morgan Jenkins, Sr., Revere
The 6-foot Jenkins was a dominant force in the paint for the Patriots, who won the Northeastern Conference and went 20-0 in the regular season to earn a No. 1 seed in the Division 1 North tournament. Jenkins, who led the NEC in scoring average (18.8 points), will continue her career next fall at St. Michael's College.

Carlene Kluge, Sr., Reading
The 6-foot Kluge lead a young Rockets squad to Middlesex League dominance, as they went 21-2 and won the league outright in the last year before splitting into two divisions. She averaged 13.2 points on the season, as the Rockets advanced to the Division 2 North semifinals. Kluge will continue her career next fall at Bentley College.

Melissa Miller, Sr., Central Catholic
A four-year member of the varsity, Miller co-captained the Raiders to a 20-3 campaign this season and was one of the region's premier forwards, averaging 11.1 points and 7.2 rebounds. For her career, the Merrimack Valley Conference All-Star amassed over 850 points and 500 rebounds. She will continue her career next fall at Merrimack College on a full scholarship.

Gabie Polce, Sr., Central Catholic
A four-year varsity player who has run the point for the Raiders the past 3 years, the 5-foot-9 Polce captained the Raiders to a 20-3 campaign, averaging 10.6 points, 3.7 assists and 2.8 steals. For her career, the Merrimack Valley Conference All-Star scored 838 points, over 210 steals and more than 300 assists. She will continue her career next fall at Division 2 College of St. Rose.

Alyssa Roach, Sr., New Bedford
Along with Arielle Gomes, Roach was a force offensively for the Whalers, who averaged nearly 70 points per game in the regular season and finished the year 24-1, bowing out to eventual state champ Andover in the Division 1 Eastern Mass finals. She averaged 12.6 points and 8.1 rebounds on the season. Roach will continue her career next fall at American International College.

Emma Roberson, Jr., Arlington Catholic
The 5-foot-9 Roberson was the catalyst for a young Cougars squad that captured their first Division 2 state championship in school history in dominating fashion, a 49-28 drubbing of Millbury. After a competitive Catholic Central slate, Roberson led a Cougars defense that allowed just 39 points per game in six playoff games.

Bri Schnare, Jr., Wachusett
The 6-foot-2 forward turned in a stellar junior season for the 15-6 Mountaineers, averaging 12.2 points, eight rebounds and four blocks per game and earning a Mid-Wach A All-Star nod. When play resumes at the end of the year, Schnare will be a captain for head coach Jim Oxford.

Dana Theobald, Jr., West Springfield
One of several lightning-quick point guards to rule Western Mass, the 5-foot-6 Theobald led the district in scoring with 23.5 points per game. Behind Theobald, the Terriers earned a No. 1 overall seed in the Division 1 West sectional, and lost in the semifinals to Longmeadow in an overtime thriller.