- Scott Powers, Reporter
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Here is ESPNChicago.com’s 2011-12 all-area girls basketball team.
Meredith Boardman, Fenwick, senior, forward
Boardman carried the torch of elite Fenwick players. She averaged 19 points, nine rebounds and three blocks. She shot 50.3 percent from the field. She had a career-high 30 points against Proviso East. She will play at Yale next season.
“Meredith's last name is very appropriate as she is one of our all-time leading rebounders,” Fenwick coach Dave Power said. “She is also the team's leading scorer. On the court, she has come up huge in crunch time. As one of the captains, she has taken on a leadership role both on and off the court. Her hard work ethic and her unselfish play makes her teammates better.”
Nikia Edom, Montini, junior, guard
Edom was the driving force on a balanced Montini team which is shooting for its third consecutive Class 3A state title. Edom averaged a team-best 9.9 points. She connected on 69 3-pointers and shot .383 from 3-point range. She scored a season-high 23 points in Montini’s sectional championship victory. She’s uncommitted.
“She has a calmness about her that lets her be successful,” Montini coach Jason Nichols said. “Nothing really fazes her, and, to me, she had an outstanding junior year.”
Bria Gaines, Bloom, junior, center
Gaines’ numbers were as impressive as almost anyone’s this season. She averaged 27.2 points, 16.5 rebounds and 3.8 blocks for Bloom. She could be in the running for player of the year next season if those numbers continue. She’s uncommitted.
“Bria's work ethic is second to none,” Bloom coach Ron Newquist said. “Her work in the offseason with my AAU club, the Illinois Wolverines, really helped her raise her game to the next level. Her successes due to hard work are just beginning, and she's a very good student. A coach’s pleasure.”
Linnae Harper, Whitney Young, junior, guard
Harper is considered one of the top juniors in the country. She’s ranked No. 6 in the Class of 2013 by ESPN. She led the Dolphins in scoring this season with 19 points per game and has helped them to a 32-0 record entering the Class 4A state semifinals. She’s uncommitted.
Shannise Heady, Hillcrest, senior, forward
Heady is a two-time all-area selection. She led the Hawks back downstate this season while averaging 14.9 points, seven rebounds and four assists. She’ll play at Seton Hall next season.
“Shannise is a difference-maker on both ends of the floor and is one of the most dynamic performers we have ever been fortunate to have at Hillcrest,” Hillcrest coach John Maniatis said.
Taylor Johnson, Lincoln-Way East, senior, guard
Johnson put the finishing touches on a memorable career this season for the Griffins. She averaged 15.6 points, 4.1 assists and 4.7 steals while helping Lincoln-Way East to a 26-5 record. She went over 1,000 points for career. She will play at Loyola next season.
“Taylor has worked so hard to improve every year,” Lincoln-Way East coach Jim Martin said. “She has developed into a true point guard.”
Jackie Kemph, Rolling Meadows, sophomore, guard
Kemph spearheaded Rolling Meadows’ run to its first Mid-Suburban League championship. She averaged 15.6 points, 4.4 assists and 2.1 steals. She shot 50.2 percent from the field, 35.4 from 3-point range and 80.2 percent from the free-throw line. She was named the Mid-Suburban League East Player of the Year. She’s uncommitted.
“Jackie has developed a great patience and understanding of the game,” Rolling Meadows coach Todd Hatfield said. “She always looks to set up her teammates first while playing with that edge of knowing when to take over a game. Defensively, she is relentless both on and off the ball as her game continues to evolve.”
Anna Schueler, Loyola, junior, guard
Schueler provided the offensive spark for a team which relies heavily on its defense. Schueler averaged a team-best 11.3 points for the Ramblers, who are returning downstate for the first time since 1999. She had a season-high 23 points in a win over Niles West and 19 points against Marist. She’s uncommitted.
Alexis Lloyd, Whitney Young, senior, guard
Lloyd was part of three-headed guard attack for the Dolphins this season. She averaged 16 points a game. She had 29 points and 22 rebounds in a game earlier this season. She’s considered among the top 100 players in the country by ESPN. She will play at Virginia Tech next season.
Jewell Loyd, Niles West, senior, guard
Loyd is the ESPNChicago.com Player of the Year. She’s a three-time all-area selection. She’s considered one of the top players in the country and was selected to play in the McDonald’s All-American Game. She averaged 26.9 points, 12 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 3.9 steals and 2.1 blocks this season. She will play at Notre Dame next season.
“Everybody usually gets dazzled by the offensive numbers she puts up, but she changes the game on the defensive end, too,” Niles West coach Tony Konsewicz said. “To have that presence on both ends is just remarkable.”
Maggie Lyon, New Trier, senior, guard
Lyon was one of the area’s most prolific scorers. She averaged 19.4 points and had a season-high of 36 points. She also averaged 8.1 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 3.1 steals for the Trevians. She will play at Northwestern next season.
“Maggie is a complete basketball player,” New Trier coach Teri Rodgers said. “She can [do] and does about everything on a basketball court. She's been a great leader with her work ethic and dedication to New Trier basketball.”
Ashley McConnell, Fremd, junior, guard
McConnell was among the area’s top point guards. She was named the Mid-Suburban West Player of the Year. She averaged 16 points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals for the Vikings. She’s uncommitted.
“Ashley has grown into one of the top point guards in the area regardless of class,” Fremd coach Dave Yates said. “Her ability to step up in big games separates her from most. Her ability to shoot, finish and defend make her one of the more complete players in the area.”
Ashton Millender, Marian Catholic, sophomore, guard
Millender stepped up as a sophomore and helped Marian Catholic remain one of the area’s top teams. She averaged a team-leading 12.7 points. She also shot 63-of-157 from 3-point range and averaged 4.8 rebounds. She’s uncommitted.
“Ashton improved so much from freshman year to sophomore year, it is remarkable,” Marist coach Annie Byrne said. “She worked so hard in the offseason and always gives it her all and it certainly paid off. She has a great shot, a tremendous work ethic, and a fantastic attitude. Ashton is coachable, consistent and a team player. Ashton has the potential to be one of the biggest forces we have had at Marian.”
Kendyl Nunn, Morgan Park, senior, guard
Nunn was one of the area’s top guards again. She averaged a team-leading 18 points and nine rebounds for the Mustangs and led them to the city championship game. She will play at Toledo next season.
“She’s one of the best players to ever come through Morgan Park High School,” Morgan Park coach T.J. Johnson said.
Megan Podkowa, Trinity, senior, forward
Podkowa is a three-time all-area player. She was again one of the state’s top players. She averaged 19 points, 10 rebounds, three blocks and two steals while leading Trinity to a 30-2 record. She’s the school’s all-time leader in points, rebounds and blocked shots. She will play at DePaul.
“Megan is the best basketball player I’ve ever been associated with,” Trinity coach Eddie Stritzel said. “I’ve coached in college for many years and high school for six, and I’ve never been around a better all-around basketball player.”
Christen Prasse, Benet, junior, guard
Prasse was one of the keys to Benet’s 25-7 season and run to a sectional championship game. She averaged 13 points and three assists. She scored 30 points in a win over Geneva. She’s uncommitted.
Keiera Ray, Bolingbrook, senior, guard
Ray was the Robin to Morgan Tuck’s Batman this season. She averaged 12 points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals while helping Bolingbrook to another nationally-ranked season. She will play at Penn next season.
“She’s a kid who always comes through,” Bolingbrook coach Anthony Smith said.
Charnelle Reed, Homewood-Flossmoor, senior, guard
Reed was among the area’s top guards throughout her career. She averaged double figures as a sophomore, junior and senior and led the Vikings to three regional championships. She was good for 13.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.4 steals a game as a senior. She will play at Western Illinois next season.
“Charnelle Reed is an exceptional athlete,” Homewood-Flossmoor coach Dana Nobel said. “Charnelle brings to a team what every coach wants. She has talent, is coachable, is the hardest worker in practice and games and is a leader to her teammates”
JeTaun Rouse, Marist, junior, guard
Rouse is a two-time all-area selection. She averaged 13 points this season while helping Marist to a sectional championship and a 32-2 record. She’s uncommitted.
Becca Smith, South Elgin, senior, guard
Smith did a lot of everything for South Elgin this season. She averaged 20.5 points, 5.6 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 3.8 steals. She finished her career with 2,038 points. She was named Fox Valley Co-Player of the Year. She will play at Loyola next season.
“Becca was an athletic guard who was lethal in the open court with her speed and ball-handling ability,” South Elgin coach Tim Prendergast said. “She led South Elgin to their first regional title and school-record 19 wins.”
Janee Thompson, Whitney Young, senior, guard
Thompson is one of the nation’s top seniors. She was one of three Illinois players selected to play in the McDonald’s All-American Game. She’s averaged 18.5 points this season and recently had 34 points in a win over Bolingbrook. She’s headed to Kentucky.
“Probably the biggest stride she’s made is she’s now able to run the show and really lead the team,” Whitney Young coach Corry Irvin said. “It’s the first year she’s able to do that. She was kind of waiting for this opportunity, playing behind other point guards. She was kind of waiting for her turn. Now, it’s her turn.”
Morgan Tuck, Bolingbrook, senior, forward
Tuck is considered one of the top players in the country. She is a three-time all-area selection. She averaged 31 points, 10 rebounds and two assists and three steals this season. She was selected to the McDonald’s All-American Game. She will play at Connecticut next season.
“She has had a couple down games over the last few years,” Bolingbrook coach Anthony Smith. “This year she hasn’t had any down games.”
Haley Videckis, Bartlett, senior, guard
Videckis is the key reason why Bartlett is making its first trip downstate since 2005. She averaged 18.3 points and six rebounds while helping her team to a 31-1 record. She scored 30 points in a win over South Elgin this season. She will play next season at Indiana.
“Haley is leading our team in 3-pointers, points and rebounds,” Bartlett coach Denise Sarna said. “She sees the floor and is one of our best passers. Defensively, she often guards the best perimeter player on the opposing team. She is a player who can disrupt other teams’ offenses with her defensive ability.”
Megan Waldron, Wheaton Warrenville South, sophomore, guard
Waldron emerged on the area’s scene in a big way in her sophomore season. She averaged 14.6 points, 8.6 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 3.2 steals while helping the Tigers to a 28-4 record. She is uncommitted.
“She led the team in scoring, rebounding and assists,” Wheaton Warrenville South coach Rob Kroehnke said. “She has proven to be one of the top players in the area, and we are looking forward to the next two years with Meghan.”
Briya Wilborn, St. Joseph, senior, guard
Wilborn led the Chargers to their second consecutive 20-plus-win season. She was named the team’s MVP as a junior and senior. She averaged 14 points, four rebounds, two assists and three steals this season. She is uncommitted.
“If there were stats for points scored when the game is on the line or steals made when you have to have one, Briya would be at the top,” St. Joseph coach Jim Maley said. “She has an instinct for winning and her teammates follow her lead. There is no player for whom I would trade her.”
ESPNChicago.com names its 2011-12 all-area girls basketball team.