|ESPN.com: New York High School||[Print without images]|
COACH OF THE YEAR - Ed Grezinsky (Murry Bergtraum)
In a year that started with tragedy for the Lady Blazers, Grezinsky still guided the team to its 14th straight Public Schools Athletic League Class AA title. Murry Bergtraum guard Tayshana "Chicken" Murphy was killed in September, and the team lost its first two games, but the veteran coach still rallied the team to a title. Even more impressive, he had to work with almost a completely new starting lineup.
Shequana Harris, one of the few leftovers from Murry Bergtraum's title team last season, was the leader of the Lady Blazers this season. The senior averaged 18 points, six steals and four assists per game while working with a new group of players, an accomplishment not to be taken lightly. She helped Murry Bergtraum to its 14th straight PSAL Class AA title game by winning MVP, and she is headed to Charlotte next year.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
The world met the next great star for the Manhattan power this year. Ashanae McLaughlin played like a senior this year, leading her team in scoring in multiple games as she finished the year averaging 11 points and three steals per contest. The combination of McLaughlin and Harris was as good any in the PSAL and the Lady Blazers don't win the title without the efforts of this super freshman.
Sierra Calhoun can do it all on the court for the Royals. The sophomore had to step into a leadership role after the departure of two key players from last year and she shined in her new role, averaging 22.1 points, 6.7 rebounds and 3.5 steals for the powerhouse. She had a great game in the Brooklyn/Queens Division I tournament final as she led Christ the King to a win over Bishop Ford, and she will only get better over the next two years.
Bianca Cuevas won the Rookie of the Year award last season and continued her stellar play for the Lady Kingsmen this season. Cuevas was dominant in the early portion of the season, regularly scoring 20 or 30 points in games in addition to her pressure defense that forces opponents into turnovers. The quick point guard helped Nazareth to a Brooklyn/Queens Division I title and the CHSAA Class AA title for the second straight year.
Coaches in the CHSAA rave about what Carolyn Gallagher brings to the table and her effect on the Lady Stanners this season. Gallagher put together a fantastic year, averaging 18 points and 11 rebounds, while also shooting an eye-opening 92 percent from the free-throw line. The junior was an honorable mention in last year's awards and helped place Molloy among the top five teams in New York City almost the entire season.
Brianna Butler had a tremendous year in her one and only season at Nazareth after transferring to the Brooklyn school this year, helping the school to a CHSAA Class AA title. She made Nazareth's already potent offense even more deadly, as she could spread defenses with her constant ability knock down a jumper. The senior was the only New York City player selected for the McDonald's All-American game and will continue her career with Syracuse.
Kaitlyn Astel led McKee/Staten Island Tech to the finest season in team history, as the school known for its academic prowess reached the PSAL Class AA final. She averaged 20 points and eight rebounds a game and helped the team finish undefeated in Staten Island A. MSIT lost just once to a New York City opponent this season, coming in the PSAL title game against Murry Bergtraum, a game in which Astel led her team in points with 13.
G Jamie O'Hare (Moore Catholic); G Shanice Vaughan (Bishop Ford); G Darius Faulk (Nazareth); G Africa Williams (Benjamin Banneker); F Krystal Pearson (Truman)