WDN All-Area Girls Basketball Team

Published 12:45 pm Friday, April 3, 2009

By BY BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
Once again the Williamston girls’ basketball team stole the show this season as they ran away with the Atlantic Conference title for the second straight season.
While the Tigers were the top dogs, there wasn’t much separation from top to bottom in the rest of the pack as any team was capable of beating another on any given night.
There were many standout performances and performers in the 2008-09 season, and the WDN would like to honor them with its all area team.
First team
Jordan Cantrell, G, Washington
The only player who has been a first-teamer for three straight seasons, Jordan Cantrell handled her transition from Terra Ceia to 3-A Washington High School with ease and was one of the top guards in the Coastal Conference. Cantrell averaged 10 points a night, while handing out four assists, pulling down four rebounds and swiping three steals per game. While the numbers are not eye-popping, they are impressive for the senior who constantly fought to find her role on a talented team loaded with guards and forwards. Cantrell played hard every night and was impressive on the defensive end of the court.
Harmony Simpkins, G, Washington
One of the best overall guards in the area, Simpkins erupted this season and burst on to the scene to become the Pam Pack’s leading scorer with 15 points per game. She was good for three steals a night. Simpkins’s style is smooth yet electric, as she is capable of burying a three at any moment, yet can also take her defender off the dribble. As a senior next year, Simpkins can be a real force in the Coastal Conference.
Emoni Jones, G/F, Roanoke
This is the second straight season on the all-area first team for Jones, who has blossomed into a fantastic player. Jones made a name for herself as a freshman on a talented Redskins team three years ago, and has gotten better each year. A very dangerous scorer, Jones uses her frame extremely well when going to the basket and knows how to finish while drawing contact. Jones led the Redskins in points and rebounds per contest with a 16.4 and 7.2 average, respectively. Also a deadly shooter, the junior is truly one of the best around at putting points on the board.
Kierra Land, G, Roanoke
Not as consistent as her teammate Jones, but when Kierra Land catches fire she can be even deadlier. Land is a flat-out scorer, who can shoot from anywhere on the court. Land averaged 15 points a night and nearly three rebounds and steals a game.
Katisha Hyman, G, Southside
For the last few years Southside has been struggling to get back on top, and this year freshman point guard Katisha Hyman helped show the Seahawks the way. Hyman had a large role in helping the team improve from last season. This year, Southside recorded a win over Roanoke, and pushed Williamston to the limit before falling in the final minute. The idea of that happening last season is laughable. Hyman plays with tremendous energy and is capable of being a big-time point getter as well as a sturdy facilitator. It should be a lot of fun to watch how her game develops over the next three seasons.
Second team
Davey Ann Burbage, C/F, Washington
Cassie Harrell, G/F, Williamston
Tamisha Cradle, F/C, Southside
Raven Jones, G/F, Plymouth
Mariah Van Essendelft, G, Terra Ceia
Honorable mention
Ashley Myers
Patricka Holley
Rochelle Davis
Elizabeth Harris
Rebekah Bonney
Melinda Paniasay
Kendra Phelps
Brinkley Johnson
Tess Smithwick
Jordan Dunbar
Kirstie Roberson
Valerie Ruffin
Chante Painter
Daneilya Whitney
Courtney Avery
Mandi Harding
Terra Ceia
Paige Roberson
Beth Batchelor
Hayley Stowe
TeAmber Burke
Sharita Grice