Area hoops players honored by WDN|Southside lands two on WDN first-team

Published 8:29 pm Tuesday, June 1, 2010

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
This year was one of the best girls’ prep basketball season’s in a while as fans witnessed Katie Paschal wrap up her senior season with an extensive run at a state title, while the emerging Southside Seahawks might be considered the favorites to represent the East in the big game next season.
Paschal had one of the best season’s ever by an area basketball player as her 33.6 points per game average led the state. Paschal also added 7.8 rebounds a game, five assists and five steals a night en route to her third straight WDN Player of the Year honor.
Paschal, who will be playing for East Carolina next season, finished her career as the state’s second all-time leading scorer.
Both Williamston and Southside held state rankings for most of the season as they battled nightly with extremely tough Four Rivers Conference foes who were looking to make a name for themselves by taking a bite out of the big dogs on a nightly basis.
Led by rookie coach Hughes Barber, the Tigers posted a 29-1 record, with the one loss coming to western power house Bishop McGuiness, and for that effort Barber was named the WDN Coach of the Year.
As always, there were several extraordinary players this season, making the 2010 Washington Daily News All-Area team one of the toughest to make in some time.
First Team:
Katisha Hyman, PG, Southside
One of the most talented players around, Katisha Hyman has all the makings of a great point guard. For the second year in a row the sophomore is a WDN all-area selection and seems to get better every time she takes the court. This year Hyman posted 19 points per game, while averaging 5.2 steals and dishing out 3.7 assists per contest. Equipped with the ability to score from all over the court, Hyman could easily have added to her points per game average, but instead choose to get her teammates involved first, which is why she is such a great leader.
Emoni Jones, G/F, Roanoke
Overshadowed by a certain star guard playing at rival school, Emoni Jones has quietly amassed a stellar career with the Redskins.
The 5-9 senior is a three-time WDN first-team selection and quite possibly would have been a player of the year in any one of those three seasons had it not been for Paschal. This season Jones posted 20 points per game, while pulling down 9.8 rebounds a night and swiping 3.2 steals. Her versatility and ability to fill up a stat sheet will be sorely missed next season.
Beth Batchelor, F, Washington
Every season there is a player or two whose stats don’t convey just how important they are to the team, and this year that player is Batchelor. The junior routinely played out of position at both forward spots and despite the challenge averaged nine points, five rebounds and two steals a game. Batchelor was consistently asked to guard the opposing team’s best offensive player regardless of that player’s position and she always came through for coach Allison Jones. The Pam Pack’s offense was predicated on defense, and Batchelor was the team’s top defender.
Cassie Harrel, F/C, Williamston
Like Batchelor, Harrell’s numbers don’t jump off the page, but that does not diminish her importance to a Williamston Tigers team that went 29-1 and finished second in the state amongst 1-A teams. Despite missing time due to injuries, Harrell was still the Tigers top post player and led the team with 8.5 rebounds a night while adding seven points per game. Aside from her presence on the glass, the senior excelled at deterring shots and swatted 72 of them this year, nearly 30 more than anybody else on the team.
Tamisha Cradle, F/C, Southside
By far the most improved player in this year’s crop of athletes, Cradle emerged as one of the best post players in the area as the Seahawks’ captain averaged a double-double by tallying 10.5 points and 12 rebounds a night to lead Southside to a 19-6 record. Cradle’s work allowed her to be named to the all-district second-team, as well as all-conference for the second straight season. The senior’s hard work, leadership and ability to bang in the paint will no doubt be tough to replace next year.
Player of the year
Katie Paschal, G, Williamston
Coach of the Year
Hughes Barber, Williamston
Second team
Zakkeya Morris, PG, Williamston
Hayley Stowe, PG, Washington
Rochelle Davis, F, Northside
Chante Painter, G, Southside
Courtney Wynn, G, Williamston
Honorable Mention:
Ashley Myers
J’nelah Mercer
Patrica Holley
Rochelle Davis
Rebekah Bonney
Elizabeth Harris
Melinda Paniagua
Raven Jones
Allison Armstrong
Tess Smithwick
Jordan Dunbar
Jasmine Grifin
Valerie Ruffin
Courtney Avery
Quaneika Thomas
Caitlyn Bogart
Terra Ceia
Paige Roberson
Hollie MacDonald
Kelsey Van Staalduinen
Katie Jackson
Hollie McDonald
Paige Roberson
Kristen Williams
Staneshia Griffin
Rakira Ward
Rachel Cantrell
Haley Hiatt
Shonnita McIver
Jo’Neka Brown
Dasia Moore
Charnell Jones
Shakera Norfleet
Queenie Little