A year to remember
The 2011-12 girls basketball season was one of the best in recent memory as Southside and Riverside each took turns as the No. 1 ranked 1-A team in the state throughout the year and played four classic basketball games against each other with each winning twice. However, the Seahawks were able to win the one the mattered the most as they topped the Knights in a 54-52 thriller to advance to the NCHAA 1-A East Regional round of the playoffs and eventually the state title game.
That effort led to Southside point guard Katisha Hyman being named the Washington Daily News Female Basketball Player of the Year for the second straight time and also made her coach Bill Lake a no-brainer choice for WDN Coach of the Year.
Adding to the excitement this season was the continuing rise of Plymouth, who finished right behind Four Rivers Conference co-champions Southside and Riverside in the standings, along with the development of Northside and the youth movement in Washington. Each one of those teams appears to be headed in the right direction, which should make for an exciting 2012-13 season. However, before we can look ahead it’s time to look back and honor those that helped make this past season a special one with the Washington Daily News All-Area basketball team.
CHANTE PAINTER, G/F, SOUTHSIDE
Perhaps no player in the area, boys or girls, hit as many clutch shots as Chante Painter this season as she made the game-winning jumper in the District round of the playoffs to top Riverside and delivered the game-tying layup at the buzzer against Lakewood in the East Regional finals to name a few. The versatile senior swingman brought so much to the table for Southside as she was second on the team in points (10.8), assists (2.1) and steals (2.3) per game while pulling down 4.8 boards a night to cap off her stellar prep career.
JALYN BROWN, PG, RIVERSIDE
On a team full of talented players, Riverside point guard Jalyn Brown was the engine that made the Four Rivers Conference co-champions run. The sophomore was third in the conference in scoring with 13.2 points per game, while her 3.6 steals ranked second and her 3.1 assists were third. A heady basketball player who plays with passion every night, it will be exciting to see this young star continue to develop in her junior season.
KRISTY GIBSON, C, PLYMOUTH
One of the best athletes in the area, the Kristy Gibson was able to make her second straight WDN first-team appearance as the Plymouth center led the Four Rivers Conference in blocks with 1.8 per game, while scoring 9.2 points and grabbing 2.6 boards per game. Gibson is a fierce competitor whose presence in the paint could potentially lead Plymouth to a conference title next season.
DEANDRIA PURDUE, F/C, SOUTHSIDE
One of the most improved players around, Southside senior forward/center Deandria Purdue’s play in post was critical for the 29-4 for Seahawks. Purdue nearly averaged a double-double this season as her 9.8 rebounds per game led the Four Rivers Conference, while her 8.7 points per game was the third-highest total on her team.
COURTNEY WYNN, SG/SF, RIVERSIDE
A great deep ball threat, senior sniper Courtney Wynn changed the way teams defended Riverside with her deadly outside shot. Far from a one-dimensional player, Wynn brought a scrappy defensive effort each night and a willingness to pass the ball as she tallied 6.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.4 steals per game.
VALERIE RUFFIN, G/F, SOUTHSIDE
RACHELL HOLLOWELL, F/C, NORTHSIDE
JORDAN WOOLARD, F/C, NORTHSIDE
D’ASYA WILSON, F, RIVERSIDE
DESIRE CHESSON, G/F, PLYMOUTH
Victoria Van Nortwick