By Rob Potter
SULLIVAN COUNTY With the 2008 Summer Olympics set to begin in Beijing, China in just a few weeks, the United States Olympic Committee recently named players to the U.S. women’s basketball team.
Players like Lisa Leslie, Katie Smith and Diana Taurasi will be traveling halfway around the world with the goal of bring back gold medals to the U.S.
In another effort to select the best of the best, the Democrat recently contacted the coaches of the girls’ basketball teams at Sullivan County’s eight high schools plus The Family School in neighboring Delaware County and asked them to nominate players for the Democrat’s 2007-2008 Girls’ Basketball All-Star Team.
The votes have been tabulated and the all-stars are…
Most Valuable Player
Marissa Diescher Livingston Manor, freshman, guard
Diescher averaged 17 points, seven rebounds and four steals per game during the 2007-2008 season.
Back in December, she recorded a double-double of a game-high 22 points and 10 rebounds as Manor defeated the host Hancock Lady Wildcats, 54-34, in the championship game of the first annual Hancock Girls’ Basketball Holiday Tournament. She scored 21 points in Manor’s opening round victory against Margaretville and was named the tourney’s MVP.
With her all-around outstanding play, Diescher helped lead the Lady Wildcats to a berth in the Section IX Class D tournament.
Sullivan West, junior, forward
Houghtaling averaged nine points and 10 rebounds per game during the 2007-2008 season.
“She was our best rebounder,” SW Coach Ron Bernhardt said. “I feel that she was the best player in the county this season.”
Back in February, Houghtaling was named the MVP of the Billy Moran Tip-Off Classic Tournament.
In the Lady Bulldogs’ 54-41 victory against the S.S. Seward Lady Spartans in the tourney’s title game, she scored nine points, grabbed 14 rebounds and dished out seven assists.
Sullivan West, senior, guard
Lander and Jenn Pitz were the only two seniors on the Lady Bulldogs roster during the 2007-2008 season and they served as the team’s co-captains.
Lander averaged a team-high 14 points per game, helping the Lady Bulldogs become Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division IV co-champions. She also grabbed an average of five rebounds per contest, made 40 percent of her 3-point shots and converted 80 percent of her free throws.
“She was a good scorer and rebounder,” SW Coach Ron Bernhardt said.
The Family School, senior, forward
In a January OCIAA Division VI game against the visiting Eldred Lady Yellowjackets, Schmieder scored a team-high 16 points as the Lady Falcons prevailed, 46-33.
She netted a team-best 15 points in the Lady Falcons’ 51-37 non-league victory over the Liberty Lady Indians in late January.
Eldred, senior, forward
Westfall and Megan Kean were the only two seniors on the Lady Yellowjackets’ team this past season.
Westfall scored 11 points to help lead Eldred to a 62-38 non-league victory over Fallsburg back in January.
Westfall netted eight points in the championship game of the Eldred Central School Girls’ Basketball Holiday Tournament in December.
Liberty, junior, forward
In a non-league game against visiting Tri-Valley on Jan. 11, Williams scored a game-high 22 points to lead the Lady Indians to their first win of the season.
She paced the Liberty offense with seven points in an OCIAA Division IV game versus the Sullivan West Lady Bulldogs in December.
Roscoe, junior, forward
Dutcher averaged a double-double of 11 points and 12.3 rebounds a game during the 2007-2008 season.
“She was the leading rebounder on the team and our go-to girl on the inside,” Roscoe Coach Becky Ahart said.
Roscoe, junior, forward
Roscoe Coach Becky Ahart noted that Ladenhauf is “an offense-minded” player.
Ladenhauf averaged 16.5 points, 1.4 steals and 1.15 assists per game during the past season.
Tri-Valley, sophomore, guard
In a 70-34 victory over the host Eldred Lady Yellowjackets in December, McNamara scored 12 points, grabbed nine rebounds, made seven steals and registered two assists.
McNamara had 10 points and nine rebounds in the Lady Bears’ 53-45 non-league win against the Roscoe Lady Blue Devils in December.
Sullivan West, senior, guard
Pitz ran the Lady Bulldogs’ offense from her point guard position.
She averaged seven points, four assists and three rebounds per game during the 2007-2008 campaign. In addition, she made 35 percent of her 3-point shots and shot 75 percent at the free-throw line.
Back in February, Pitz scored a team-high 16 points as SW defeated S.S. Seward, 54-41, in the championship game of the Billy Moran Tip-Off Classic Tournament. She was named to the all-tournament team.
“She was our defensive stopper,” SW Coach Ron Bernhardt said. “She guarded the other team’s best player.”
Tri-Valley, freshman, guard
In the Lady Bears’ December non-league win against the Roscoe Lady Blue Devils, Pugh recorded a team-high 11 points. She also had seven rebounds, seven steals and four assists in the game.
Pugh netted 12 points in T-V’s lopsided non-league victory over the Eldred Lady Yellowjackets in December.
Roscoe, sophomore, forward
DeVantier averaged six points, four rebounds and one assist per game this past season.
“Taylor was our defensive- minded player,” Roscoe Coach Becky Ahart said. “She enjoys playing defense on the other team’s best shooter.
“She is also a team leader,” Ahart added.
Eldred, senior, guard
Kean, who was one of two seniors on the 2007-2008 Lady Yellowjackets’ squad, was a team leader.
She had a team-high nine points in an OCIAA Division VI game against the Livingston Manor Lady Wildcats in February.
Fallsburg, senior, guard
Gilmore was the Lady Comets’ leading scorer in several games this past season.
In a January non-league contest against Eldred, she had 10 points.
Gilmore also netted 10 points in a close loss to Chester on Jan. 7.
And back in December, Gilmore poured in 17 points as the Lady Comets were edged, 48-47, by the visiting Family School Lady Falcons in a non-league game.
Monticello, senior, center
Palhano had a team-high 14 points in the Lady Panthers’ non-league win over the host Fallsburg Lady Comets in February.
In Monticello’s first game of the season against John S. Burke Catholic High School, Palhano recorded a team-high 10 rebounds.
On Jan. 11, she registered a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds in the Lady Panthers’ non-league contest against visiting Valley Central.
Livingston Manor, sophomore, forward
Trotti averaged eight points and nine rebounds a game in the 2007-2008 season.
She was named to the All-Tournament Team of the Hancock Girls’ Basketball Holiday Tournament back in December.