Girls high school basketball in Columbia County has come a long way over the past few years. The hard work being put in by a great group of coaches on the high school level, coupled with more young girls playing the summer circuit, is starting to pay off in the win column.
Evans had 19 wins and went to the state tournament for the first time in 31 years, Greenbrier posted 17, Augusta Prep claimed 15 and Augusta Christian and Grovetown won 13 apiece. Also, college scouts spent plenty of time in the county this year, with several players earning scholarships. Hopefully this trend continues.
As always, a few players stood out from the crowd and deserve all-county recognition. Here is the 2012-13 All-County Girls Basketball Team. On Wednesday, we’ll name the All-County Boys Team.
Evans; 5-7, junior
Stone emerged as one of the entire area’s top scoring threats this season. This season she earned First-Team All-Region honors and was second in Region Player of the Year voting. She paced the Lady Knights with 19.3 points per game and averaged 3.5 assists, 2.4 steals, and nailed 56 3-pointers. She was a key reason why Evans won the first girls state tournament game in school history.
Evans; 5-4, senior
McFarland has been as important to the turnaround at Evans as any player. This season she was the floor leader for the Lady Knights. She knocked down 50 3-point shots en route to a 15.6 points per game average. She also was among the area leaders with 4.5 assists per contest and she had 2.6 steals per game. McFarland was named First-Team All-Region. She will play at Erskine College next season.
Greenbrier; 5-8, sophomore
Taylor was a workhorse for the Wolfpack. She averaged 14.7 points per game and led the county with 11.8 rebound. She also averaged an astonishing 4.8 steals per game, which was among the top averages in the entire area. She was a First-Team All-Region selection.
Lakeside; 5-9, senior
Lakeside did not win as many games as it would have liked, but the Lady Panthers were no pushover. Talley’s play made them a threat every night. She poured in 16.2 points per game and hauled in 8.5 rebounds as well.
Augusta Christian, 5-8, junior
Motes took over this season as the Lady Lions team leader and her numbers prove it. She led the team in scoring at 15.6 per game. She also grabbed 6.0 rebounds and dished out 4.2 assists, and had 5.1 steals per game. She nailed 76 percent of her free throw attempts on the season.
Amanda Murphy, Augusta Prep: Narrowly missed first team. Led Prep to a 15-6 mark on the season. Tremendous all-around talent.
Elyssa Melton, Evans: Outstanding on defense. Melton led the Lady Knights with 8.1 rebounds per game. Second-Team All-Region
Mallory Myers, Greenbrier: 8.6 points, 5.4 assists, 4.0 steals per game. Second-Team All-Region
Jennier McMahan, Greenbrier: 11.5 points. and 4.2 boards per game. Second-Team All-Region
Leah Ferguson, Grovetown: First Team All-Region. 9.6 points and 5.8 rebounds per game in region play.
Josalyn Leverett-Scott, Grovetown: Three-year starter (Grovetown was 55-25 in her starts). Hauled in 9.6 boards per game. Will play at Brenau University.
Bria Baker, Lakeside: Three-year starter. Averaged four assists and four steals per game
Autumn Johnson, Isha Godbold, Evans
Kara Thompson, Greenbrier
Dimara Thomas, Grovetown
Clarissa Hopkins, Lakeside
Olivia Fitzgerald, Brandy Hardaway, Harlem
Caroline Roberson, Augusta Christian
Katie Murphy, Augusta Prep
Coach of the Year:
Ryan Morningstar, Evans
Morningstar deserves statewide accolades for the job he has done at Evans over the past two seasons. In the seven years prior to him taking over, EHS won a total of 14 games. He won 11 games in 2011-12, then posted 19 wins and landed a sub-region title this season. The Lady Knights went to the state playoffs for the first time in 31 years and won the school’s first-ever tournament game.
Player of the Year
Jasmine Stone, Evans
This was a tough decision. I considered naming Stone and her teammate Allysha McFarland Co-Players of the Year. However, it was hard to ignore the way Stone stepped up when McFarland missed seven games in the middle of the season. Stone also got better as the season went on. By the end of the year she was an outstanding scorer; her 19.3 points per game was tops in the county.
She is an excellent student and likely will be heavily recruited.
Already, Georgia College and State, Charleston Southern, Georgia State, Cornell, Harvard, Princeton and West Point are showing interest.
If she really works hard this summer and continues to improve the way she has, she could easily be an All-State performer in 2013-14.