BY TRAVIS DAVID
The Class 1A Sectional 57 at Bloomfield may have not been hyped up as other area sectionals, but that doesn’t mean it lacked excitement.
The opening game featured an overtime thriller and it wrapped up with a championship game that most wanted to see when the bracket was first released.
All things considered the six games played inside the historic Guy Glover Gymnasium provided an excellent week of postseason basketball.
Having covered all six games, I decided selecting an all-sectional team — with a couple of items mentioned — was warranted.
Before I delve into listing the players selected, I just want to throw out a couple of traits I noticed when picking these young ladies.
The common phrase I heard after North Central needed an extra four minutes to dispose of upset minded White River Valley in the sectional opener was “that may have been the championship game.”
The Lady Wolverines entered the sectional as a much improved team from earlier in the season and Coach Settles had an excellent game plan to pull off the upset.
With that being said, I selected a pair of Wolverines for the all-sectional team. They earned it.
Also, stats don’t tell the whole story. When selecting players, I looked beyond the stat sheet — in totality of the tournament — and focused on impactful plays. In short, a player didn’t have to average double digits for the tournament to be selected.
So without further ado here we go …
JALYN DAVIDSON — It’s not often that the biggest shot of a game comes in the first half, but Davidson did just that in the championship game. The North Central junior pushed the Ladybirds’ lead from one to four points with a triple in the closing seconds of the half. It may not seem like much, but the shot was a momentum boost (killer for Shakamak) allowed North Central to execute its second-half game plan as scripted. Davidson also sealed the win with back-to-back drives late in the fourth.
MADELYN KENNETT — The more I watched this fierce competitor play, the more I liked what I saw. The Shakamak sophomore goes all out on the defensive end and can take over a game by putting points up on the scoreboard in a hurry. In the Lakers win over Lighthouse Christian Academy, I could hardly keep up with recording her stats, as every time I looked down to record what she had just done, it seemed like she was making another play.
KATHERINE KOEHLER — Not much went right for Clay City against North Central, but Koehler proved to be a bright spot with 14 points. Most of her six made shots from the field came under heavy pressure from the Ladybirds’ defense. Koehler definitely earned every point she recorded in the semifinal loss.
PAYTON LAFEVER — The WRV guard had 13 points in the opening loss to NC, including a bucket in overtime which gave the Wolverines a 4-point lead. LaFever was able to create offense by driving to the bucket as well and earning a couple of hard-nosed offensive putbacks, which are hard to do against the Ladybirds’ defense when they are on.
KIMBER LADSON — The North Central didn’t hit the game-winning shot, but she may have hit the shot that saved the day against the Wolverines. Trailing by four points, Ladson drained a corner three with just over two minutes left in overtime which pumped new life into the Ladybirds.
Ladson also came up with a big bucket in the championship game in the closing seconds of the third period which helped stave off the Lakers’ charge.
AUBRIE LAMBERMONT — After not scoring in either of the first two sectional games, the Lakers’ sophomore showed up bigtime in the title game. Lambermont scored the Lakers first seven points of the game to help her team take control early.
The versatile sophomore also came up with a pair of buckets in the fourth quarter to help keep the Lakers in the game.
JAEDEN MIETUS — Dugger Union may still be having nightmares about this Bloomfield senior. Mietus wore out a path from midcourt to the hoop with numerous steals and layups in the Lady Cards’ opening round win over the Bulldogs.
SHELBY SEAY —The junior is the heart and soul of the Ladybirds. Teammate Jalyn Davidson may garner most of the attention from opposing teams, but Seay can take over a game at any time. If the junior guard is having a good night, it’s likely the Ladybirds are winning. Seay turned in a season-high 29 points in the win against Clay City and also sparked a second-quarter comeback against the Lakers in the championship game. Seay can hurt you off the dribble, shooting from the outside, can rebound (double-double against WRV) and is an absolute menace on the defensive end.
You’ll hear more about here coming up!
MAGGIE SCOTT — When you hit the game-winning shot in a postseason game, of course you’re going to find your way on the all-tournament list. Scott buried a corner three which proved to be the game winner against the Wolverines in the opening round. The Ladybird senior also came up just as big of a block on the defensive end of the court, moments after hitting the shot of her career.
The Ladybirds are sitting at home this weekend without Scott’s bucket!
BRYNNA WALTON — The junior pushed the opening game against North Central into overtime with a clutch drive. Walton pulled down a defensive rebound and drove the length of the court and layed in the game-tying layup to beat the buzzer to keep the Lady Wolverines season alive, for four more minutes. Walton also hit four free throws in the extra session in part of her team-high 16 points.
Other players who turned in noteworthy performances include: Shakamak’s Elayni Stone (13 points against LCA) and Emma Herrador (team-high 11 points off the Lakers’ bench against Bloomfield); North Central’s Samantha Secrest (11 points against Clay City and big 3-pointer against Shakamak) and Lilli Gaines (big old-fashioned 3-point play in the championship game); Dugger Union’s Jordyn Smith (13 points, 9 rebounds against Bloomfield).
No all-tournament team is complete without an MVP. This one was tougher than selecting the 10 players for this list. But taking all things into consideration, my MVP vote goes to Shelby Seay.
An impressive 14-point, 10-rebound double-double in the opener to go along with a 29-point outburst in the semifinals, and 10 tough points in the championship game is hard to go against. I know I said earlier in this post, that stats are not the end all factor and its not. With Seay, the stats are only a part of what she brings to the team. She can not score a single point in the game, but completely controls the game with her lock-down defense and ability to get rebounds despite her undersized frame.
And speaking of rebounds, Seay came down with one of the biggest offensive rebounds late in the fourth against the Lakers.
And last but certainly not least, I would like to give a special mention to Dugger Union players’ Sage Stahl and Arianna Frazee. Stahl may have been the most improved player over the last half of the season with Frazee being a close second!
TRAVIS DAVID is the publisher of PressBox812Sports and can be reached via email at: [email protected]. Follow along on Twitter (X) @Tdavid_21.