The leading scorer for 15-12 St. Charles East at 13.1 points per game, Baltes completed a stellar run as the Saints' four-year starting point guard. A three-time All-Area selection, Baltes became just the second player in school history to reach 1,000 points in a Jan. 26 game against Oswego. Also shot 81 percent from the free-throw line and was second in the area in 3-pointers. "What Lexi has meant to the program is so much more than points, assists, steals and rebounds," Saints coach Lori Drumtra said. "Her commitment, work ethic and leadership have been such great examples for our younger players. She is a very smart student and an extremely intelligent basketball player. I have been kind of spoiled because having Lexi at the point is like having a coach on the floor. I guess the highest compliment I can give her is that when the game is on the line I want the ball in her hands."
The senior forward earned a spot on the All-Area team for the second straight year. Her 10.8 points and 6.5 rebounds a game were both second on the North Stars while her relentless attacking effort under the basket got her to the free-throw line 159 times. Also averaged 1.9 steals a game. Played one of her best games of her career in her final one, scoring 19 points in a 47-45 regional loss to Geneva. "She's a competitor," St. Charles North coach Colleen Brennan said. "She's such a good teammate. I wish everyone got to spend time with Jenna Bell. She's a great captain, she makes people smile, she knows when to be funny and when to show up and play."
A three-time All-Area selection, Hackbarth will take her feisty defense and play-making skills to Rhode Island. Averaged a team-best 11 points and 4.1 assists a game while reaching 1,000 career points in a playoff win over St. Charles East. "She always gives 100 percent at practice, and she is a team player," St. Charles North coach Colleen Brennan said. "Her overall basketball IQ is hard to match, and her ability to see the court and figure out what she can do for her team when she does and doesn't have the ball is amazing. She respects other players and constantly strives to improve. She just loves the game and I think that her style of play for the SCN program will be something that is referenced and remembered forever."
A four-year starter, two-year All-Area selection and two-year all-conference performer, Petrando concluded her stellar Rosary career averaging 9 points, 6 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.3 steals a game. She made the all-tournament team at Geneva's Thanksgiving and Oswego's Christmas tournaments. Finished her career with 712 points and 626 rebounds. Led Rosary with 15 points in the final game of their season and final game of her career, a regional final loss to eventual Class 3A state qualifier Oswego. "Katie had some great games for Rosary this season," Royals coach Dave Beebe said. "She was a good leader and stepped up her game at both ends of the court."
This senior forward rewrote the Rosary record books. She set the school's career scoring record against St. Edward on Jan. 8, finishing with 1,610 career points. Nearly set the career rebounding record as well, finishing with 994 for second most in school history. Rettig, a four-year All-Area selection, averaged 13.1 points and 10.4 rebounds a game this year while making the all-SCC team for a fourth straight year. She will play next year at Washington University. Her four years as a Rosary starter also will go down as the four best in school history with three 20-win seasons. "She carried us when we needed her to," Rosary coach Dave Beebe said. "One of the greatest players to play for Rosary."
The youngest player on the All-Area team, this transfer from Bartlett became more and more comfortable with Geneva as the season went along. Her highlights included a team-high 16 points in a win over Hillcrest in Geneva's first appearance at the prestigious McDonald's Shootout at Willowbrook, and 16 points and an excellent all-around game in a supersectional loss to Huntley. Ended up third on the team in scoring at 10.1 points a game while also contributing 1.4 steals and 3.3 rebounds a game. "She had a huge learning curve and I think she did a great job learning a new set of teammates and a whole new system," Geneva coach Gina Nolan said. "I thought she fit in great and played definitely older than a sophomore. I look for great things for her in the next couple years."
You couldn't keep this senior forward and four-year starter off the offensive glass. She averaged 11 rebounds this year, which followed 9.8 as a junior. She passed 1,000 rebounds in her career. Towles could score too, at 12.8 points per game this year and also with over 1,000 points in her career. Had a game for the ages when she scored 38 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in an overtime win over Naperville North. Also stepped up in the postseason with 19 points and 20 rebounds against Oswego East. "(Kiara is) unreplaceable as a floor leader," West Aurora coach Connie Siljendahl said. "She is very special to my heart. I have so very much respect will miss her."
A four-year varsity player, Vaughn made the transition from shooting guard to point guard this year and did a fine job directing the Blackhawks' attack. Averaged a team-best 3.6 assists and 2.5 steals per game while also providing West Aurora 11 points of offense. The three-sport athlete who will earn 11 varsity letters in basketball, volleyball and softball at West Aurora will continue her basketball career next season at Elmhurst College. "They have both stepped up their leadership this year by demonstrating strong leadership skill for the younger players on and off the court," West Aurora coach Connie Siljendahl said of Vaughn and Kiara Towles. "They know what I expect and understand the game and my system, which cannot be marked as stats."
Nobody dominated on the boards like this 6-foot senior and NIU-bound volleyball standout. The three-time All-Area selection averaged 12.5 points and 9.5 rebounds, and those numbers really exploded when the games mattered the most. During a postseason stretch that saw her average 14.8 points and 14 rebounds, South Elgin coach Tom Prendergast called Wicinski the best rebounder in the state; St. Charles North's Colleen Brennan called her the best high school rebounder she has ever seen. Her coach Gina Nolan agreed. "She's the best rebounder around," Nolan said. "She got better and better rebounding and finishing on the offensive end. It's just a tribute to her because obviously basketball isn't her main sport. She just seemed to enjoy playing and I think that showed in her desire to win."
From 9.3 points as a sophomore All-Area selection, Yelle stepped up her game to an area-best 14.1 point average this year while also leading Geneva in assists (3.6) and steals (3.0) to earn Western Sun MVP honors. Now has 873 career points. Saved her best for Geneva's toughest opponents, including a memorable game-winning drive and dish to Lauren Wicinski to beat St. Charles North in the regional finals. "She leads us in scoring, assists and steals. So even if she's not scoring, her distribution of the ball and impact on defense help us," Geneva coach Gina Nolan said. "When she drives, defenses have to respect her ability to go to the basket. If they collapse on her, she is so unselfish in getting the ball to a teammate. Her defense in the press or half court is excellent as well."
Kelsey Augustine (sr., C, Geneva); Liz Barnes (sr., G, Batavia); Deanna Cadena (jr., G, Aurora Christian); Mallory Carlson (sr., F, Kaneland); Tess Fischer (jr., G, St. Charles North); Stephanie Haugen (sr., G, Rosary); Emily Heimerdinger (jr., G, Kaneland); Jasmine Johnson (sr., F, West Aurora); Alexis Nelson (so., G, West Aurora); Lane Richmond (sr., G, Rosary); Katilyn Rosa (so., F, Aurora Central); Sydney Russell (jr., G, St. Charles North); Jaime Rust (sr., G, St. Charles East); Kala Sigona (sr., F/C, St. Charles East); Kelsey Stone (sr., C, Batavia); Ashley Wilk (so., G/F, Aurora Central).
Top freshmen and sophomores:
Jacqueline Cardona (so., G, Aurora Central); Alexis Nelson (so., G, West Aurora); Lisa Rodriguez (fr., G, Aurora Christian); Ashley Santos (so., F, Geneva); Sami Villarreal (fr., G, Batavia); Ashley Wilk (so., G/F, Aurora Central).
Teams to watch in 2010-11
Geneva, Aurora Central
DuPage | Lake | Fox Valley | Tri-Cities