Arguably Montini's most improved player, the junior has room to grow. An inside-outside threat averaging 9.3 points and 6.0 rebounds. She scored 17 points in 31-2 Montini's sectional final win. Illinois State and Wisconsin-Milwaukee are among the Division I offers. "Pretty darn good," coach Jason Nichols said, "but what I should be saying is that she's great. My expectations are high for her."
Benet's most consistent player capped a rock-solid tenure with 14 points in regional final upset of Naperville Central. She will play at Eckerd College in Florida. Bell finished with 1,222 all-time points. As a senior she averaged 12.1 points and 5.2 rebounds a game. "When a key shot had to be taken," coach Peter Paul said, "we looked for Nikki. It seems the four years shot by very quickly."
The junior forward opened eyes with a breakthrough second varsity season. She averaged 17.5 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. At her best in the biggest games with 24 points in a win over Bartlett, 22 in an upset of Hinsdale Central, 28 points and 19 rebounds at Oak Park and 25 points in the second half of a regional loss to West Chicago. "She's intense, competitive and a clutch player," coach Jason Reinecke said.
Voted the team's most improved player last year, the growth of this 6-foot-3 center may have been more dramatic this year as a sophomore. Donahue emerged as an offensive force, averaging 11.8 points and 9.5 rebounds a game. She blocked 98 shots, shot 56 percent from floor and 75.5 on free throws. "The improvement she made and the production she had was pretty remarkable," coach Andy Nussbaum said, "given the set of circumstances."
Tough and fearless was this senior forward for the 22-10 conference and regional champs. A quiet, positive leader, she averaged 10.4 points and 10.1 rebounds. Ekechukwu will throw shot put and discus at Harvard. "She set the tone for how we play a lot of games," coach Lindsey Montgomery said. "She was willing to sacrifice her body to get any rebound."
A consistent player at both ends of the floor with a feathery touch from 15 feet in. The Lancers senior averaged a team-best 11.4 points and 6.3 rebounds a game. "I could count on her on a nightly basis to give everything she had," Lake Park coach Chris Fruehling said. "She was such a humble and generous person that always put the team before herself."
Montini coach Jason Nichols calls this junior point guard perhaps "overlooked and underappreciated" by national rankings. Clearly Notre Dame doesn't think so. Holloway is averaging 11.1 points, 4.4 assists and 3.4 steals per game and was voted first-team all-state by the Associated Press. "I wouldn't trade Whitney for anybody," Nichols said.
It's easy to focus on what might have been, with season-ending ACL tears her junior and senior years. What Johnson was, was DuPage County's best post player since Candace Parker. Voted first-team all-statethe by Associated Press. "One of the best kids I've ever coached," coach Jason Nichols said. "She just absorbed everything."
The senior guard is the Daily Herald's 2009-10 All-Area captain, the third repeat winner. The Stanford recruit averaged 19.3 rebounds, 6.1 assists, 5.2 assists and 3.6 steals for the 22-10 conference and regional champs. Her 2,031 all-time points are most ever at Hinsdale Central, boys or girls. She was voted first-team all-state by the Associated Press. "She does everything," coach Lindsey Montgomery said. "There was nothing, as her coach, that she couldn't handle."
Few area post players were as multidimensional as this 6-foot-4 junior. She averaged 13.4 points and 7.6 rebounds. A good passer for her size with a high basketball IQ, Markovic has visited Illinois State and Bradley with Wisconsin-Milwaukee also interested. "This year was a big one for her as far as leadership. She grew up a lot," coach Julie Fonda said. "Our offense revolved around her."
A steady, unselfish junior point guard and outstanding shooter for 25-7 DuPage Valley Conference co-champion, the third-year varsity player averaged 14.4 points, 4.8 assists and 2.5 steals a game. "We asked her to not only lead us on the offensive end," coach Andy Nussbaum said, "but to guard the other team's best player. She had a phenomenal year."
The sophomore and second-year varsity starter has strong leadership qualities and adapted well to a more perimeter-oriented position. Ray averaged 11.0 points, 6.1 rebounds, 4.0 steals and 2.9 assists a game for the 26-3 Warriors. Ray often guarded the opponents' best player. "The nice thing about Keiera is she is willing to learn and work with her teammates," coach Kim Connell said. "She doesn't have to carry the load."
The engine that made the 29-4 Knights go was this junior point guard and starter on Driscoll's 2009 championship team. Her speed, size and length are matchup nightmares for opposing guards. A tremendous passer, Reaber averaged 12.1 points, 4.5 assists and 4.3 steals a game. "As good as she is," coach Dan Murray said, "I think she can get so much better. She has loads of potential and talent."
Few players match the desire and leadership skills of the senior forward, a four-year varsity player at Driscoll and IC. The versatile post could score from the perimeter and was often asked to guard taller opponents. Reaber will play at Division III power Illinois Wesleyan. "There's a kid that works all the time to be as good as she is," coach Dan Murray said. "She makes the most of everything she has."
When Glenbard North needed a score or rebound, it was coming from this senior. She averaged 16.6 points and 6.1 rebounds a game and finished with 992 points in just more than two varsity seasons. Samford is among the schools interested. "On our team you wanted to have the ball in her hands," coach John Chamberlain said. "She played her best basketball at the end of the season."
Few teams boast a pair of 3-point snipers like this Illinois State recruit and fellow senior Mallory Sosnovich. The four-year varsity player has hit 243 3-pointers. This year she averaged 8.8 points and 4.3 rebounds, hitting 58 3-pointers at a 35 percent clip. "The bottom line is she puts up numbers," coach Jason Nichols said. "She is what she is: a 3-point shooter that stretches defenses."
Possessing boundless energy, no area player meant more to her program the last four years. Sharkey finished with 1,712 points. As a senior for the 21-7 Warriors, Sharkey averaged 15.4 points, 6.8 rebounds and an area-best 5.5 steals a game. She likely will play at Elmhurst College. "She put Wheaton Academy back on the girls basketball map," coach Beth Mitchell said.
The freakishly athletic junior guard came into her own in her second varsity season. Vine averaged 14.7 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.5 steals a game. Vine is a raw talent who only started playing organized basketball in eight grade, but a sponge to her coach's words. Wichita State, Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Drake among Division I schools on the radar. "As she learns the game she keeps getting better and better," coach David Eaton said. "A joy to coach."
A heady player and a hard worker in the weight room, this four-year varsity player finished with 1,125 points. White is committed to Illinois Wesleyan. She scored 20 points in a regional win over Wheaton North, the Hilltoppers' first since 2006. White averaged 12.4 points and 2.1 assists and was a great rebounding guard. "When the game was on the line," coach Mike Hofland said, "we'd want to get her the ball."
Williford was a high-scoring yet unselfish sophomore point guard for the 26-3 Upstate Eight Conference champs and sectional finalists. Even-keeled and focused, the Neuqua Valley transfer ran the show for first-year coach Kim Connell. Williford averaged 11.4 points, 3.2 assists and 1.5 steals a game. "During the playoffs she gained a lot of experience and a lot of confidence," Connell said. "I think she comes back next year even better."
Top five players
Toni Kokenis, sr., Hinsdale Central; Michala Johnson, sr., Montini; Whitney Holloway, jr., Montini; Alexa Sharkey, sr., Wheaton Academy; Emma Ondik, jr., Naperville Central.
Top 3-point shooters
Emma Ondik, Naperville Central; McKall Pugliese, Fenton; Alison Seberger, Montini; Mallory Sosnovich, Montini; Sydney Sharkey, Wheaton Academy.
AK Feltes, Wheaton North; Michala Johnson, Montini; Adabelle Ekechukwu, Hinsdale Central; Emma Donahue, Naperville Central; Nevena Markovic, Glenbard South.
Top free-throw shooters
Toni Kokenis, Hinsdale Central; Emma Ondik, Naperville Central; Claire Monroe, West Chicago; Marissa Pezzopane, Addison Trail; Fantasia Vine, Wheaton North.
Whitney Holloway, Montini; Kasey Reaber, Immaculate Conception; Alexa Sharkey, Wheaton Academy; Erica Jordan, Waubonsie Valley; Michala Johnson, Montini.
Top point guards in the class of 2011
Whitney Holloway, Montini; Emma Ondik, Naperville Central; Fantasia Vine, Wheaton North; Kasey Reaber, Immaculate Conception; Jazmin Little, Addison Trail.
The best of the class of 2012
Keiera Ray, Waubonsie Valley; Becky Williford, Waubonsie Valley; Emma Donahue, Naperville Central; Patrice Hicks, Glenbard South; Sydney Sharkey, Wheaton Academy.
Hinsdale Central; Lisle; Montini; Naperville Central; Waubonsie Valley; Wheaton Academy; Wheaton North.
Benet; Fenton; Hinsdale Central; Immaculate Conception; Montini; Waubonsie Valley.
Top coaching jobs
David Eaton, Wheaton North; Jeff Javior, Lisle; Rob Kroehnke, WW South; Dan Murray, Immaculate Conception; Jason Nichols, Montini.
Teams to watch in 2010-11
Glenbard South; Montini; Naperville Central; Waubonsie Valley; Wheaton North.
All-Area Honorable Mention
Jessica Baids (West Chicago, sr., F); Madeline Boltin (Downers Grove North, jr., G/F); Tori Clark (Lake Park, sr., G); Colleen Drennan (Lisle, sr., G/F); AK Feltes (Wheaton North, jr., F): Claire Fleming (Naperville Central, sr., F); Cayla Herbst (Glenbard West, jr., F); Patrice Hicks (Glenbard South, so., F); Erica Jordan (Waubonsie Valley, so., G); Jazmin Little (Addison Trail, jr., G); Fiona McMahon (St. Francis, jr., F); Claire Monroe (West Chicago, so., G); Tami Morice (Waubonsie Valley, so., G): Uzo Okoro (Hinsdale South, so., F); Katie Ottolin (WW South, sr., F); McKall Pugliese (Fenton, sr., G); Caitlin Schwark (WW South, sr., G); Sydney Sharkey (Wheaton Academy, so., G); Mallory Sosnovich (Montini, sr., G); Catherine Tanck (Naperville Central, sr., F); Tanysha Walls (Waubonsie Valley, jr., G).
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