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Kitsap writers select top girls basketball stars
The 2011 All-Kitsap County Girls Basketball Team was compiled by the sports writers for the Bremerton Patriot, the Central Kitsap Reporter, the North Kitsap Herald, Bainbridge Island Review and the Port Orchard Independent.
Candidates for the team are nominated by the writers for their respective areas. The nominees are then voted on by the writers; the top players make the teams. Two honorable mentions are also selected from each school for each sport.
The teams include the best players from area schools that not only performed well individually, but played a role in the success of their team.
Girls Coach of the Year — Olympic High School’s Laurie Shaw led the Lady Trojans to a 16-11 record this season en route to their first state tournament appearance in 16 years. After going 4-6 in December, Shaw helped reverse her team’s fortunes when the Lady Trojans won nine of 11 games to wrap up the regular season with a No. 3 seed in the league standings. The streak secured an automatic berth to the district tournament, Olympic’s first in more than a decade.
Guard — Jackie Steiger, junior, South Kitsap: After missing a significant portion of the 2009-10 season because of a foot injury, Steiger settled in as the Wolves’ starting shooting guard this season. One of the top shooter on the Kitsap Peninsula, Steiger converted 59.7 percent of her 3-pointers in South’s first 20 games. She also averaged 12.7 points and 1.18 steals per contest.
Guard — Amanda Carper, sophomore, Kingston: In a season that began without top scorer Sophia Baetz on the court, Carper filled the shoes of lead scorer almost immediately. With 10.8 points per game, 8 blocks per game and 2.6 steals per game, Carper helped bring Kingston to a winner-to-state game against Olympic High School, where the team fell just short of another state tournament.
Guard — Kelsey Callaghan, senior, South Kitsap: A three-year starter, Callaghan helped direct the Wolves to state-playoff appearances in two of the last three seasons. Prior to her arrival, South had not advanced to the Class 4A state tournament since 2000. Coach Mark Lutzenhiser trusted Callaghan, who averaged 5.3 assists per game in the team’s first 20 contests, to run the offense and make adjustments based on what she saw from opposing defenses.
Forward/Center — Shannon Jackson, senior, Olympic: Shannon Jackson spent the last four years in Japan before returning home to play for the Lady Trojans this season, averaging 12.4 points and 12.5 rebounds per game. Jackson’s double-double average helped lead Olympic to its first state tournament appearance in 16 years. Jackson earned Olympic League honors with a selection on the first team. Her post presence was crucial for head coach Laurie Shaw, who needed a power forward in the paint to propel the team’s chances. “It was a great season that started slow, but we gradually came together and make it to where we should have been,” Jackson said last week. Jackson is currently considering Pierce College (Tacoma), Highline (Des Moines) and Skagit Valley (Clinton) community colleges. Shaw said they will also send game films to Seattle University.
Forward/Center — Taylor Sunkel, junior, South Kitsap: After missing nearly the entire 2009-10 season following shoulder surgery, Sunkel emerged as one of the Wolves’ top low-post threats. Through 20 games, she averaged 12.1 points and 6.2 rebounds per game to help South to the second round of the Class 4A state tournament.
G/F — Alex Rose-Albert, senior, Kingston: With solid statistics this season, Rose-Albert was another Kingston player that helped bring the team to the verge of another state tournament. Rose-Albert ended her final season with Kingston with 8.8 points per game, 11 blocks and 1.4 steals per game.
F — Jordan Dixon, senior, Klahowya: Despite a sluggish season with a 2-14 Olympic League record, Dixon still managed to run the Eagles’ offense with 13.5 points and 5.5 assists per game. Dixon was also a menace on defense though the 20-game stretch, snagging 6.5 steals per game. Klahowya head coach Don Farrell turned the program from winless to playoff contenders in the last four years with the help of Dixon.
F — Lexi Simmons, junior, North Kitsap: As a co-captain on a team with no seniors, Simmons led the team in almost every aspect of the game. She averaged 10.4 points per game, 6.6 rebounds per game, 2.2 steals per game with 1.8 assists per game.
F — Grace Kenyon, sophomore, Bainbridge: Kenyon stepped up when standout guard Davi Gonzales was lost for the season to a broken leg. She averaged a double-double for the season with 11 points and 11 rebounds per game. Kenyon also averaged two steals and 1.5 assists per game.
G — Lindsey Wicklein, junior, Kingston: Wicklein was a dual force for Kingston this season, averaging 7.7 points, eight blocks and 2.7 steals per game this season.
G — Krista Stabler, junior, Central Kitsap: Krista Stabler helped the Cougars stay afloat in the Narrows League standings as a dual threat on the court. The junior guard averaged 14.3 points, 6.1 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 3.1 steals in a 20-game stretch.
G — Hannah Depew, junior, Bainbridge: Depew was solid at the guard position for Bainbridge as she helped the team earn a second straight Mountain Division title. She scored eight points per game and also dished out four assists and three steals per game as well.
Olympic High School honorable mention: Jayln Halstead, junior; Klahowya: Jonica Durbin, senior; Central Kitsap: Brittany Zawadzki, senior. Bainbridge Island honorable mentions: Davi Gonzales, senior; Morgan Moniz, senior. Kingston High School: Maggie Snaza, sophomore; Samantha Salas, freshman; Sophia Baetz, senior. North Kitsap: Alicia Whitbeck, freshman. South Kitsap: Ali Davis, junior; Dana Goularte, senior; Angela Romonsky, senior.