Journal-World’s 2019-20 All-Area girls basketball team
photo by: File photos/Shane Jackson
Player of the year: Harper Schreiner, Eudora
Emerging as one of the better players in the state, Schreiner averaged 15.6 points per game to go along with an average of 4.2 assists, 4.0 steals and 5.7 rebounds per outing during her sophomore season. Schreiner was named to the All-Frontier League first team and was tabbed the MVP of the Tonganoxie Invitational this season. The Cardinals advanced to the Class 4A state tournament for the second year in a row.
Coach of the year: Bob Martin, Baldwin
Despite having to replace a ton of production from last year’s team, the Bulldogs made it back to the Class 4A state tournament. It marked the third year in a row that Baldwin has played during the final weekend of the season. BHS eventually was eliminated in the opening round, but finished the year with a 17-6 record.
Lydia Alvarado, Veritas — After going two full seasons without a girls basketball program, the Lady Eagles were back on the hardwood this year. In her freshman season, Alvarado served as the point guard and led the team in multiple statistical categories. She recorded a total of 43 steals and collected 46 rebounds. Alvarado also averaged 4.4 points per game for Veritas.
Ozi Ajekwu, Lawrence High — As the only player in the Sunflower League to average a double-double, Ajekwu was a focal point of Lawrence High’s attack this season. She averaged 10.4 points and 10.4 rebounds per game as a junior, shooting 54% from the floor. Ajekwu also finished the year with a total of 99 blocks.
Blaise Ball, Perry-Lecompton — With the help of Ball, Perry-Lecompton won 10 games for only the second time in the last 20 years. Ball started every game and served as the team captain during her senior campaign. She averaged 11.8 points per game, scoring 141 more points this year than she did as a junior. Ball also led the team in steals with 32.
Josie Boyle, Baldwin — Behind Boyle’s efforts on the floor, Baldwin returned to the state tournament during her senior season. Boyle was a first team All-Frontier League selection, averaging 11.4 points per game. Boyle, who is 5-foot-10, also produced 6.2 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game.
Anna Burnett, Baldwin — While not averaging double figures, Burnett was still effective on both ends of the floor during her final season with the Bulldogs. Burnett was fourth on the team in scoring with an average of 8.3 points per game. The 5-foot-8 senior guard also chipped in an average of 5.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 3.4 steals per outing.
Shannon Clarke, Free State — Clarke was a handful for opposing teams, showing the ability to get to the rim at east or convert on attempts from long range. Clarke, a 6-foot junior wing, averaged 15.8 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. She set the school record for most field goals in a game with 14. Clarke also connected on 30 attempts from beyond the arc for the season.
Lauren Gray, Tonganoxie — Gray’s impact went beyond the numbers, as she served as a leader on and off the court during her senior season. Gray averaged 8.5 points per game for THS this year. She also was involved on the glass by posting an average of 7.6 rebounds per outing.
Riley Hiebert, Eudora — In her senior campaign, Hiebert was a high-energy player on both ends of the court. She could get hot from deep and she took pride in her defense. The 5-foot-5 senior guard averaged 10.0 points and 2.6 steals per contest for the Cardinals.
Caely Kesten, Free State — Going out as a school-record holder is nothing to take for granted. Kesten, who will play at Northwest Missouri State in college, finished with a school-record 234 assists in her career. She also set the single-game record with 13 assists in her final home game. Kesten averaged 11.2 points and 3.4 assists per contest this year.
Reagan Thayer, Bishop Seabury — Serving as the leader for the Seahawks, Thayer was a consistent producer as a freshman. She led Bishop Seabury in scoring, rebounding and blocks. Thayer even played all five positions at some point, while being on the floor for all but 10 minutes this year.
Morgan Brusven, Tonganoxie; Sophie DeWitt, Lawrence High; Satchel Koch, Veritas; Evy Harrell, Free State; Jenna Harvey, Baldwin; Reagan Hiebert, Eudora; Katy Hurd, Perry-Lecompton; Jenna Keller, Perry-Lecompton; Amaya Marshall, Lawrence High; Riley Smith, Baldwin; Ella Stewart, Lawrence High.