2021-22 Lawrence Journal-World All-Area Teams: Girls Basketball
Coach of the year: Brandon Parker, Eudora
A veteran of the Eudora High sidelines, Brandon Parker led the Cardinals back to the Class 4A tournament this season, this time taking them all the way to the title game and a runner-up finish. After opening the season with a loss, Eudora ripped off 23 consecutive wins and earned a substate championship and No. 2 seed at state. The 23-game winning streak ended in the 4A state title game with a loss to Bishop Miege.
Player of the year: Harper Schreiner, Eudora
Called by her head coach a “once in a lifetime talent at a school the size of EHS,” Harper Schreiner capped her stellar four-year career with her best all-around season. In addition to becoming just the third girls player in Eudora history to eclipse the 1,000-point mark for her career, she averaged 18.3 points, 9.0 rebounds, 4.5 steals and 3.4 assists per game in leading the Cardinals back to the Class 4A state tournament. Her clutch play and huge shot down the stretch in the opening round at the state tournament saved the Cardinals and led to an eventual trip to the state title game.
Mackenzie Mayer, Eudora
Mackenzie Mayer’s offensive numbers don’t do her contributions to the program justice, and EHS coach Brandon Parker called her “one of the best on-ball defenders in the state.” Known for hounding opposing point guards and making them uncomfortable from start to finish, Mayer at times single-handedly wrecked what EHS opponents wanted to do offensively. She also chipped in with eight points, three rebounds and two steals per game.
Amaya Marshall, Lawrence
The LHS junior earned third-team all-Sunflower League honors after her best year as a Lion yet. LHS coach Jeff Dickson lauded Amaya Marshall’s talent and leadership ability, calling her a “hard worker who does everything the right way.” She led the Lions in scoring on several occasions and was never afraid to step into the spotlight when the moment was biggest.
Layla Harjo, Lawrence
photo by: Chance Parker
An honorable mention all-Sunflower League pick and four-year letter winner for the Lions, Layla Harjo was praised by her coach and teammates throughout the season for her willingness to lead by example and commit to the standard of what the LHS girls basketball program wants to be. “A culture kid,” Dickson called her.
Brooke Metcalfe, Perry-Lecompton
An all-league selection for the Kaws this season, Brooke Metcalfe finished second on the team in scoring, at 7 points per game, and third on the team in rebounding (as a guard), at 5.1 boards per game. PLHS coach Joey Franzitta called her “by far our most important player,” and said her importance came largely from her ability to play the entire game and willingness to work to get better and push her teammates.
Taylor Damme, Perry-Lecompton
If not for a few minor injuries that bothered her throughout the second half of the season, this multi-sport standout may have turned in an even bigger season. As it was, Taylor Damme finished first on the team in scoring, at 10.6 points per game, and second in rebounding at 5.3 boards per game.
Oona Nelson, Bishop Seabury
A junior, multi-sport standout, Oona Nelson earned second-team all-conference honors this season while averaging 10 points and five rebounds per game for the Seahawks. The scoring clip led the team, and Seabury coach Ryan Gutierrez called her one of the most competitive kids he had ever been around. “She always wants to guard the best player and she played all but about five minutes the whole season,” Gutierrez said.
Hannah Motsinger, Bishop Seabury
A senior leader who anchored the Seabury defense in the middle as the team’s top rebounder and shot blocker, Hannah Motsinger averaged 7 points, 6 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game for the Seahawks this season. Like her teammate, Nelson, she also played all but about five minutes for the entire season. She plans to continue her basketball career at Baker University.
Lily Monarez, Veritas
A sophomore stepping into a bigger role for the Eagles this season, Lily Monarez led the team with seven double-doubles while leading the team in scoring on 17 occasions and rebounding 21 times. She finished the season with averages of 11.2 points and 8.5 rebounds per game and she capped her season with a monster effort of 30 points and 22 rebounds in a KASC Tournament game against Midland Adventist Academy.
Riley Smith, Baldwin
This 5-foot-8 senior guard earned first-team all-Frontier league honors after averaging 12.3 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.0 steals per game for the Bulldogs this season. BHS’s team leader for the past two seasons, Riley Smith set the Wellsville Top Gun Tournament’s single-game record this season by draining six 3-pointers. That performance helped land her on the all-tournament team to highlight what was a solid season all the way around.
Honorable Mention: Sofia Gonzalez, Bishop Seabury; Lydia Alvarado and Zoe Chambers, Veritas; Serenity Keo, Brynnae Johnson and Lucy Hardy, Lawrence High; Sawyer Schreiner, Eudora; Karly Neufeld, Baldwin.