Local athletes named All-State
Published: April 11, 2013
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Personal accolades were far from the minds of Tri-Valley's Juli Weber, Tara Nahodil and coach Bob Felty Jr. as the 2012-13 girls' basketball season unfolded.
Pine Grove's Becky Evans and Minersville's Reighly Melochick were more interested in team goals as the season progressed.
Still, the play of Weber, Nahodil, Evans and Melochick as well as Felty's leadership helped elevate their clubs to a high level of success.
And now the players have reaped the rewards of that success.
Weber and Nahodil were selected Tuesday to the Pennsylvania Sports Writers Girls' Basketball Class A All-State first team, while Evans was tabbed for the Class AA first team and Melochick garnered second-team honors.
By leading Tri-Valley to the PIAA Class A championship with a 28-3 record, Felty was selected Class A Coach of the Year.
All four classifications boasted a great deal of star power and Division I athletes.
None may have more individual accolades than Steel-High's Malia-Tate DeFreitas, who was named Class A Player of the Year for the third straight year.
Steelton-Highspire's 5-foot-8 guard averaged 34.8 points during her senior year - scoring more than 1,000 points.
Archbishop Carroll's Sarah Curran (Class AAAA), Hopewell's Shatori Walker-Kimbrough (Class AAA) and Episcopal Academy's Megan Quinn (Class AA) garnered Player of the Year honors in their respective classifications in the poll of statewide media.
Spring-Ford's Jeff Rinehimer, South Park's Reggie Wells and Bishop Canevin's Tim Joyce were voted Coaches of the Year after guiding their respective teams to PIAA championships.
"It means a lot because I think it shows I did a pretty good job helping and trying to lead my team," Tate-DeFreitas said. "We won three (District 3) titles and two state titles - I only wish I could have won one more my senior year."
Weber, Nahodil, Taylor Troutman and the rest of the Dawgs prevented that from happening. Nahodil's foul-line jumper with seven seconds left in the state quarterfinals and Tri-Valley's ensuing defensive effort against Tate-DeFreitas gave the Dawgs a 73-72 win in the state quarterfinals at Reading's Geigle Complex.
A recruit of Division I Hampton, Tate-DeFreitas is making her fourth appearance on the Class A first team. Despite an ACL injury early in her scholastic career, Tate-DeFreitas still finished with 3,366 points, second only to Mount Carmel's Maria Fantanarosa (3,823) on the all-time state list.
Tate-DeFreitas scored a career-high 54 points in a 69-62 loss to Class AAAA Harrisburg on Feb. 4.
"That was the best game I ever played, even though we lost. I was waiting for that game for a long time, because they are a (Class AAAA) team and because everyone thought we were going to get blown out," Tate-DeFreitas said. "That really pumped me up."
Even with all her accomplishments, Tate-DeFreitas had plenty of competition for the Class A award. Fellow first-teamers Nahodil (Seton Hall), Alex Ricketts
(Akron) of Kennedy Catholic and Halee Adams (Siena) of Bishop Guilfoyle also are Division I college recruits. So are North Catholic's Lauren Wolosik (Central Connecticut State), Bishop Guilfoyle's Kayla Bates (Mount St. Mary's) and Shipley's Sox Alexander (St. Joseph's). Wolosik made second team, while Bates and Alexander made the third team.
Tri-Valley had a strong showing on the All-State squad. In addition to Felty winning Coach of the Year, three-time All-State pick Nahodil and four-time All-State pick Weber pushed Tate-DeFreitas for Player of the Year. Vincentian sophomore Brenna Wise rounded out the first team.
Quinn, a Villanova recruit, headlined the Class AA team after leading Episcopal to its first Inter-Ac and Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association championships.
The first team also included three players from the WPIAL - Seton-LaSalle's Naje Gibson, Jeannette's Ciara Gregory and Bishop Canevin's Erin Waskowiak - along with Morgan Klunk of PIAA runner-up York Catholic and Evans.
Evans earned her first All-State selection, while Melochick earned her second straight berth on the second team.
The Cardinals reached the state quarterfinals before falling to York Catholic. Evans scored her 1,000th career point during that contest and enters her senior season with 1,013 points.
Melochick led the Battlin' Miners to the District 11 Class AA semifinals, where they fell to Pine Grove.
She averaged a league-leading 19.8 ppg and enters her senior season with 1,451 career points.
Curran, a Drexel recruit who helped Archbishop Carroll compile a 95-20 record in her four years, edged out Cardinal O'Hara senior forward Shanice Johnson and Spring-Ford junior point guard Sammy Stipa for Player of the Year in Class AAAA. North Penn's Lauren Crisler, Boyertown's Kaitlyn Eisenhard, Cumberland Valley's Jackie Falconer, Fox Chapel's Erin Mathias and Reading's Isis Thorpe joined them on the first team. All but Mathias, who has committed to Duke, are seniors.
In addition to the honors for Rinehimer and Stipa, Spring-Ford had two players on the third team: forwards Shelby Mueller and Sarah Payonk.
Walker-Kimbrough is making her third appearance on the Class AAA first team. The 5-foot-11 senior was the decisive winner when it came to voting for Player of the Year, and with good reason: the Maryland recruit and Gatorade Player of the Year for the state averaged 28.3 points, 10.1 rebounds and 6.8 steals as Hopewell made the second round of the state tournament before losing to eventual champion South Park by four.
"Her ability in the open floor is something you don't see very often in girl basketball," Hopewell coach Jeff Homziak said of Walker-Kimbrough. "A lot of guys coaches said she would fit right in on their boys teams ... She's a special kid."
Bethlehem Catholic sophomore Kalista Walters had the next most votes, followed closely by Lancaster Catholic senior Porscha Speller and South Park senior Shelby Lindsay. Notre Dame Academy's Megan McGurk and Blackhawk sophomore Chassidy Omogrosso comprised the rest of the Class AAA first team.