Maine West sophomore guard Brittany Collins and St. Charles North senior center Kyle Nelson have earned the Daily Herald's basketball MVP honors for their recent performances. It's the ninth installment of the award, which brings attention to the best performers from throughout the paper's circulation area.
Collins scored 111 points over five games, including 28 points in a key conference win over Maine East.
In three Upstate Eight River victories, including one against Elgin to boost the North Stars into the division lead, Nelson scored a total of 58 points with 27 rebounds and 8 blocks.
Brittany Collins: Maine West: Collins enjoyed the biggest scoring week of any player in Derril Kipp's 31 years as Maine West's head coach. The 6-foot-1 sophomore had 111 points in five games, including 28 points and 17 rebounds in a 49-30 win over Maine East that kept the Warriors in a first-place tie in the Central Suburban North.
Cassidy Block, Timothy Christian: The Trojans senior has been on a tear of late, averaging 21.4 points a game over her last seven. Block scored a career-high 30 points with 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks in a 46-28 win over Elmwood Park, had 15 points and 12 boards against Walther Lutheran and 17 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals when the Trojans beat Fenton 48-46.
Jackie Cardona, Aurora Central: With 1,129 career points this senior is poised to leave as the Chargers' all-time leading scorer. She added to it last week with 22 points in a win over Wheaton Academy and then scored 17 more -- on 11 of 12 free-throw shooting -- to lead the Chargers past their rival Rosary.
Dori Darras, Lake Zurich: Dori Darras defends, dishes -- and delivers. Her 10 points in the Bears' 44-42 road win over Stevenson marked the fifth-straight game in which she scored in double figures. She also led the team in assists, rebounds and steals during the same period. In a Saturday sweep of Providence and Fenwick, the senior forward scored a combined 25 points.
Becca Smith, South Elgin: The Storm's senior guard, the leading scorer in the Fox Valley area, produced a game-high 28 points to go along with 5 assists and 7 steals in her team's 60-49 win over East Aurora. The Loyola recruit is now approaching 1,900 career points.
Kyle Nelson, St. Charles North: The 6-foot-8 senior center paced three Upstate Eight Conference River Division wins, including one over Elgin to propel the North Stars into first place in league play. Headed by 23 points against Batavia and 19 points and 12 rebounds against Larkin, Nelson scored 58 points with 27 rebounds and 8 blocks in the streak.
Juddon Carter, Round Lake: The sweet-shooting senior guard headed into the Panthers' game against Wauconda needing 19 points to become the school's all-time scorer. He got it -- and then some. The four-year varsity player poured in season-high 35 points, sinking six 3-pointers and going 11 of 13 from the foul line, as the Panthers won 58-51. He's scored 1,352 points in his career.
Conor Hart, Maine West: A lot out of Hart added up to a pair of victories for Maine West. The senior scored 24 points against Maine East and 17 against Wheeling and averaged 7.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.5 blocks while shooting 60 percent from the field in the two games.
Shane Hernandez, Hampshire: The 6-foot-6 junior was pivotal in two victories. He led Hampshire with 15 points on 7-of-8 shooting and grabbed 11 rebounds in a 48-33 victory over Woodstock, the 400th win of Hampshire coach Bob Barnett's career. In a 55-51 win over Woodstock North, Hernandez scored a team-best 16 points and blocked 6 shots, including 3 blocks in one possession as the Whip-Purs won for the 10th time in 11 games.
Pat Mazza, Glenbard West: The Hilltoppers notched a pair of West Suburban Silver wins with Mazza dominating the post. The 6-foot-8 senior center tallied a rare triple-double against Proviso West with 17 points, 19 rebounds and 11 blocked shots in a 65-55 victory. Mazza added 6 points, 13 rebounds and 2 blocks in a 60-36 win over Lyons Twp.