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2013-'14 Season Coverage
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Girls basketball: All-area team, Northwest
 

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Girls basketball: All-area team, Northwest
  • Alondra Chavarria

    Alondra Chavarria

  • Brittany Collins

    Brittany Collins

  • Nireet Dhillon

    Nireet Dhillon

  • Alexis Glasgow

    Alexis Glasgow

  • Mallory Gonzalez

    Mallory Gonzalez

  • Haley Gorecki

    Haley Gorecki

  • Claire Gritt

    Claire Gritt

  • Brooke Gunderson

    Brooke Gunderson

  • Morgan Harris

    Morgan Harris

  • Bryana Hopkins

    Bryana Hopkins

  • Julia Huinker

    Julia Huinker

  • Jackie Kemph

    Jackie Kemph

  • Angie Kirchoff

    Angie Kirchoff

  • Annie Korff

    Annie Korff

  • Deanna Kuzmanic

    Deanna Kuzmanic

  • Brianna Lewis

    Brianna Lewis

  • Amber Lindfors

    Amber Lindfors

  • Sarah Mazurek

    Sarah Mazurek

  • Maddie McAteer

    Maddie McAteer

  • Ashley Montanez

    Ashley Montanez

  • Morgan Radtke

    Morgan Radtke

  • Catherine Sherwood

    Catherine Sherwood

  • Melissa Solorio

    Melissa Solorio

  • Megan Talbot

    Megan Talbot

  • Jenny Vliet

    Jenny Vliet

  • Maddie Welter

    Maddie Welter

  • Taylor Will

    Taylor Will

 

Alondra Chavarria LeydenWhatever the statistical category, you can bet Chavarria was near the top of the list for Leyden. The 5-foot-7 junior guard came up with many key baskets this season, leading the team with 14.2 points per game. The 5-foot guard got off to a sizzling start with scoring games of 27, 20, 18, 20 and 28 in the Eagles' first five games. But she was more than a scoring machine. Her 5 rebounds a game were second best on the team, just below the team leader (5.3). Chavarria's 2.3 assists and 3.3 steals led the team. "Alondra is an exceptional athlete with a continuous desire to improve," said coach Drewann Pancratz. "She is a fierce competitor and has set the foundation for this program."

Brittany Collins Maine WestNo Maine West player ever put the ball in the basket as often as Collins. The 6-foot-2 four-year starter became the school's all-time leading scorer with 2,055 points, shattering the former mark of 1,643. She is also the all-time leading rebounder (1,284) and her 660 points this season were also a school record. "Brittany is the ultimate player whom every coach would love to have," said coach Derril Kipp. "She listens, tries new things and gets better every game." Collins set her career high with 38 points against Niles North, the second highest in school history. She averaged 17 points and 12.3 rebounds in 121 games. "Brittany will be missed," Kipp said. "She will be difficult to replace."

Story Continues Below

Nireet Dhillon ConantOnly a sophomore, Dhillon ran the Cougars offense like a poised senior. "Nireet is a two-year varsity player who committed herself to improving her basketball skills this off-season," said Coach Dan Travers. "And it showed on the court. She really made great strides from last year. Even though she was on the varsity it wasn't until late in the season where she was able to make a contribution to the team." The 5-foot-7 Dhillon shot 44 percent from 3-point range (24-of-54) and her free throw percentage was 54-of-76 (77 percent). In the MSL West, Dhillon made 27-of-29 free throws (93 percent). "Nireet improved to the degree that she's an exceptional ballhandler and shooter," Travers said. "She also led the team in assists (3 per game). Nireet has tremendous potential to become a very good high player with an opportunity to play basketball at the college level."

Alexis Glasgow Rolling MeadowsGlasgow has been a prominent player in Meadows school record-setting success the past few years. This season, the 5-foot-11 senior guard averaged 17.4 points and 5.0 rebounds with 58 3-pointers and 1,526 career points. "Alexis is a tremendous player who continues to diversify her game," said coach Ryan Kirkorsky. "One of the best 3 point shooters in the state, Alexis became an even tougher matchup with her ability to attack the basket and impact the game on the boards. Her tireless dedication to improving her game has had an impact on teammates and everyone associated with the Rolling Meadows program."

Mallory Gonzalez ProspectThe 5-11 guard provided leadership on the court as well as a solid outside shot that saw her enjoy seven games with more than one 3-pointer. She averaged 7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.8 steals. "Mallory was a huge asset to our team," said coach Ashley Graham. "She has a very high basketball IQ and that made her a very consistent player for us." The senior could always be counted as a leader on and off the court. "Mallory's presence had a calming effect on our team that was truly irreplaceable," Graham said. "We are definitely going to miss her playing and her overall presence next year. I am so happy for the success that came her way this year."

Haley Gorecki FremdThe Mid-Suburban West Player of the Year makes her third straight appearance on the all-area team. The heavily-recruited 6-foot all-state junior did it all for the Vikes, averaging 22.6 ppg, 5.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 3.5 steals while shooting 51 percent from the floor and 80 percent from the free throw line. "Haley took her game to another level this year, she was flat-out amazing at times," said Fremd coach Dave Yates. "There are many times that I would just sit back in awe of what she was doing." Gorecki, who has 1,420 career points, has helped Fremd to three straight MSL West crowns and 2 outright titles. "Despite being the target of entire defenses, she still impacted the game in so many ways," Yates added. "I am slightly biased on this, but I feel like she is the best player in the state, period. We played one of the best schedules around and she never disappointed."

Claire Gritt HerseyIt was quite a rookie debut the 5-foot-9 freshman from Thomas Middle School provided for veteran Hersey coach Mary Fendley, whose Huskies lost to only two teams all season (Rolling Meadows and Prospect). "Sometimes while watching Claire, it was hard to remember that she is only a freshman," said Fendley, who watched the ninth-grader average 11.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists. "Her ability to penetrate and shoot from the outside made her a tough matchup for most opponents." When the Huskies had success with their press, it was most often because of Gritt's defensive intensity. "And her amazing athletic ability," Fendley said. "It's pretty exciting to think that this talented three-sport athlete will be back for three more seasons."

Brooke Gunderson BarringtonWhatever she was asked to do, the 5-foot-11 co-captain Gunderson provided it for the Filles this season. She also averaged 8 points, 3 assists, 3 steals and 2 rebounds while shooting 40 percent from the floor. "Brooke has worked hard this season to do whatever I have asked of her and whatever her team needs," said coach Babbi Barreiro. "She defends, she shoots, she slashes and she often took over games with her ability to put a string of steals together and jump start our intensity." Gunderson is a three-year member of the varsity. "She has been a very valuable member of our team and we will miss her constant commitment to the game and to the program," Barreiro said. "She is a class act through-and- through."

Morgan Harris HerseyOne of the top point guards to come through Hersey, the 5-foot-6 Harris led the Huskies in scoring for the second straight season with her 12.6 average. No one will forget the first half she produced against state-ranked Rolling Meadows in the sectional semifinal when she scored 19 points. Harris also averaged a team-high 3.2 assists with 2.2 steals per game. She also shot 72 percent at the free throw line, including a school record 12-of-12 in a game as a junior. "Morgan was an excellent point guard," said coach Mary Fendley. "As our primary ballhandler, she minimized turnovers while leading our team in assists. She has a great passion for basketball, and that was reflected with her competitiveness on the court."

Bryana Hopkins FremdWhen the Vikings needed to go inside, Hopkins was often the target. She averaged 9.3 points for the MSL champs along with 7 rebounds and 1.5 steals while shooting 50 percent from the field. "Bryana gave a presence inside, something we have not had for years," said coach Dave Yates. "Her ability to handle the ball and pass the ball makes her even more special. She was a load on the offensive boards and was a consistent second scorer for us." The 6-foot-2 Hopkins currently holds multiple Big Ten offers. "The sky is the limit for this kid," Yates said. "She works very hard at her game and I am very excited to see her continue to develop."

Julia Huinker Maine WestAt 6-foot-3, Huinker proved to be a perfect complement to her 6-2 post partner Brittany Collins. In fact, no one got the ball to Collins better than Huinker who led the team in assists. "She is the ultimate team player," said coach Derril Kipp. "At 6-3, sh led the team in assists. She was just a very unselfish player and she accomplished a lot of things this season through her ability to pass, score and play defense." Huinker tossed in a career-high 17 points against Brooks, and reached double figures nine times. She will play for St. Francis College in Joliet. "She will be missed next year," Kipp said.

Jackie Kemph Rolling MeadowsThe 2013 Illinois Gatorade Player of the Year came right back with another electrifying season. The 5-foot-6 senior guard averaged 21.9 points, 8.5 assists, 2.2 steals and shot 58 percent from the floor and now has 2,129 career points. "Jackie is one of the rare players who can dominate a game in so many ways," said coach Ryan Kirkorsky. "She can control the game with her scoring, passing, or defense. With all of her skills, her most defining characteristic is her competitiveness. Every drill, scrimmage, or game matters to her, and she continually pushes her teammates to improve."

Angie Kirchoff BarringtonBarrington coach Babbi Barreiro calls Kirchoff "simply one of the most versatile players to come through the Barrington program." Over the past three seasons, the Fillies 5-foot-11 co-captain has served as a point guard, shooting guard and has played in the post on a regular basis. "I think that when teams prepare to defend Barrington, the majority of their game plan centers around how to stop Kirchoff," Barreiro said of her leading scorer for the past two years. Kirchoff averaged 12 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals per game this season, shooting 42 percent from the floor and 40 percent from 3-point range. She was 75 percent at the free throw line. "Angie plays just about every minute of every game," Barreiro said. "She has worked so hard to become the best player she can be for her teammates and she has been a tremendous role model for our younger kids to look up to and emulate."

Annie Korff HerseyPlaying her first year on varsity, the 5-foot-9 Korff became an instrumental figure in helping the Huskies to a 25-5 season and championships in the Hoffman Estates and Wheaton North tournaments. "Annie was an amazing addition to our lineup this season," said coach Mary Fendley. "She led our team in rebounding (6.8 per game) and 3-point shooting percentage (38 percent). She's a very skilled three-sport athlete who used her competitiveness to add great intensity on the court." Korff averaged 11.3 points and 2 steals per game while shooting 75 percent from the free throw line. "We are lucky to have her returning next year," Fendley added. " Her work ethic will insure continued improvement for her and our team."

Deanna Kuzmanic WheelingFor the third straight season, Kuzmanic was a focal point of the Wildcats' offense. The 5-foot-9 three-time all-area selection averaged 17.9 points per game, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals. "When she is not looking to score herself, she seems to always find the opening to give her teammates scoring opportunities," said coach Julissa Hernandez about the all-tourney selection at the Niles North and Warren tourneys. Kuzmanic reached 1,000 points for her career in January and scored a career 39 points in November against Niles North. "Both our offense and defense revolved around Deanna," Hernandez said of the Alabama-Birmingham recruit. "Our team follows her lead on the court. She definitely is a game changer."

Brianna Lewis FremdOnly a sophomore, Lewis is already one of he top guards in the Mid-Suburban League. She hit the game-winning 3-pointer as a freshman in the 2013- MSL championship game, then came back with an impressive sophomore campaign. "Brianna was one of our most improved players this year," said Fremd coach Dave Yates. "Last year you saw the flashes, this year you saw her do it on a consistent basis." The 5-foot-2 Lewis averaged 8.3 ppg, 3.0 assists, 2.2 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game. "One of the quickest kids in the MSL, she is a tough matchup one on one," Yates said. "Her ability to break down a defense and finish make her a very difficult player to guard. She is a fierce competitor and rose to the occasion in some of our biggest games. Brianna is also an outstanding on the ball defender. I think many point guards in the MSL are not happy she has two more years left."

Amber Lindfors Elk GroveAt 6-foot-4 she was one of the tallest players in the state. Her game stood tall as well. "Amber played a large role in our team's success this year," said coach Kathie Swanson. "As seen through her numbers (11.9 points per game with 9.6 rebounds, 2.8 blocked shots), she made a difference on both ends of the court." Swanson relied on Lindfors to use her size to create matchup problems inside. "Amber did a good job of taking advantage of these opportunities," Swanson said. "She has a lot of natural ability. If she continues to work hard on her footwork and overall strength, she has the potential to have a breakout senior season."

Maddie McAteer St. ViatorAfter leading the Lions in scoring (239 points) and rebounding (142) this season, the 5-foot-9 McAteer will be a key returning player for her senior year ­-- as well as someone for her younger teammates to look up to. "We are very fortunate to have Maddie as part of our program. I can't say enough as to what she has meant to St. Viator girls basketball." McAteer was all-tourney at the St. Viator and Fenton tourneys this season. She was tied for the team lead for highest field goal percentage and had the best 3-point field goal percentage. "I saw a tremendous amount of growth in Maddie this season on the court and that is a tribute to the commitment and dedication she has made to our program," Jost added. "Maddie put in countless extra amount of time in the gym this year and all that hard work was shown in her play this season."

Sarah Mazurek ConantA three-year starter, the 5-foot-9 Mazurek made her mark in the Cougars program and led the Cougars this season with her 12 points per game. "For the last two years year, Sarah has been one of our captains and our team's best player," said Cougars coach Dan Travers. "Over the last three years she has worked extremely hard to develop her basketball skills." Mazurek was a point guard as a sophomore and led the team in assists, minutes played and was second in taking charges. As a junior, she averaged 8 points per game. Mazurek led Conant in steals with 55 this season and made 23 of 57 3-pointers. "Sarah is just so consistent of a player, you know you're going to get an outstanding effort from her especially on defense where she always guarded the other team's best player regardless of their position," Travers said of the multi-sport athlete. She is the ultimate complete player."

Ashley Montanez Rolling MeadowsMontanez' inside presence was another key dimension to Meadows' success the last three years. The University of Indianapolis recruit was the team's third-leading rebounder with 6 per game and handed out 1 assist and made 1 steal per game. "Ashley sacrificed personal recognition to do whatever was needed for the success of the program," said coach Ryan Kirkorsky. "Her greatest attribute is that she sincerely cares about the success of her teammates and will do all of the little things to make them better." The 6-foot-1 Montanez scored a season-high 18 points against state-ranked Fremd on Dec. 3. "Ashley is an extremely skilled post player who consistently put in the work and was deservedly rewarded with an opportunity to play at the next level," Kirkorsky added. "Her contributions have been essential to the success of our program."

Morgan Radtke PalatineIn his first season as the Palatine coach, Mark Johnson got to see quite a performance from this senior. Radtke produced a career-high 26 points with a pair of 3-pointers when the Pirates lost 52-50 to Warren during the Blue Devils Christmas tournament. "It was one of the better games I've ever seen a guard play," Johnson said. He also got to see the 5-foot-7 Radtke average 10.1 points, 4 rebounds, 2.5 assist and 1.5 steals in her senior season. "Morgan was our leader on and off the floor," Johnson added. "Her attitude and work ethic were top-notch and I'm very excited for her future." Radtke, who scored at least 10 points more than 10 times this season, plans to attend Illinois State University next fall.

Catherine Sherwood ProspectSherwood gave the Knights a physical presence inside. The 6-foot junior grabbed rebounds and scored points with regularity. She averaged 12.7 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.85 steals while shooting 50 percent from the field. "Catherine had a tremendous junior year and really grew as a player," said coach Ashley Graham. " She is by far one of the most athletic post players in the area." Sherwood had a career-high 22 points against Stevenson in the second round of the Dundee Crown Charger Classic. "She has the ability to go right or left and is very difficult to defend because of her quickness," Graham added "She has become someone we look at as a "go-to" scorer and defender. Catherine has a huge upside and the sky truly is the limit for her. We are very fortunate that Catherine is only a junior."

Melissa Solorio Elk GroveNo matter the sport, you are going to get 100 percent from Solorio, also a standout in volleyball and soccer. "Mel has a high basketball IQ and a natural competitive edge that makes her one of the best players in the area," said coach Kathie Swanson. "She has a bright future ahead of her in basketball at the collegiate level." This season, the 5-foot-11 Solorio averaged 14.6 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.7 steals while shooting 81 percent at the free throw line. An all-tourney selection at the Lake Zurich Turkey Thriller, Solorio finished her career with more than 1,000 points. "With the graduation of four starters from last year's team, Mel had the responsibility of shouldering the offensive load for our team," said coach Kathie Swanson. "She did a good job of stepping up in key moments and hitting big shots. In addition, she is one of the most versatile players in the area, as she can play both inside and outside, making her a matchup problem for many teams."

Megan Talbot BarringtonA true force in the paint, Talbot was consistent all season. Coach Babbi Barreiro will have two more seasons with the 6-foot-2 center in the middle. "Megan had a fabulous season," Barreiro said. "She was a major force to be reckoned with in the paint." Talbot averaged 10 points and 10 rebounds per game with 2 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocked shots. "Megan has that special talent which combined with hard work will make for an extremely bright future for her the next two years as well as in college," Barreiro said. "She is quick, handles the ball and cannot only score with her back to the basket, but also by dropping in an outside shot. She is a rebounding machine and dominates on the boards." Barreiro liked the improvement she has seen. "She gets better and better with each game she plays," she added. "Megan has a very complete package. I believe she will develop into a very solid leader for our program. I expect great things lie ahead for Megan as a player and as a person."

Jenny Vliet Rolling MeadowsVliet averaged 14.7 points, 9.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists while shooting 61 percent from the floor and 44 percent from 3-point range. But it was so many other elements that set her apart. "Jenny has been the glue to the Rolling Meadows program," said coach Ryan Kirkorsky. "Jenny is a coach's dream -- her only concern is winning, and she will do whatever is required of her." A three-time all-area pick, the 6-foot-2 Vliet has scored 1,325 points while leading the Mustangs to their most productive two seasons in school history. "One of the most skilled players in the state, Jenny continually did the dirty work for our team. She led the team in rebounding and was always asked to take one of the toughest defensive matchups. She has been a model to the future players who come through our program."

Maddie Welter Buffalo GroveWelter excelled on both ends of the floor for the Bison, who finished strong with their first regional crown since 2008. The 5-foot-9 sophomore averaged 12.6 points and 2.9 assists while converting 71 3-point baskets and shooting 86 percent from the free throw line. "Maddy is not only a great offensive player but also an excellent defender," said coach Steve Kolodziej. Welter averaged 2.2 steals and 4.9 rebounds. "Maddie has poured her heart and soul into the game of basketball and she is just starting to reap the awards of her hard work and effort," Kolodziej added. "She's constantly guarded by our opponent's best defensive player and recognized by teams in our area as a great player."

Taylor Will ProspectWill was the player who opposing teams knew they had to stop. But that was much easier said than done. Will has collected 1,203 points, third on the school's all-time list behind Colleen Grant (1,352) and Gabrielle Cottrell (1,304). The 5-foot-11 Taylor averaged 19.81 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 2.3 steals. "This was a breakout year for Taylor," said coach Ashley Graham. "She carried us this season and is by far one of the best high school competitors around. She deserves any accolade that comes her way because of the work she puts into practice and games. The highest compliment I can give Taylor is that she practices and plays like she has no talent or skill at all, as she is absolutely relentless in her pursuit to become the best player she can."

All-area roster

Player School Pos. Yr.

Alondra Chavarria Leyden G Jr.

Brittany Collins Maine West F Sr.

Nireet Dhillon Conant G So

Alexis Glasgow Rolling Meadows G Sr.

Mallory Gonzalez Prospect G Sr.

Haley Gorecki Fremd G Jr.

Claire Gritt Hersey G Fr.

Brooke Gunderson Barrington G Sr.

Morgan Harris Hersey G Sr.

Bryana Hopkins Fremd F So.

Julia Huinker Maine West F Sr.

Jackie Kemph* Rolling Meadows G Sr.

Angie Kirchoff Barrington G Sr.

Annie Korff Hersey F Jr.

Deanna Kuzmanic Wheeling G Jr.

Brianna Lewis Fremd G So.

Amber Lindfors Elk Grove F Jr.

Sarah Mazurek Conant G Sr.

Maddie McAteer St. Viator F Jr.

Ashley Montanez Rolling Meadows F Sr.

Morgan Radtke Palatine F Sr.

Megan Talbot Barrington F So.

Catherine Sherwood Prospect F Jr.

Melissa Solorio Elk Grove G-F Sr.

Jenny Vliet Rolling Meadows G-F Sr.

Maddie Welter Buffalo Grove G So.

Taylor Will Prospect G Jr.

* All-area team captain

Special mentionAoife Callanan (Barrington), Maddy Callahan (Buffalo Grove), Tatiana Doroskin (Schaumburg), Sami Heuertz (Palatine), Kelly Katis (Barrington), Sami Kay (Rolling Meadows), Hannah LaBarge (Fremd), Jasmine Marsh (Christian Liberty), Liz McCluskey (Leyden), Bailee McDonald (Barrington), Autumn McGee (Leyden), Renee Poulos (Hersey), Brittany Reinhart (Schaumburg), Erin Ross (Maine West), Mary Saitta (Hoffman Estates), Erica Simios (Fremd), Kayne Stanley (St. Viator), Megan Sullivan (Christian Liberty), Haley Will (Prospect), Monraia Wilson (Hoffman Estates), Lexi Zades (sConant)

Selections and profiles by John Leusch

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