2017-'18 Season Coverage
updated: 3/2/2017 12:44 PM

Northwest all-area girls basketball team

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  • Missy Adrian

    Missy Adrian

  • Morgan Campagna

    Morgan Campagna

  • Myia Clark

    Myia Clark

  • Melissa Claver

    Melissa Claver

  • Carly Cooper

    Carly Cooper

  • Alisa Fallon

    Alisa Fallon

  • Emily Frasco

    Emily Frasco

  • Megan Gamber

    Megan Gamber

  • Mallory Gerber

    Mallory Gerber

  • Claire Gritt

    Claire Gritt

  • Rachel Kent

    Rachel Kent

  • Annissa Lemon

    Annissa Lemon

  • Tori Meyer

    Tori Meyer

  • Gina Miklasz

    Gina Miklasz

  • Katherine Nolan

    Katherine Nolan

  • Laura O'Connell

    Laura O'Connell

  • Allison Pearson

    Allison Pearson

  • Elena Porrata

    Elena Porrata

  • Olivia Solimene

    Olivia Solimene

  • Kyra Spiwak

    Kyra Spiwak

  • Georgette Topalis

    Georgette Topalis

  • Grace Tworek

    Grace Tworek

  • Jorie Wachal

    Jorie Wachal

  • Kelly Weyhrich

    Kelly Weyhrich

  • Hayley Williams

    Hayley Williams

  • Midori Williams

    Midori Williams

  • Monraia Wilson

    Monraia Wilson

  • Mandy Withey

    Mandy Withey

 

Missy Adrian FremdFremd coach Dave Yates calls the Bradley recruit the 'backbone' of the Vikings. Adrian's steady play with exceptional defense resulted in 7 points per game, 4.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.9 steals and 59 percent shooting from the field. "Missy takes great pride in shutting down our opponents top player every game," Yates said. "Her length and athleticism make her a tough kid to score on." Adrian has scored in double figures nine times. "She has made big improvements on the offensive side of the ball and at times will assume a point forward position for us," Yates said. "Missy has also provided excellent leadership this year as one of our captains."

Morgan Campagna Rolling MeadowsCampagna's campaign through the Meadows girls basketball program the last four years was one that was always getting better. It culminated this year as a senior with an average of 10.9 points, 11 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. "Morgan may have improved over three years more than any player I've coached," said Mustangs coach Ryan Kirkorsky of the top rebounder (10.9 pg) in the MSL East. "As a sophomore, she was an athlete who could make some plays, and now as a senior, she is polished player who can create plays, post up, and score in a variety of ways. She is one of the best rebounders in the state and can defend any position on the court. She has had a tremendous career as a Mustang."

Myia Clark St. ViatorThe junior guard became the fifth Lion in program history to reach 1,000 career points while averaging 13.5 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.7 assists in her junior campaign. Clark also led the Lions with 53 3-pointers and was second in rebounding. "Myia showed great growth in the area of leadership this year," said Lions coach Jason Raymond, who led the team to its first back-to-back regional titles in school history. "She stepped up in big games when they mattered the most (including 23 points in regional and sectional games). She carried us in scoring for both of those games." Clark is garnering a lot of Division 1 attention. "We expect another big jump in her senior year as she returns with a seasoned group that will be looking to take the next step and advance further in the tournament,"Raymond said.

Melissa Claver WheelingWhen the Wildcats needed a basket, the Washington University (St. Louis)-bound senior was often there to provide. "Claver averaged 15 points and 6 rebounds during a season in which she reached 1,000 career points. "Melissa put in a lot of work during the offseason to improve her game," said Wheeling coach Matt Weber. "She was a natural leader on the court and able to get to the basket at will. She was also very strong in the post." Weber also praised Claver's defensive abilities. "She could defend a big (post player)," he said. "But she was also able to defend a guard."

Carly Cooper HerseyOne of the best defensive players in school history, Cooper consistently shut down or limited the scoring of top players from opposing teams. "Our team loved seeing a defensive specialist get some well-deserved credit this season," said Hersey coach Mary Fendley. "She works so hard on defense, yet also hit some key baskets for us when we needed them most." Fendley love coaching the senior guard. "Carly is a joy to coach, as she is always willing to put the team ahead of herself," Fendley said. "Her tenacity on defense made her the best on-the-ball defender I have ever coached."

Alisa Fallon Maine WestAfter starting for state contender Trinity the previous two years, Fallon transferred to Maine West and helped key the Warriors' championship season. "She was a wonderful addition to our team this year," said first-year coach Kim deMarigny of the 5-foot-10 junior guard. "Alisa has adjusted nicely and really made solid contributions all season in leadership on and off the court." Fallon averaged 12.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.0 steals. She scored a season-high 22 points against Rockton Hononegah at the Dundee-Crown Christmas tournament.

Emily Frasco ProspectOnly a junior, Frasco was the Knights' top scorer with her 11.8 points per game and she also showed her passing skills by leading the team in assists. "When the other team would focus their attention to stop her from scoring, Emily was able to find her teammates for scoring situation," said Prospect coach Gabrielle Lovin. Frasco shot 45 percent from the field. "That's an impressive number for a guard who puts up a lot of shots," Lovin said. "Her length allowed her to get many deflections during the season. We are looking forward to seeing how she finishes her four-year varsity career."

Megan Gamber Buffalo GroveGamber put together a stellar senior season, averaging 11 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assist per game. Gamber also led the Bison with her 48 3-pointers and her 84.1 percent free throw shooting. Gamber also led the MSL East in free throw percentage (88.6 percent). "Megan had an outstanding year," said Bison coach Steven Kolodziej of the 5-foot-8 guard who also helped the Bison win the Mid-Suburban East championship in 2017. "Meg was a catalyst for hard work," Kolodziej added. "She truly committed to her craft and got the most out of her talents this year. She will be missed. She and Georgette (Toplalis) did an amazing job developing into leaders and there is no doubt they will be successful in the future."

Mallory Gerber SchaumburgGerber was one of the top scorers in the Mid-Suburban League and in Schaumburg history as she reached 1,000 points at the Wheaton North Christmas tournament. "Mallory was probably the most coachable player on our team," said first-year coach Jacqie Storm of the senior captain. "She was a captain and a leader. We looked to her when things weren't going awry and she would fix them." The four-year starter averaged 16 points and 5 rebounds a game with a career-high of 32 points against Wheaton St. Francis. "And she always guarded the best player of the other team, which is a big job to do," Storm added of the Hope College (Holland, Mich.) recruit.

Claire Gritt Hersey

A mainstay for the past four years, Gritt had quite a career while scoring more than 1,000 points. She also became Hersey's all-time leader in steals 285 (previous record by Chris Wolff was 277) and she tied a record by twice hitting 12 free throws in one game. "Whether shooting on her own, watching game tapes or coaching our 8th grade feeder team, Claire's year-round work ethic provided fantastic examples for younger players that you should always try to improve your game," said Hersey coach Mary Fendley of her co-captain who will play at Denver next season . "Her passion for basketball is always on display, and inspired me to want to do a better job as a coach." Gritt's 17.4 ppg tied her for top honors in the MSL East where she was also third in rebounding (7.8), first in steals (45) and fourth in assists (32). "It is hard to imagine walking into our first practice without Kelly (Weyhrich) and Claire being there to lead the way, as they have been the last four years," Fendley added. "Along with her classmates, they have changed Hersey basketball for the better."

Rachel Kent Maine West

Coming off an all-area freshman season, Kent hardly missed a beat in her sophomore season. The 5-foot-10 guard drove and shot her way to an average of 11.6 points a game while also pulling down 5.7 rebounds and handing out 1.9 and 1.8 steals. She netted a season-high 22 points in the Warriors' regional semifinal game against Maine East. "Rachel has a tremendous work ethic," said Warriors first-year coach Kim deMarigny. "Her only gear is wide open. She is an excellent leader. She demonstrates hustle personified."

Annissa Lemon LemonLeyden coach Stephanie Kuzmanic said Lemon's work ethic and determination paved the way for an outstanding junior year. The 5-foot-6 guard averaged 14.4 points, 5 rebounds and 3 steals. "Her automatic midrange pullup and ability to score in transition have made her difficult to defend," Kuzmanic said. Lemon scored a career high of 31 points in a win over Ridgewood, 27 points in a win against Addison Trail and 26 points in a 2-point loss to Proviso East. "Annissa's leadership was vital to the success of our team," Kuzmanic added. "She is a coachable athlete who continues to get better and better and I am glad I have her for one more year."

Tori Meyer BarringtonMeyer played a major role for the Fillies while averaging 10 points, 3 rebounds and 2 steals and shooting 75 percent from the free throw line. "She was consistently my hardest working player and what I love most about her is that she comes to practice each day wanting to get better and working hard enough to accomplish that goal," said Barrington coach Babbi Barreiro. "Tori gives 100 percent every time she takes the court and her teammates have really followed that lead this season." Meyer excelled on both sides of the floor. "Offensively she is so versatile with the ability to get to the hoop, pull up and hit the jumper, or sink the three when you need it," Barreiro said. "Defensively, she is quick and steady and makes things happen for her team. She had a very good year and as only a sophomore, I can't wait to see how she continues to develop."

Gina Miklasz HerseyCalm, cool and collected, Miklasz was always someone the Mid-Suburban League champions could count on. "Gina is a consummate team player," said Hersey coach Mary Fendley. "She is so tough on the court, that nothing really rattles her." Miklasz was in the top 10 among MSL East players in scoring (11.4 ppg) and rebounding (4.2). She was second in assists (40) and fourth in steals (26). "Against certain defenses, she became our go-to player," Fendley added. "Because we had a shorter team, she often guarded kids five to six inches taller than she. As one of our captains, she was the leader who was one of our kids responsible for our excellent team chemistry this year."

Katherine Nolan Rolling MeadowsNolan was all about the team, and that's one of the key reasons the Mustangs were a team that won 23 games against a very challenging schedule that included three teams which played in a Class 4A supersectional. The Loyola recruit averaged 9 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.5 assists. "Katherine is one of the best teammates I've ever coached," said Meadows coach Ryan Kirkorsky. "She only cares about the success of the team and her contributions make everyone around her better. She is one of the most skilled post players I've coached."

Nolan possessed strength with a great shooting touch. "And she was our best passer," Kirkorsky said. "She does so many things on the floor that may go unnoticed, but she's been at the center of all the success we've had the last three years. I'm excited for her continued success at Loyola."

Laura O'Connell SchaumburgO'Connell, a senior captain, was a force around the basket, whether it was scoring or rebounding. "She had the most double-doubles for us," said first-year coach Jacqie Storm, "She got her points under the hoop and at the same time she got her rebounds." O'Connell averaged 13 points and 7 rebounds, tossing home a season-high 17 points against St. Charles East. "She was a fantastic leader," Storm added. "She always put the team before herself. She never plays scared. You always know something good will come from Laura."

Allison Pearson Maine WestPearson proved to be one the most composed point guards in the area, directing the Warriors to the Central Suburban North, regional and sectional championships. She averaged 8.8 points with 2.3 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.8 steals. Pearson tossed home a career-high 18 points to help Maine West defeat Naperville Central in the championship game of the Dundee-Crown Christmas tournament. "Allison is a tremendously hard-working young lady," said Warriors coach Kim deMarigny. "She studies the game at a level that most high school students never envision. She is our floor leader."

Elena Porrata Palatine Only a sophomore, Porrata proved to be a valuable leader for the Pirates this season while averaging 10.6 points and converting 51 3-pointers. "Elena was our emotional leader in the locker room as well as on the court," said Pirates coach Mark Johnson. "She is an amazing person and a wonderful player to watch play the game." Porrata is a two-year starter who scored in double figures seven times as a freshman. She had a career-high of 21 points this winter. "She is only a sophomore," Johnson added. "So I am very pleased to know that she is going to be leading our team for two more years."

Olivia Solimene St. ViatorThe junior guard was the Lions' second-leading scorer (10.2 points) while hitting 47 3-pointers with 2.4 rebounds per game as the team's offensive floor leader. "Olivia improved her scoring average by 3 points this season," said St. Viator coach Jason Raymond of the team co-captain. "She is one of the hardest-working players on the team." Solimene advanced to the state finals for the 3-point shooting contest in Normal. "Along with the other members of her class she has been a huge part in the transformation of the girls basketball culture at Saint Viator High School," Raymond said. "She cares tremendously about winning and playing the right way."

Kyra Spiwak Rolling MeadowsOne of the all-time scoring greats at Rolling Meadows, Spiwak hit the 1,000-point milestone this season while averaging 17.5 points during a 23-win season for the Mustangs. She tied for MSL East scoring honors with 17.4 ppg. "Kyra has exceeded expectations every year," said Meadows coach Ryan Kirkorsky. "She became so efficient this year. She continued to score at a high rate and has improved in her ability to see the floor and make great decisions." Spiwak also averaged 4.9 rebounds and 3.3 assists." She can control the game with her scoring, passing, defense, and rebounding," Kirkorsky added. "And what separates her the most is her demeanor. In three years of coaching her, I haven't seen her have a bad day in terms of her approach to practices or games."

Georgette Topalis Buffalo GroveTopalis, also a talented soccer player who will play that sport at Winona State, was a factor both offensively and defensively for the Bison girls basketball team. She also played a key role in helping BG win the Mid-Suburban East last season. Topalis averaged 10 points, 4 rebounds and 3 steals per game. "She was our emotional leader," said BG coach Steve Kolodziej. "She had a tough job of marking the opponents' best player and trying to limit them." Topalis had a career-high of 27 points against Lakes at the Lake Forest Shootout. "She and Megan (Gamber) did an amazing job developing into leaders and there is no doubt they will be successful in the future."

Grace Tworek FremdOne of the most explosive and versatile scorers in the state, Tworek averaged 16 points, 10.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.0 steals. "Grace has easily capped the best four-year run (three Elite berths in a row) of any basketball player to play for Fremd," said Fremd coach Dave Yates. "She will go down as one of the top post players in Fremd's history." Tworek averaged 3.1 blocked shots per game. "Grace's shot blocking and rebounding (343) ability are as good as anyone I have ever coached." Yates said. "She really stepped up her offensive game this year, and despite double and triple teams at every turn, she still found ways to impact the game." Tworek also connected for 45 3-pointers. "Grace has grown from a post-up only kid to one of the better 3-point shooters in the area," Yates added. "That is a testament to the time and effort she has put into improving every year."

Jorie Wachal ConantWachal was one of the highest-scoring guards in the Mid-Suburban League the last two years, producing a career-high 40 points as a junior against Oswego and a season-high 33 vs. Prospect as a senior. She averaged 19.5 points with 8.2 rebounds and 3.0 steals per game this winter. "Jorie's stat line this year was incredible," said Cougars coach Deirdre Naughton. "Not very many guards who are 5-foot-9 can average 8 rebounds a game. She can score from anywhere on the floor, and played any position asked of her." Wachal was a very tough matchup for many teams and always had at least two girls defending her. "She was also versatile on the other side of the ball and could guard the other team's best player no matter what position they played," Naughton said. "Jorie is one of the most competitive kids I've had the pleasure of coaching. Her dedication to the sport has set a great example for our younger girls, and is something this program will miss very much."

Kelly Weyhrich HerseyWeyhrich went into the record books this season as Hersey's all-time assists leader. She finished with 549, breaking the former mark of 521 held by Chris Wolff. "Kelly has been an ideal point guard for our program for many years," said Hersey coach Mary Fendley of her four-year starter. "Her passing, especially in transition, made our team go." Weyhrich also was among the MSL East leaders with her 10.1 ppg. She led the East in 3-pointers (19), 3-point field goal percentage (40.4) and assists (54). "Kelly's court awareness is so good, and she was a terrific help defender," Fendley added about her co-captain. "She has a knack for always getting herself to the right spots defensively. Her unselfish play was hugely responsible for our team's success."

Monraia Wilson Hoffman EstatesWilson wrapped up a four-year career at Hoffman Estates in which she finished just shy of 1,000 points. The four-year starter, two-time all-conference selection and two-year captain averaged 15 points as a senior along with 6 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 assists. "She was a big part of our offense this year and she really picked up her intensity on defense. She was one of our best defenders this season," said Hawks coach Mike Koester. Wilson tossed home a career-high 33 points with five 3-pointers this winter in a 55-47 win over Niles North. She led the team with 39 3-pointers this season and was the Hawks' top rebounder.

Hayley Williams FremdWilliams' steady play as the Fremd point guard was a major reason for the Vikings' success this season. The senior guard averaged 7.5 points, 2.1 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.8 steals while tossing home 44 3-pointers. "Hayley has done a tremendous job taking care of the basketball and running the show," said Fremd coach Dave Yates. "She is a very good outside shooter who was another player who helped us stretch defenses with her ability to hit the 3-pointer." Hayley scored a career-high 16 points against Libertyville in the regional semifinal. "Hayley is also an excellent defender who truly understands a scout and is able to execute it on a nightly basis," Yates said. "And she has a nearly 3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio."

Midori Williams FremdIf you tried to focus on all-area honorary captain Grace Tworek, Williams would be waiting to make you pay on the perimeter. The senior guard connected for 51 3-pointers while averaging 9.1 points. "Midori is a fantastic 3-point shooter who can make them in bunches," said Fremd coach Dave Yates who watched Midori pour home a career-high 19 points with five 3-pointers against Cary Grove. When she wasn't scoring, Midori was averaging 5 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.5 steals. She had 18 points with four 3-pointers in the sectional semifinal game against Libertyville. "Midori was a reliable scorer all season for us," Yates added. "And she carried us for a number of games when our offense sputtered."

Mandy Withey ProspectWhen it came to rebounding, Withey was one of the best in the Mid-Suburban League. The sophomore center was No. 3 in the MSL East with 9.9 per game. She led Prospect with 258 total rebounds and fell only 26 points and 1 rebound short of averaging a double-double this season. "Mandy's ability to read the ball off the rim is impressive," said Prospect coach Gabrielle Lovin. "She worked hard every day to improve her game. She challenges herself to become better whether it is on the offensive or defensive end. Her natural athletic ability combined with her dedication is something that will give her a very bright future."

All-area roster

Player School Pos. Ht. Yr.

Missy Adrian Fremd 5-10 G Sr.

Morgan Campagna Rolling Meadows 5-11 F Sr.

Myia Clark St. Viator 5-7 G Jr.

Melissa Claver Wheeling 5-10 F Sr.

Carly Cooper Hersey 5-6 G Sr.

Alisa Fallon Maine West 5-10 G Jr.

Emily Frasco Prospect 6-0 G Jr.

Megan Gamber Buffalo Grove 5-8 G Sr.

Mallory Gerber Schaumburg 5-11 G/F Sr.

Claire Gritt Hersey 5-10 G Sr.

Rachel Kent Maine West 5-10 F-G So.

Annissa Lemon Leyden 5-6 G Jr.

Tori Meyer Barrington 5-9 G So.

Gina Miklasz Hersey 5-7 G Sr.

Katherine Nolan Rolling Meadows 6-1 F Sr.

Laura O'Connell Schaumburg 5-11 G/F Sr.

Allison Pearson Maine West 5-6 G Jr.

Elena Porrata Palatine 5-5 G So.

Olivia Solimene St. Viator 5-3 G Jr.

Kyra Spiwak Rolling Meadows 5-9 G Sr.

Georgette Topalis Buffalo Grove 5-8 G Sr.

*Grace Tworek Fremd 6-2 G/F Sr.

Jorie Wachal Conant 5-10 G Sr.

Kelly Weyhrich Hersey 5-4 G Sr.

Monraia Wilson Hoffman Estates 5-8 G Sr.

Hayley Williams Fremd 5-7 G Sr.

Midori Williams Fremd 5-8 G Sr.

Mandy Withey Prospect 5-11 F So.

* All-area team captain

Special mentionJenny Banak (Elk Grove), Maya Bowens (Schaumburg), Jenna Breslin (St. Viator), Kendra Gancraz (Prospect), Catherine Johnson (Maine West), Artasia Gusman (Leyden), Shannon Kennedy (Wheeling), Emily Klaczek (Fremd), Kendra Lee (Buffalo Grove), Erin McGrath (Hersey), Reggie Much (Palatine), Michaela Mueller (St. Viator), Megan Murray (Elk Grove), Regina D'Orazio (Schaumburg), Kayla Patterson (Schaumburg), Sydney Rzepka (Palatine), Melissa Spiwak (Rolling Meadows), Taylor Thompson (Barrington), Tayler Williams (Hoffman Estates)

Selections and profiles by John Leusch

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