Northwest all-area team
Ashley Adams Prospect Always striving to get better, Adams enjoyed a quality junior campaign with her 8.8 points per game and 94 rebounds. "There is never a moment where Ashley isn't pushing herself to be better at practice or in games," said Prospect coach Gabrielle Lovin. Adams shot 43 percent from the floor while also collecting 24 assists, 27 steals and 14 deflections. "She takes a lot of pride in her role as a defender against larger post players," Lovin added. "Her midrange shot and ability to get to the rim makes her hard to guard."
Myia Clark St. ViatorClark etched her name into the Lions record book by becoming the all-time leading scorer, boys or girls, with 1,695 points. "Myia has taken steps each and every year to improve her overall game," said Lions coach Jason Raymond. "Her biggest strength as a player is her offensive versatility. She can definitely put the ball through the hoop but she does so much more on the court." The three-time all-area selection and Saint Louis University recruit led the team with 15.4 points, 7.5 rebounds and 48 3-pointers. "She is our leading rebounder, a deft passer and does a great job on defense with her athleticism and her instincts in the passing lanes," Raymond added. "But, more importantly than statistics, she has grown each and every year with her composure and leadership. She was part of a strong senior class this year and she was one of those seniors that stepped up in a leadership role for us. She goes down as one of the all-time great basketball players at St. Viator High School."
Angela Dugalic Maine WestOnly a sophomore, Maine West fans get to look forward to two more years of watching one of the top post players in the area. Dugalic, who has been a prominent player for two seasons, averaged 10.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1 blocked shot this winter. "Angela became a starter for us at the end of last year and has shown glimmers of brilliance at times," said Warriors coach Kim de Marigny. "She is a tremendous presence in the paint, but can also extend to the 3-point line at times. She is extremely quick and very athletic."
Mary Kate Fahey HerseyFahey (139 points, 43 assists, 23 steals, 30 rebounds) enjoyed a stellar freshman campaign serving as the point guard for the Mid-Suburban League champion Huskies. "I do not think many freshmen could handle what MK was thrown into this season," said Hersey coach Mary Fendley. "But she handled being a varsity point guard beautifully. She is so tough on the court, nothing really rattles her. She was our primary ballhandler, but also came up big a few games as a scorer, most notably against Rolling Meadows. Her awesome attitude and willingness to keep learning just means that she will continue to get even better. We are so lucky to have her three more years."
Alisa Fallon Maine WestThe Warriors two-year starter, who also started at Trinity as a freshman and sophomore, did it all for the Warriors. She averaged 9.8 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2.1 steals while shooting 79 percent from the free throw line and 46 percent from the floor. "Alisa is a tremendous floor leader," said Hersey coach Kim de Marigny of the two-time time Central Suburban North Player of the Year. She was also an all-tournament selection at Hoffman Estates and Dundee Crown and 'Player of the Game' at the Fremd Shootout. "She is a tremendous athlete with a superb basketball IQ," de Marigny added of the Army West Point recruit.
Amalia Figueroa LeydenA true two-way player who has excelled on both ends of the floor, Figueroa averaged 10.3 points while shooting over 40 percent. She connected on six 3-pointers for a season-high 18 points against Taft. In the last week of the regular season, Figueroa hit five 3-pointers and had 17 points two straight nights in a double overtime loss to OPRF and a win over Ridgewood. "Amalia has developed into a knockdown outside shooter who is difficult to defend," said Leyden coach Stephanie Kuzmanic. "Amalia is a tenacious defender who is all over the court. She leads the team in steals, deflections and rebounds even though she only stands at 5-foot-4. She plays hard every time she steps on the floor, and we will miss her leadership next year."
Kacie Filian PalatineFilian, set to play soccer at St. Bonaventure, showed her skills aren't so bad on the basketball floor, either. She finished among the top three all time in assists for Palatine and her 130-plus this season were second best for a single season. "Kacie is a tireless worker who makes her teammates better with constant ball distribution," said Palatine coach Mark Johnson. "She is also one of the best defenders in the area and consistently guards the other team's best player and routinely holds them to single digit scoring games when we play them."
Emily Frasco Prospect Frasco was a triple threat on the floor for the Knights. She not only led the team in points (15.7) but also in assists (54) and rebounds (131). "That is a rare occurrence now a days," said Prospect coach Gabrielle Lovin of the Mid-Suburban East's Player of the Year. "Emily is a very talented player who looks to expand her game every chance she gets." Frasco also collected 52 steals in her final season of four on the varsity. "Not only is she an outside shooter, but when she can get into that lane, that is when her entire offensive game is shown," Lovin added. "Her smooth shot and length will help her at the next level. It will be very fun to watch her continue to blossom as a person and player at the University of Birmingham-Alabama)."
Lily Greifenstein Rolling MeadowsGreifenstein showed this season she was a legitimate scoring threat from anywhere on the floor. "She expanded her game, looking to attack the rim as much as spotting up as shooter," said Rolling Meadows coach Ryan Kirkorsky. "She played with confidence from day one of practice and found a variety of ways to impact the game." Greifenstein led the Mustangs with 12.7 ppg. while also averaging 2.5 rebounds with 47 steals and 39 assists. "Lily's game showed tremendous improvement this year," Kirkorsky added. "She went from a role player as a sophomore to one of the most efficient scorers in the area this year. Lily will continue to add to her game, and I am excited to see her continued growth into her senior year."
Nosa Igiehon WheelingIgiehon was one of the toughest post presences in the Mid-Suburban League, as she helped lead Wheeling to a winning record this winter. Igiehon averaged 9 points, 12.3 rebounds and 1.8 blocks. "She was a great defender and great rebounder," said Wheeling coach Matt Weber. "Her length on defense causes a lot of teams headaches (always having to adjust their shots in the paint). We are very excited to see her continue to grow as a basketball player and to see her develop into a leader on and off the court."
Catherine Johnson Maine WestAfter missing 13 games with a broken hand last winter, Johnson gave the Warriors a big lift this season. The four-year varsity player and two-time captain was an all-conference selection this winter. She was 'Player of the Game' at the Fremd Shootout versus defending Class 4A state champion Geneva. Johnson averaged 6.8 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.7 steals. "She came back in full fury this season," de Marigny said. "Catherine is an extremely hard worker, the epitome of a team captain."
Rachel Kent Maine WestA three-time all-conference selection with more than 1,000 points, Kent led the Warriors with her 11.1 ppg this winter. And she was just as effective preventing points on the other isle of the court. "Rachel is our defensive specialist, as she always defends our opponent's most dominant guard," said Maine West coach Kim de Marigny. "She has a relentless work ethic that never quits." Kent shot 73 percent from the free throw line and 51 percent from the floor, averaging 3.2 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.8 steals. "Hustle is her middle name," de Marigny added. "No one works harder than Rachel Kent."
Emily Klaczek FremdThe Mid-Suburban League Player of the year helped one of the youngest teams in the state to an 18-win season by averaging 14 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals per game. "As our only returning starter from last year, Emily had to step up for us to have a good year," said Fremd coach Dave Yates. " It's a lot to ask of a sophomore, but I think Emily met that challenge and had a great year for us. Emily worked very hard all off season to step into a larger scoring role for us. She can score at many levels and also has great court vision at the point guard position. I am excited to see Emily grow as a player and I think the best is yet to come."
Kendra Lee Buffalo Grove The best part about Lee's stellar season is that she still has two remaining for Bison coach Steve Kolodziej. "Her best basketball is still ahead of her," Kolodziej said. Lee played a key role both offensively and defensively this winter. She ended up in the top 10 of six categories among Mid-Suburban League East players. Lee averaged 10.1 points and 7.3 rebounds while also combining for more than 100 deflections and steals. "Kendra is an all-around complete player," Kolodziej added.
Kendra Lindell PalatineLindell's touch from the outside was among the finest in program history. Lindell finished her career in fifth place with more than 65 for her career and her 51 this winter placed her at sixth for a single season. "Kendra is one of the deadliest shooters in the area and someone who had to be accounted for on every possession by opposing defenses," said Palatine coach Mark Johnson. Lindell led the Pirates with her 9.5 ppg and she collected 68 rebounds, 29 assists and 24 steals. "She has been a great teammate and role model for our younger Pirates with her hard work and dedication to the program," Johnson added.
Erin McGrath HerseyMcGrath contributed to the Huskies success for a long time, but this season was a breakout one. "This year, her efforts were brought to an entirely different level," said Hersey coach Mary Fendley. " She accepted the challenge of changing from a role player to becoming our go-to player." Amazingly, she led our team in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals. Whether a guard or a post, she typically defended our opponent's biggest threat. She is unselfish, team-oriented, and was hugely responsible for our team's success."
Katie McGrath HerseyAs everyone knows, hard work pays off. Just ask Katie McGrath, who in her first season as a starter averaged 7.3 points, 6 rebounds and collected 28 assists with 26 steals to play a key role in the Huskies' Mid-Suburban League championship season. "Katie's work ethic has made her one of the top post players in the area," said Hersey coach Mary Fendley. "She was so dominant in some games that she often drew double or triple teams. Despite this defensive attention, her court awareness allowed her to find an open teammate, get a good shot, or draw a foul." She was just as effective on defense. "Katie often was the one to pick up key rebounds down the stretch in close games," Fendley added. "I believe her to be the top post-defender in the area, as she consistently was able to keep players well below their average."
Tori Meyer Barrington Meyer, who will play softball at DePaul, also knows how to handle the basketball. The junior guard went nonstop for the Fillies this winter averaging 12 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. "What's so impressive about Tori is that she just goes and goes and goes," said Barrington coach Babbi Barreiro. "Tori works hard day in and day out to give 100 percent in practices and in games and it shows." Meyer also shot 78 percent from the free throw line. "I can count on her to want the ball in her hands at the end of a game or to guard the best scorer on the other team," Barreiro added. "No challenge is too great for her and it shows in her play. Teams cannot play Barrington without putting a great defender on Tori, or she will eat you up. What also separates Tori from others is that offensively and defensively she is creating plays for her team every night."
Ruthie Montella FremdMontella, a freshman, enjoyed a stellar debut on the varsity. "Ruthie burst onto the scene hitting some huge shots in our win over Palatine (Mid-Suburban West champs)," said Fremd coach Dave Yates. "She really can attack and finish around the rim, like an upperclassmen." Montella averaged 7 points and 4 rebounds. "Ruthie had some moments this year where she took games over and was the best player on the floor. That is a pretty amazing thing for a freshman to do. Ruthie has a great future ahead of her and will only continue to improve."
Megan Murray Elk Grove Only a sophomore Murray emerged as one of the top guards in the Mid-Suburban League this winter. She averaged 12 points, 7 rebounds a game, 3.4 assists and 3.4 steals. "Megan is the motor of our team," said Elk Grove coach Jen Buxton. "She directs our offense and sees the floor so well. She provides constant defensive pressure with her quick hands. This year she has really focused on her shooting and has made great improvements showcased by some big scoring games (career-high 26 vs Buffalo Grove)."
Kayla Patterson SchaumburgPatterson capped off her third and final varsity season as one of the top guards in the Mid-Suburban League. She averaged 7 points and 3 rebounds while also pacing the Saxons in most fouls drawn. She showed her defensive prowess with 36 steals. " Kayla's ability to create her own shots and draw defense to her allowed her to get to the free throw line and get her teammates open looks at the basket," said Saxons coach Jacqui Storm. Patterson also served as the team captain. " Off the court, she had the ability to make her teammates laugh while consistently being an example in practice of hard work," Storm added.
Allison Pearson Maine WestPearson's leadership to the Warriors offense proved invaluable. The two-time captain and four-year starter and all-conference selection averaged 7.2 ppg, 4.7 assists per game as well as 2 rebounds. She shot 40 percent from the floor and 70 percent from the free throw line. "Allison is the intellectual leader of the team," said Warriors coach Kim de Marigny. "As the point guard, she knows every position of every play. Allison has developed into a premier point guard." Pearson will continue her career at North Central College in Naperville.
Bridget Rolla Rolling Meadows The future looks bright for this sophomore making her first appearance on the all-area team. She averaged 10.9 points and 6.3 rebounds for the Mid-Suburban East co-champs and regional champions. "Bridget's game is well beyond her years," said Mustangs coach Ryan Kirkorsky. "She has a high basketball IQ and loves to be in the gym." Rolla was always a defensive stalwart, collecting 76 steals and 78 deflections. "She is tremendously skilled but what sets her apart is that she is a fierce competitor," Kirkorsky added. "She can play any position on the floor, and she can guard anyone on the floor. Because of Bridget's work ethic and varied skill set, she has unlimited potential."
Sydney Rzepka Palatine When it came to rebounding, Rzepka was one of the best in program history. The four-year starter finished with more that 700 career rebounds, second best in school history. She was also third all-time in free throws made. Rzepka averaged 9.3 points and 5.9 rebounds. She had 59 steals and more than 150 for her career, placing her among the top five in program history. Rzepka also handed out 46 assists this winter. "Sydney's incredible work ethic paired with her overall intelligence has been a blessing for the Pirates over the past four years," said Pirates coach Mark Johnson. "She will go down as one of the all-time greats in Palatine girls basketball history."
Hannah Shulman ConantMaking her first appearance on the Cougars' varsity, Shulman was always improving. "Hannah showed tremendous improvement over the year," said Conant coach Deirdre Naughton. "She sees the floor in transition and is the ultimate team player who makes everyone around her better." Shulman averaged 6.8 points per game, 2.9 rebounds and 3.4 assists. "While she likes to dish out assists, she picked up a lot of the scoring for us both from the three point line and taking the ball to the basket in the second half of the season," Naughton added. "Her improvement over the year shows her upside potential, and we look forward to her leading our team as a senior."
Olivia Solimene St. ViatorSolimene led the Lions in log-in time for watching film. Opponents watching film on Viator had to log a lot of time figuring out how to contain the senior guard who scored 965 points. "She constantly wants to have a competitive edge," said Raymond explaining why Solimene spent so much time in the film room. She will spend her future at DePauw University in Greencastle, IN. A three-time all-area selection, Solimene was the Lions' second-leading scorer at 10.6 pg. while also hitting 36 3-pointers and collecting a team-high 89 assists. "Liv has developed into an incredible player and leader in our program," said Lions coach Jason Raymond. "She led by example and was a huge vocal leader for us. She works incredibly hard. In the three years of coaching Liv, I cannot remember a practice where she didn't bring everything she had." Solimene also averaged 3 rebounds and 2 steals per game. "She is a ferocious competitor who hates to lose," Raymond added. "Her statistics have steadily improve throughout the last three years. Her greatest basketball attribute on the court is her playmaking ability. While she has the size and passing ability for the point guard position, she routinely attacks defenses like a scoring guard."
Melissa Spiwak Rolling MeadowsTalk about improvement. "Melissa grew from a scoring guard off the bench to one of the most complete players in the area," said Rolling Meadows coach Ryan Kirkorsky about the senior guard who averaged 11.6 points, 4.0 assists and 3.4 rebounds. Spiwak also had 82 steals and 81 deflections. "Her greatest strength this year was her ability to make her teammates better, leading the team in assists," Kirkorsky added. "She can do everything on the court, and we're going to miss the energy and competitiveness that she brings every day. Melissa has had a remarkable career as a Mustang."
Taylor Thompson Barrington Only a sophomore, Thompson continued to make strides. "Taylor's post play just keeps getting better while also expanding her game to be able to shoot the 3-pointer," said Barrington coach Babbi Barreiro. Thompson led the Fillies with 19.9 points per game as well as 13.6 rebounds. "Those are some pretty great numbers, and I am proud of her for that," Barreiro said. "Taylor really produced for our team in just her second season. She can handle the ball, and pass too which makes her versatile. Between scoring and rebounding she has quite a nice combination and what is special is that she can have numbers like that while being double teamed most every game. I look forward to watching her work hard these next couple of years."
Nansy Velev WheelingA three-year starter at point guard, Velev capped off her final season by averaging 9.1 points, 4 assists, 3,7 rebounds and 2.7 steals. She also has a 0.83 assists-to-turnover ratio. "Nansy was a leader on and off the court," said Wildcats coach Matt Weber. Velev twice scored a season-high 18 points (against Hoffman Estates and Metea Valley) and connected for four 3-pointers whole scoring 16 points against Rolling Meadows. "She is an extremely hard worker," Weber added. "She always put the team first. She was a great defender, great passer and she will be missed."
Tayler Williams Hoffman When Hoffman Estates was successful on offense this season, chances are Williams was involved. "She really did a great job of getting everyone involved in the offense this year," said Hawks coach Mike Koester of the senior guard who averaged 10 points. Williams connected for 59 3-pointers (led the Mid-Suburban League West with 21) and averaged 3 assists per game. She also led the MSL West with her 83 percent free throw shooting percentage (15-18). "Tayler has done an outstanding job of controlling the ball and running our offense," Koester added. "She is a great shooter."
Ashley Adams Prospect G/F Jr.
Myia Clark St. Viator G Sr.
Angela Dugalic Maine West F So.
Mary Kate Fahey Hersey G Fr.
Alisa Fallon* Maine West G Sr.
Amalia Figuero Leyden G Sr.
Kacie Filian Palatine G Sr.
Emily Frasco Prospect G Sr.
Lily Greifenstein Rolling Meadows G Jr.
Nosa Igiehon Wheeling F/C Jr.
Catherine Johnson Maine West G Sr.
Rachel Kent* Maine West F Jr.
Emily Klaczek Fremd G So.
Kendra Lee Buffalo Grove F So.
Kendra Lindell Palatine G Sr.
Erin McGrath Hersey F Sr.
Katie McGrath Hersey F Sr.
Tori Meyer Barrington G Jr.
Ruthie Montella Fremd G Fr.
Megan Murray Elk Grove G So.
Kayla Patterson Schaumburg G Sr.
Allison Pearson Maine West GSr.
Bridget Rolla Rolling Meadows G So.
Sydney Rzepka Palatine F Sr.
Hannah Shulman Conant G Jr.
Olviia Solimene St. Viator G Sr.
Melissa Spiwak Rolling Meadows G Sr
Taylor Thompson Barrington F So.
Nansy Velev Wheeling G Sr.
Tayler Williams Hoffman Estates G Sr.
* All-area team co-captains
Special mentionVicky Aguirre (Schaumburg), Ania Baker (Conant ), Maesyn Benjamin (Hersey), Jackie Bickhaus (Buffalo Grove), Zoe Blomquist (Elk Grove), Morgan Collar (Wheeling), Caroline Cochran (Fremd), Emily Collins (Hersey), Alexa Davis (Rolling Meadows), Samantha DeJulio (St. Viator), Bridget DeZellar (St. Viator), Ariana Doroskin (Schaumburg), Cate Fitzgerald (Conant), Tiana Henderson (Palatine), Olivia Hill (Fremd), Susannah Holifield (Rolling Meadows), Jasmine Igartua (Leyden), Rachel Kandefer (Elk Grove), Colleen Kennedy (Fremd), Jessica Kowalczyk (Prospect), Grace LaBarge (Fremd), Stephanie Mazurek (Conant), Michaela Mueller (St. Viator), Jessica Riedl (Maine West), Claire Rogowski (Hersey), Nora Thompson (Hoffman Estates), Isabella Tierney (Ek Grove), Raven Wilson (Hoffman Estates), Angie Zara (Fremd)
Selections and profiles by John Leusch