|VALLEY SPORTS REPORT: WAVERLY'S NITTINGER EARNS TOP HONOR ON GIRLS BASKETBALL "SUPER 7" — SPARDUTI, TRACY, MANWARING ALSO EARN HONORS (2017-03-22)
Valley Sports Report
THE VALLEY — In a banner year for girls basketball in the Valley, Waverly junior Elle Nittinger is the 2016-17 Valley Sports Report “Player of the Year.”
A skilled all-around player, Nittinger is a prolific scorer, capable of scoring from behind the 3-point arc, on the boards, going to the bucket, or in transition. She averaged a Valley-high 19.4 points per game and connected on 38 3-pointers this season. She also scored her 1,000th career point.
Nittinger is also an aggressive rebounder and defender, and an under-rated passer. She averaged 6.7 rebounds, 3.7 steals, and 2.7 assists per game.
It was quite a year for girls basketball in the Valley, with all four teams qualifying for the postseason, and, three teams (Sayre 23-4, Athens 21-4, and Waverly 19-3) winning 19 or more games.
And, one team — Sayre — won its first-ever District 4 title and recorded its first-ever state playoff win, resulting in Sayre coach Eileen Sparduti being honored as “Coach of the Year.”
A big reason for Sayre’s success this season was a stingy defense that allowed about 35 points per game. Senior Chloe Tracy was a shutdown defender on the perimeter for the Lady Redskins and is the 2016-17 “Defensive Player of the Year.”
Tracy returned to the hardwoods after sitting out her junior season and quickly became a force on the defensive end. She regularly defended the opposition’s best guard and consistently held them below their scoring average, while averaging 3.6 steals per game.
Tioga junior Grace Manwaring is the 2016-17 “Newcomer of the Year.” A dangerous 3-point shooter and strong rebounder, Manwaring was second on the Lady Tigers at 6.1 points per game. She knocked down 18 3-pointers and grabbed 3.2 rebounds per game.
"2016-17 Super 7 Girls Basketball":
Elle Nittinger, junior, Waverly: See above.
Emily Lunger, junior, Athens: Hard-nosed and aggressive, Lunger is a force on both ends of the floor, and is especially dangerous in the open floor.
She averaged 15.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.4 steals, and 2.1 assists per game.
Breana Gambrell, junior, Athens: A dynamic player on both ends of the floor, Breana Gambrell can be dominant on the boards.
She averaged 11 points, 8 rebounds, 2.2 steals, and 1 assist per game.
Alex Tomasso, sophomore, Waverly: After sitting out her freshman season with a knee injury, Tomasso returned this season and provided another dangerous scorer for the Lady Wolverines.
She averaged 12.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.2 steals, 2.1 assists, and also knocked down 30 3-pointers.
Shanell Baglini, senior, Athens: Baglini had a penchant for hitting big shot at key times this season for the Lady Wildcats.
She averaged 11.1 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 3.7 steals, and 1 block per game.
Molly Ball, senior, Sayre: A versatile low-post player, Ball was a force on the boards, but could also step out and hit mid-range jumpers and 3-pointers.
She averaged 9.3 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.9 steals and nearly 1 assist and 1 block per game. She also connected on 30 3-pointers.
Kaeli Sutryk, senior, Sayre: A deadly 3-point shooter, Sutryk was also a strong rebounder and an under-rated defender.
She averaged 11.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.5 steals, 2.2 assists per game, and knocked down a Valley-high 47 3-pointers.
Chloe Tracy, senior, Sayre: See above.
Wendi Hammond, sophomore, Waverly: A force at the front of the Waverly’s pressure defense, Hammond consistently disrupted the opposition’s offense and created scoring chances for herself and her teammates.
Andi Noldy, senior, Sayre: A tough, hard-nosed defender, Noldy played the game with an intensity on the defensive end and did all the little things coaches love.
Shanell Baglini, senior, Athens: A top-notch perimeter defender, Baglini also created scoring opportunities for herself and her teammates in the Lady Wildcats’ pressure defense.
Reagan Lynch, senior, Athens: Under-sized defending in the low-post, Lynch made up for her lack of size with a certain physicality and tenacity.
Grace Manwaring, junior, Tioga: See above.
Sara Strong, junior, Tioga: Especially adept at taking the ball to the bucket, Strong show flashes of being a productive varsity scorer. With seven seniors graduating, Strong will have an opportunity to shine next year.
Emily Moore, junior, Sayre: A solid rebounder and defender, Moore will have plenty of opportunity to shine next season on a Lady Redskin team that graduates four starters.
Paige Miller, junior, Waverly: A solid rebounder and good perimeter shooter, Miller had some good moments for the young and talented Lady Wolverines.
Emma Adams, sophomore, Athens: A hard-nosed and determined presence on the floor, Adams contributed on both ends of the floor.
Shailei Kraft, senior, Waverly: A physical presence on the boards and the defensive end, Kraft also knocked down open jumpers when the opportunities presented themselves.
Shannon Tinney, senior, Tioga: Tinney knocked down 3-pointers, played tough defense, got on the floor after loose balls — everything a coach would want.
Zoey Mennig, junior, Waverly: Another hard-nosed and physical player, Mennig hit the boards and defended bigger opponents all season long.
Players to Watch in 2017-18
Ariana Gambrell, sophomore, Athens: Already well-established at the varsity level, the younger Gambrell could flourish as Lady Wildcats look to replace Baglini’s scoring.
Olivia Ayres, 8th-grader, Tioga: Ayres will likely be Tioga’s biggest threat from behind the 3-point arc from the time she first steps on the floor. She also plays with a chip on her shoulder and could be a force for years to come.
Emily Polo Rankin, sophomore, Tioga: Very athletic, Polo Rankin could make an immediate impact on the defensive end for the Lady Tigers and create scoring opportunities.
Chloe Bellis, freshman, Tioga: A tenacious rebounder and defender, Bellis will have an opportunity to contribute next year with Tioga graduating seven seniors.
Blair Wampole, junior, Sayre: The Lady Redskins will be hit hard by graduation and the brunt of low-post responsibilities will fall on Wampole next season. She’s athletic and knows the game, and should be a much bigger factor next year.
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