|VALLEY SPORTS REPORT: WAVERLY'S NITTINGER REPEATS AS GIRLS BASKETBALL "PLAYER OF THE YEAR" — S-VE'S GENTILE, ATHENS' LUNGER, TIOGA'S WOOD ALSO EARN TOP HONORS (2018-03-18)
Valley Sports Report
THE VALLEY — Waverly senior Elle Nittinger wrapped up a prolific career with career-highs in every category and repeats as the girls basketball Valley Sports Report's Super 7 “Player of the Year.”
Nittinger, who leaves the program No. 2 on the all-time scoring list with 1,552 points, is a dynamic scorer with the ability to knock down the 3-pointer, take the ball to the bucket, or score off the offensive glass. She was especially dangerous in transition, with an uncanny knack for catching and finishing.
Nittinger was also a physical rebounder, and an under-rated passer and defender, and was an integral part of the Lady Wolverines’ 21-1 season.
Nittinger averaged 21.7 points and 7 rebounds per game, as well as 5 steals, and 3 assists per game.
She is a four-time Valley Sports Report “Super 7” selection, and a two-time “Player of the Year.”
Overall, it was a solid year for girls basketball in the Valley. Waverly won its first 21 games before losing in the Section IV, Class B semifinals, while Sayre won another division title, and Athens exceeded expectations.
Perhaps the biggest story came out of S-VE, which made its first appearance and won its first postseason game in 20 years.
The architect of the Lady Panthers success is “Coach of the Year” Abby Gentile, who piloted them to a 13-8 record.
A tremendous athlete, always tasked with guarding the other team’s best player, Emily Lunger is the 2017-18 “Defensive Player of the Year.” Despite the departure of four starters from last year’s team — one through graduation, and three by choice, Lunger’s defensive efforts helped the Lady Wildcats to a 17-8 record, including a win over Large School champion Wellsboro in the NTL Showdown title game.
Tioga freshman Eve Wood is the 2017-18 “Newcomer of the Year.” Wood was a typical freshman with some ups-and-downs during the season, but has a pretty jumper, a good handle on the ball, and can rebound.
Wood averaged 6 points, 3.5 rebounds, and one steal per game for the Lady Tigers, and is only going to get better.
“2017-18 Super 7 Girls Basketball”
Elle Nittinger, senior, Waverly: See above.
Emily Lunger, senior, Athens: A three-time “Super 7” selection, Lunger is a scorer in the purest sense of the word, but did everything else for the Lady Wildcats as well.
She averaged 17.5 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.9 steals, and 2.7 assists per game.
Kara Chapman, senior, Athens: Perhaps the biggest surprise of the season, Chapman made the most of her opportunity to play.
A tenacious rebounder, Chapman averaged a double-double on the season — 13 points, and 10.1 rebounds per game. She also averaged 1.9 steals and 1 block per game.
Mackenzie Grube, senior, S-VE: A tremendous player on both ends of the floor, Grube was especially good on the boards, and as an on-ball defender.
Grube averaged 10.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 3.4 steals, and 3.1 assists per game.
Alex Tomasso, junior, Waverly: A two-time “Super 7” selection, Tomasso is a dangerous 3-point shooter, but added to her offensive arsenal this season by taking the ball to the bucket with much greater effectiveness. She is also a very effective rebounder, and passer, and an under-rated defender.
Tomasso averaged 13.7 points, 4 rebounds, 4 steals, and 3 assists per game.
Camry Lane, junior, Sayre: A skilled scorer, Lane is dangerous with the ball in her hands. She can knock down the mid-range jumper, goes to the bucket especially well, and can find the open girl.
Lane averaged 12.3 points, 3.1 steals, 2.9 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game.
Stephanie Klovekorn, junior, Sayre: An all-around athlete, Klovekorn is a good defender, and a much-improved threat on the offensive end of the floor.
Klovekorn averaged 9.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.6 steals, and 1.2 assists per game.
Eve Wood, freshman, Tioga: See above.
Emily Sutryk, sophomore, Sayre: Sutryk had a good first year on varsity, and should develop into a consistent scorer for the Lady Redskins in the coming years.
Kayleigh Miller, freshman, Athens: Pressed into varsity action this season, Miller responded with a good season. She can really shoot the long ball, and could develop into a big-time scorer for the Lady Wildcats.
Carrie Claypool, freshman, Sayre: Very quick, Claypool has a good handle on the ball, and can knock down the open shot. Even as a freshman on varsity, she shows signs of developing into a true floor general.
Chloe Bellis, sophomore, Tioga: A dynamic defender and relentless rebounder, Bellis saw her season shortened by an injury. With Bellis and Wood at the forefront, the Lady Tigers’ future looks brighter.
Emily Lunger, senior, Athens: See above.
Emily Moore, senior, Sayre: Like most of her peers on this team, Moore was tasked with defending the best player on the opposition. She played the game the way it’s suppose to be played, and was a big part of the Lady Redskins staying atop the Small School Division.
Mackenzie Grube, senior, S-VE: From end line to end line, Grube was a ball of perpetual motion on defense. She was a major reason the Lady Panthers ended a two decade postseason drought.
Wendi Hammond, junior, Waverly: The point person in Waverly’s relentless defensive pressure, Hammond used her quickness and athleticism to create a lot of scoring opportunities for herself, and her teammates. She averaged four steals per game.
Blair Wampole, senior, Sayre: Wampole used her length and athleticism to block 3.5 shots per game, and alter countless more shot attempts.
Zoe Mennig, senior, Waverly: A good defender, and physical presence on the boards, Mennig could also knock down the open jumper, and score in transition.
Paige Miller, senior, Waverly: A strong rebounder, Miller didn’t score a lot, but many of her buckets came at key moments for the Lady Wolverines.
Emily Polo Rankin, senior, Tioga: A disruptive force on defense, Polo Rankin did a little bit of everything for the Lady Tigers.
Sarah Strong, senior, Tioga: A force on the boards, Strong also took the ball to the bucket well, and could knock down the open jumper at times.
Sophie Adams, junior, Athens: A solid defender, and strong rebounder, Adams is the type of player every team needs, and every coach wants.
Players to watch in 2018-19
Aside from the All-Newcomers list, there are several other players who could make significant impacts on their teams next year.
Paige Grube, sophomore, S-VE: A good all-around player, Paige Grube could become the Lady Panthers’ go-to player for the next two years.
Ryleigh Clark, sophomore, S-VE: Ultra-athletic, Clark is aggressive going to the bucket with the ball in her hands. Like Grube, she could develop into S-VE’s go-to player.
Paige Lewis, sophomore, Waverly: In limited time, Lewis showed the ability to rebound, and knock down the open jumper. She could help replace some of the scoring punch the Lady Wolverines lose to graduation.
Gabbi Randall, freshman, Sayre: Athletic with a good head for the game, Randall should step into the Lady Redskins’ line-up next year and contribute.
Oliva Ayres, freshman, Tioga: A fearless shooter, Ayres could become the leading scorer the moment she steps on the floor for the Lady Tigers.
Giovanna Rossi, sophomore, Tioga: Long and athletic, Rossi should become a force in the paint for the Lady Tigers.
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