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VALLEY SPORTS REPORT: ATHENS' WESTBROOK, SAYRE'S WAMPOLE SHARE "PLAYER OF THE YEAR" HONORS — WAVERLY'S NITTINGER TOP NEWCOMER (2015-03-12)

By TIM BIRNEY
Valley Sports Report
THE VALLEY — Athens and Sayre both played deep into the postseason, led by a pair of junior low-post players — Morgan Westbrook and Paige Wampole, who will share the Valley Sports Report 2014-15 girls basketball “Player of the Year” honors.

The ultra-athletic Westbrook is deadly in transition. has a silky smooth mid-range jumper and can step out hit the occasional 3-pointer. Defensively, she was among the NTL’s best low-post defenders.

Westbrook averaged 10.3 points and 5.6 rebounds, as well as 1.8 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.1 blocks per game in lead the Lady Wildcats to a 22-6 record and a trip to the PIAA, Class AAA playoffs.

Wampole, who is also the Valley Sports Report “Defensive Player of the Year,” was a dominant defensive presence, blocking 2.4 shots and altering at least as many shots, while registering 3 steals per game.

She was also a force on the boards, grabbing 9.7 rebounds a game, and her offense was improved — scoring 8.8 points per game and handing out 1.8 assists, while leading the Lady Redskins to a 18-8 season that ended one win shy of the state playoffs.

Waverly freshman Elle Nittinger made an immediate impact in her first varsity season and is the 2014-15 “Newcomer of the Year.

 A guard on the JV team last year, Nittinger was shifted to the low post this year and with her length and quickness thrived. She can score in transition, from the perimeter and by hitting the offensive boards. She will be a force for the Lady Wolverines for the next few years.

The 2014-15 Girls Basketball “Super 7” is as follows:
Paige Wampole, junior, Sayre: See above.

Morgan Westbrook, junior, Athens: See above.

Kiana Manuel, senior, Waverly:
A hard-nosed and determined player, Manuel was a constant on both ends of the floor for the Lady Wolverines. She was a gritty defender and could score from behind the 3-point line or taking the ball to the bucket.

Katelyn Stubbs, junior, Tioga: Stubbs came on strong at the end of the season, scoring and led the Lady Tigers in rebounding, despite playing on the perimeter. She can hit the 3-pointer and she isn’t afraid to take the ball to the bucket. She is a solid defender as well.

Chloe Tracy, sophomore, Sayre: A tremendous ball handler and floor leader, Tracy picked up her scoring late in the season, including a career-high 28-point effort. She is also a top-notch defender on the perimeter.

Shanelle Baglini, sophomore, Athens: A gifted scorer in transition, Baglini proved she can knock down mid-range jumpers and even step out behind the 3-point arc on occasion. She is also an above-average defender on the perimeter, who causes havoc for opposing backcourts and creates easy points in transition for her team.

Elle Nittinger, freshman, Waverly: See above.

All-Rookie Team
NIttinger, freshman, Waverly: See above.

Tomasso, 8th-grader, Waverly: Poised beyond her years, Tomasso made an immediate impact for the Lady Wolverines. She served as a spot-up shooter for much of the season, but at season’s end was thrust into full-time point guard duties and handled them like a seasoned pro. She and Nittinger will be a great deal of fun to watch over the next few years.

Breanna Gambrell, freshman, Athens: An explosive leaper with a pretty mid-range jumper, Gambrell barely scratched the surface of her potential this season. She will likely become a dominant rebounder and possibly a near-unstoppable offensive force.

Emily Lunger, freshman, Athens: Extremely quick, Lunger could develop into a big-time scorer, especially in transition. There’s little doubt, she will become one of the best defenders in the area.

Madi Teribury, freshman, Tioga: Teribury showed glimpses of becoming a big-time low-post presence during the 2014-15 season.With more experience, she could easily develop into a double-double performer on a regular basis.

All-Defensive Team
Paige Wampole, senior, Sayre: See above.

Jensen Dunkling, senior, Athens: Experienced and physical, Dunkling played with an edge that kept opposing low-post players from consistent production. Her play on the defensive end will be tough to replace for the Lady Wildcats.

Chloe Tracy, sophomore, Sayre:
Quick and smart, Tracy was a disruptive force on the defensive end, forcing the opposition further away from the bucket as they attempted to get into their offense.

Kiana Manuel, senior, Waverly: A quick and tough perimeter defender, Manuel created a lot of scoring opportunities in transition for her teammates.

Kylie Newman, senior, Waverly: Newman often guarded a much bigger player in the low-post on the under-sized Lady Wolverines and nearly always did a good job, using her quickness to her benefit. She created a lot of turnovers and opportunities in transition for her teammates.

Players to Watch in 2015-16
Camry Lane, 8th-grader, Sayre:
Lane could be in line for playing time as a freshman with starting point guard Chloe Tracy leaving the program. Lane has all the tools to contribute for the Lady Redskins quickly, it’s just a matter of getting use to the speed of the varsity game.

Ariana Gambrell, 8th-grader, Athens: A tremendous athlete, Gambrell could work her way into a major role on an Athens team that will have a need for several players who can provide quality minutes off the bench.

Marissa Trudeau, freshman, Waverly: Trudeau had a taste of varsity at the end of the season and performed quite well. She could turn out to be the low-post presence the Lady Wolverines need.

Wendi Hammond, 8th-grader, Waverly:
Very quick and athletic, Hammond will likely be a force on the defensive end quickly. Hammond could be in the mix for minutes at the point guard as well.

Alectra Cannavino, sophomore, Athens: Another good athlete in the Athens program, Cannavino looks as if she could develop into a top-notch defender and work her way into a key role for the Lady Wildcats.

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