Local players earn WMDL honors

 

Onekama senior Emma Putney, one of four local players who were named to the West Michigan D League all-conference first team. (News Advocate file photo)

Onekama senior Emma Putney, one of four local players who were named to the West Michigan D League all-conference first team. (News Advocate file photo)

Local teams were well represented on the West Michigan D League girls basketball all-conference teams, with four player from three different teams earning first-team distinction.

Manistee Catholic Central, which finished tied for second place in the league, had two players on the all-conference first team, seniors Meghan Miller and Mia Hogan.

Miller led the Sabers with 15.4 points per game and 11.8 rebounds per game in league play, and had a total of 45 steals and 48 assists in conference games.

Hogan scored 8.3 points, pulled down 6.5 rebounds and dished out 6.5 assists per game in league play.

MCC head coach Terry Walker said that Miller and Hogan, along with second-team selection Jodi Janowiak, were among the very best players in the league.

“I really feel like those three girls could play and make major contributions to, if not start for, any team in the conference,” Walker said.

Janowiak averaged 6.6 points per game and 3.5 steals in league play for the Sabers, who went on to win their sixth consecutive district title and fall in an overtime heartbreaker in the regionals.

“The last 3-4 weeks of the season, they really pulled it together,” Walker said. “That was one of the things I was most pleased about, because in the (state) tournament, that’s imperative.”

Onekama, who shared second place in the league standings with the Sabers, saw senior Emma Putney garner first-team accolades after leading the team in scoring despite scoring less than 10 points per game in league play.

“She’s been starting for me for three years,” Portagers head coach Jim Armstrong said. “She was a steady player all year, a very unselfish player and just a great kid. She could have scored more, but she was such a team player.

“I wish I could have got her to shoot more, actually.”

Onekama juniors Grace Hughes and McKayla Haske were named to the second team and honorable mention respectively, and also scored fewer than 10 points per contest.

“That was kind of nice, actually,” Armstrong said. “If I can get five kids to average 8 or 9 points a game, that’s a coach’s dream.”

Brethren junior Taytum Myers was also named first-team all-league after helping the Bobcats to a fourth-place finish in the league. Myers, who has played varsity basketball since her freshman year, was the only junior on the first team.

Myers averaged 16.3 points and shot 79.6 percent from the free-throw line in league play.

“I’ve seen her coming up since elementary school,” Brethren head coach Julie Riggs said. “Basketball is a year-round sport for Taytum, and to know that the other coaches (in the league) see and recognize that is very good for both of us.”

Post players Mariah Pringle and Marie Falls earned second-team and honorable mention for the Bobcats, respectively, despite rotating into the same position, along with Megan Wayward, for much of the season.

Pringle scored 8.5 points and pulled down 7.5 rebounds per game, and Falls led the team in rebounds with just over 9 per league contest.

“There were very few times when all three of them had outstanding games across the board, because when you have that size down low, you have to share (playing time),” Riggs said. “It was a lot of fun to see (Pringle) develop as a player this year.

“The whole team really advanced themselves this year.”

And the bulk of that team is coming back next year. Of the four schools that placed three girls on the all-league teams, Brethren is the only one without a senior among them.

“We’ve heard a lot of talk from the conference coaches about where we stand next year as the team to beat,” Riggs said. “They’ve already put a target on us. That’s a pretty big load to carry, but it’s also a good challenge for us, one that I’m sure my girls will be happy to step up and take.”

Bear Lake sophomore Yuki Babinec was the lone representative for the Lakers on the all-league teams, earning honorable mention for a squad that went 4-12 in conference play.

West Michigan D League All-conference teams

First team 

Miranda Carlson, sr., B.R. Crossroads

Mia Hogan, sr., Manistee Catholic

Meghan Miller, sr., Manistee Catholic

Taytum Myers, jr., Brethren

Emma Putney, sr., Onekama

Taylor Wilkinson, so., Pentwater

Second team

Grace Hughes, jr., Onekama

Jodi Janowiak, sr., Manistee Catholic

Linnea McDonough, jr., Pentwater

Emily Merten, jr., Walkerville

Mariah Pringle, so., Brethren

Jayla Strickland, so., B.R. Crossroads

Honorable Mention

Yuki Babinec, so., Bear Lake

Diamond Cannon, so., Baldwin

Marie Falls, jr., Brethren

Emily Gebhart, sr., Pentwater

McKayla Haske, jr., Onekama

Megan McCormick, jr., MCE

Majenta Robinson, sr., B.R. Crossroads

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Posted by Scott Yoshonis

Scott is the sports editor of the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach him at (231) 398-3112 or syoshonis@pioneergroup.com.

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