The 2010-11 basketball season was one of momentous firsts for Halee Adams.
Adams became the first Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School girls player to reach the 1,000-point mark in her sophomore year during a first-round PIAA playoff game. Two games later, the Lady Marauders' 5-foot-7 guard/forward became the first player in program history to score 600 points in a season.
Now, Adams is adding to that list, becoming the first 10th grader ever to be voted the Altoona Mirror High School Girls Basketball Player of the Year.
Adams easily outdistanced Altoona Area senior Lysa Mealing in a vote of Mirror staff and correspondents along with area coaches. Hollidaysburg's Hannah Gildea, Williamsburg's Olivia Everhart and Altoona's Marrysa Moyer round out the first team.
Hollidaysburg's Deanna Jubeck edged Guilfoyle's Mark Moschella in a close vote for Coach of the Year.
Only one other sophomore has been selected a Mirror basketball player of the year. Dan Fortson shared the boys award with teammate Steve Taneyhill in 1992.
"I just wanted to get my teammates their shots and do everything I could for my team to help us get as far as we could,'' Adams said. "It was a goal to get a thousand points, whether it happened this year or next year. But, I didn't look to get a thousand, or I didn't look to pass 600. I just did whatever I could to help us win.''
She did that. Adams, who was third-team all-state as a freshman, led the Lady Marauders to a 29-2 record and their four appearance in the PIAA Class A championship game in four years by averaging 20.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 2.0 steals. She did that while shooting an incredible 61.2 percent from the field.
Moschella also had Adams guard the top perimeter player on the opposing team.
Adams was good enough that a Maryland coach planning to watch Delone Catholic junior sensation Sierra Moore approached Moschella to talk about his star after the Lady Marauders defeated the Squirettes in the Jim Ellis Shootout in late December.
"I knew that her responsibilities were going to grow. Her biggest attribute was her self-confidence. She needed to be a bigger part in our offense,'' Moschella said.
"Her capabilities are endless. She has to be one of the most coachable kids I've ever been around.''
As it turned out, Adams accomplished all that while playing with a knee injury that will require her to undergo surgery this week and will keep her on the shelf for the spring but should allow her to be playing by the peak of AAU competition over the summer.
As unbelievable as it may sound, Adams still has room to grow, and she recognizes that. Although Moschella says she is one of the best outside shooters on the team, Adams only took 15 3-pointers this year, making four.
"I definitely need to get better at my whole game, but definitely I need to work on my shooting,'' Adams said. "Everyone keeps telling me I need to be more confident and shoot more.''
In her first year at the helm after serving the past several seasons as Joe Hurd's assistant coach with the Lady Tigers, Jubeck guided Hollidaysburg to its first District 6 championship in 20 years and its first interdistrict playoff win since 1997.
Hollidaysburg finished with a 21-5 record.