Injuries sidetracked Halee Adams attempt to make the Pennsylvania Sports Writers All-State Girls Basketball Team for the third year in a row in 2012, but nothing could hold her back this season.
For the second time in three years, Adams, the Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic senior, has been voted to the Class A first team in a statewide media poll.
"My [assistant] coach [Laura Frederick] texted me [Tuesday] something about it but it was a surprise to me," said Adams about finding out she had made first team.
Adams, who signed with Siena before the season, led the Lady Marauders to their seventh consecutive District 6 Class A championship and a berth in the PIAA semifinals by averaging 16.1 points and leading BG in nearly every statistical category. Guilfoyle finished 27-3, losing twice to Class AAAA teams.
"It's really special for me, making it my senior year," Adams said. "I feel like I worked really hard to get back to wear I was once at and it's nice to know my hard work paid off."
BG point guard Kayla Bates, meanwhile, made the team for the second straight year. The Mount St. Mary's recruit, who averaged 10.2 points, was on the third team.
Hollidaysburg senior center Morgan Griffith and Altoona junior forward Darby Lee were voted to the Class AAAA third team. A Shippensburg recruit, Griffith collected 14.9 points and 9.5 rebounds per game in powering the Lady Tigers to a 22-3 mark and their first 6-AAAA championship since 1991. Lee tallied 18.8 points per contest to help the Lady Lions make it to the District 6 finals.
Malia Tate-DeFreitas is leaving opposing coaches with one final reminder of just how much of a problem she was on the basketball court.
While making all-state even once is extremely difficult, Tate-DeFreitas made it look as ridiculously easy as she did putting the ball in the basket. Steelton-Highspire's 5-foot-8 guard averaged 34.8 points during her senior year - scoring more than 1,000 points - and she was voted the player of the year for an unprecedented third time in Class A.
Archbishop Carroll's Sarah Curran (Class AAAA), Hopewell's Shatori Walker-Kimbrough (Class AAA) and Episcopal Academy's Megan Quinn (Class AA) garnered player of the year honors in their respective classifications in the poll of statewide media. Spring-Ford's Jeff Rinehimer, South Park's Reggie Wells, Bishop Canevin's Tim Joyce and Tri-Valley's Bob Felty Jr. were voted coaches of the year after guiding their respective teams to PIAA championships.
"It means a lot because I think it shows I did a pretty good job helping and trying to lead my team," said Tate-DeFreitas. "We won three (District 3) titles and two state titles - I only wish I could have won one more my senior year."
A recruit of Division I Hampton, Tate-DeFreitas is making her fourth appearance overall on the Class A first team. Despite an ACL injury early in her scholastic career, Tate-DeFreitas still finished with 3,366 points, second only to Mount Carmel's Maria Fantanarosa on the all-time state list.
"I think I had the natural ability, but it was also my dad and coaches pushing me," Tate-DeFreitas said of her scoring prowess. "The standards were set even higher for me because of previous years."
Tate-DeFreitas scored a career-high 54 points in a 69-62 loss to Class AAAA Harrisburg on Feb. 4.
"That was the best game I ever played, even though we lost. I was waiting for that game for a long time, because they are a (Class AAAA) team and because everyone thought we were going to get blown out," Tate-DeFreitas said. "That really pumped me up."
Even with all her accomplishments, Tate-DeFreitas had plenty of competition for the Class A award. In addition to Adams, fellow first-teamers Tara Nahodil (Seton Hall) of Tri-Valley and Alex Ricketts (Akron) of Kennedy Catholic also are Division I college recruits. So are North Catholic's Lauren Wolosik (Central Connecticut State), Bishop Guilfoyle's Kayla Bates (Mount St. Mary's) and Shipley's Sox Alexander (St. Joseph's). Wolosik made second team, while Bates and Alexander made the third team.
PIAA champion Tri-Valley, which stopped Tate-DeFreitas and Steel-High in the state semifinals, still had a strong showing on the Class A squad. In addition to Felty winning coach of the year, Nahodil and four-time all-state pick Weber pushed Tate-DeFreitas for player of the year. Vincentian sophomore Brenna Wise rounded out the first team.
Curran, a Drexel recruit who helped Archbishop Carroll compile a 95-20 record in her four years, edged out Cardinal O'Hara senior forward Shanice Johnson and Spring-Ford junior point guard Sammy Stipa for player of the year in Class AAAA. North Penn's Lauren Crisler, Boyertown's Kaitlyn Eisenhard, Cumberland Valley's Jackie Falconer, Fox Chapel's Erin Mathias and Reading's Isis Thorpe joined them on the first team. All but Mathias, who has committed to Duke, are seniors.
In addition to the honors for Rinehimer and Stipa, Spring-Ford had two players on the third team: forwards Shelby Mueller and Sarah Payonk.
Walker-Kimbrough is making her third appearance on the Class AAA first team. The 5-foot-11 senior was the decisive winner when it came to voting for player of the year, and with good reason: the Maryland recruit and Gatorade Player of the Year for the state averaged 28.3 points, 10.1 rebounds and 6.8 steals as Hopewell made the second round of the state tournament before losing to eventual champion South Park by four.
"Her ability in the open floor is something you don't see very often in girl basketball," Hopewell coach Jeff Homziak said of Walker-Kimbrough. "A lot of guys coaches said she would fit right in on their boys teams ... She's a special kid."
Bethlehem Catholic sophomore Kalista Walters had the next most votes, followed closely by Lancaster Catholic senior Porscha Speller and South Park senior Shelby Lindsay. Notre Dame Academy's Megan McGurk and Blackhawk sophomore Chassidy Omogrosso comprised the rest of the Class AAA first team.
Quinn, a Villanova recruit, headlined the Class AA team after leading Episcopal to its first Inter-Ac and Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association championships. The first team also included three players from the WPIAL (PIAA District 7) - Seton-LaSalle's Naje Gibson, Jeannette's Ciara Gregory and Bishop Canevin's Erin Waskowiak - along with Morgan Klunk of PIAA runner-up York Catholic and Becky Evans of Pine Grove.
The 2012-13 Pennsylvania Sports Writers All-State Girls Basketball teams, including each player's school, height, class and scoring average.
Victoria Blackburn, Hershey, 5-7, Sr., 15.4 ppg
CaLee Gelbaugh, Central Dauphin East, 5-8, Jr., 18.8 ppg
Emily Gingrich, Gov. Mifflin, 5-8, Sr., 16.7 ppg
Alexis Hofstaedter, Council Rock South, 5-8, Sr., 15.0 ppg
Alex Louin, Mount St. Joseph, 5-11, Jr., 15.8 ppg
Megan Marecic, Bethel Park, 5-11, Jr., 15.8 ppg
Mia Farmer, Cardinal O'Hara, 5-9, Jr., 11.5 ppg
Morgan Griffith, Hollidaysburg, 6-0, Sr., 14.9 ppg
Alayah Hall, Dover, 5-7, Jr., 15.5 ppg
Darby Lee, Altoona, 6-0, Jr., 18.8 ppg
Avery Marz, Wilson, 5-7, Jr., 10.7 ppg
Shelby Mueller, Spring-Ford, 5-10, Jr., 10.7 ppg
Sarah Payonk, Spring-Ford, 5-11, Sr., 10.3 ppg
Gia DeAngelo, Sun Valley, 5-8, Sr., 21.5 ppg
Mia Hopkins, Pittston Area, 6-0, Sr., 18.0 ppg
Karlee McBride, Erie Villa Maria, 5-10, Sr., 13.9 ppg
Lisa Mirarchi, Malvern Villa Maria, 5-8, Sr., 15.0 ppg
Alyssa Monaghan, Bonner-Prendergast, 5-5, So., 18.3 ppg
Angelina Starr, Franklin, 5-9, Jr., 16.9 ppg
Camden Boehner, Gettysburg, 5-7, Jr., 20.8 ppg
Tricia Byrne, Scranton Prep, 5-6, Jr., 15.6 ppg
Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Notre Dame de Namur, 5-8, Sr., 17.4 ppg
Casey Gallaher, Forest Hills, 5-3, Sr., 18.9 ppg
Ciera Nimmons, Prep Charter, 5-8, Jr., 14.2 ppg
Carly Richardson, Palmyra, 5-11, Jr., 15.4 ppg
Rebecca Rutkowski, Crestwood, 6-1, Jr., 16.6 ppg
Jessica Slagus, Belle Vernon, 6-0, Sr., 19.8 ppg
Sara Tarbert, Kennard-Dale, 5-11, Sr., 24.2 ppg
Alex Artise, North East, 5-9, sr., 16.0 ppg
Carly Forse, Bishop Canevin, 5-10, Sr., 13.8 ppg
Kiernan McCloskey, Germantown Academy, 6-1, Sr., 15.1 ppg
Reighly Melochick, Minersville, 5-9, Jr., 19.7 ppg
Sammie Weiss, McGuffey, 5-10, So., 26.6 ppg
Brooke Hinderliter, Redbank Valley, 5-6, Fr., 20.4 ppg
Lori Horton, Williamson, 6-5, Jr., 16.6 ppg
Mackenzie Livingston, Blairsville, 5-7, Sr., 19.9 ppg
Stacey MacArthur, Delco Christian, 5-5, Sr., 12.5 ppg
Emily Merryman, Cranberry, 5-5, Jr., 22.3 ppg
Christina Perles, Mount Carmel, 5-10, Sr., 17.4 ppg
McKenzie Popatak, Sharpsville, 5-9, Sr., 21.8 ppg
Macey Hollenshead, Southern Fulton, 5-7, Jr., 17.2 ppg
Justine Seely, Benton, 6-2, Sr., 27.9 ppg
Kayla Stockenus, Shanksville-Stonycreek, 5-6, Sr., 31.0 ppg
Meghan Trenholm, St. John Neuman,, Jr., 18.9 ppg
Mariah Ward, Monessen, 5-7., Sr., 18.4 ppg
Lauren Wolosik, North Catholic, 5-10, Sr., 26.0 ppg
Tamesha "Sox" Alexander, Shipley, 5-6, Jr., 13.5 ppg
Kayla Bates, Bishop Guilfoyle, 5-8, Sr., 10.2 ppg
Morgan Berardi, Carmichaels, 5-6, Sr., 17.3 ppg
Maria Morgan, Bucktail, 5-6, So., 28.3 ppg
Lauren Carey, Old Forge, 5-7, Jr., 13.8 ppg