Photos by Nancy Miller
Marci Nelson takes a huge leap for 2
MANSON GIRLS 33 - KITTITAS 51
DISTRICT TOURNAMENT @ WENATCHEE HIGH SCHOOL
Coach Hill reports….
This game was obviously the hardest loss to take all year long. The girls played as hard as they possibly could, they were once again beat up physically. It seems like every time we played Kittitas this year our girls were more beat up than when they played any other team. The game started out well for us as Vetta hit two three-pointers to start the game off. We led at the end of both the first quarter and at the half. Unfortunately, things went south towards the end of the first half, as Marci got hurt and had to sit for awhile which helped Kittitas finally get some 2nd quarter points. Then the third quarter really got out of hand as Vetta got elbowed and had to leave the game for a long time, Abby got hit in the face and had to leave the game for awhile and Veronica got hurt and had to leave the for a long time. With 4 starters all on the bench for a time during the second and third quarters we had a hard time getting baskets and stops at the defensive end of the floor. The fourth quarter was really hard for the girls as they saw their season ticking away.
I hope the girls realize how well they played throughout this season and that their HARD WORK and DEDICATION really did pay off, this is an absolutely incredible group of young ladies that will accomplish a lot in life because of the type of people that they all are. The girls were not picked to do much before the season started, but through their perseverance and great attitude they accomplished more than anyone except their coaches thought they could. I will miss coaching each and every one of these girls! This season was a great ride and I am so grateful to have been a small part of it!
Vetta Maynard had a great season earning 2nd-team all-league while being one of the league's leading scorers while getting all kinds of different defenders thrown at her all year long. She was also one of the leaders in steals in the whole state. In only 22 games Vetta made forty-six three-pointers! Late in the season some teams were able to slow her down from deep, but when we needed one against teams late in games she almost always found a way to get at least one. Vetta's determination will be missed.
Whitni England was our leader all season long at both ends of the court. She was our best lock-down defender and our floor general on offense. Every time we played a team with a good guard Whitni was up to the challenge of stopping them. Whitni learned as the season went on that she wasn't going to be a big scorer, but she accepted this and helped us in other ways especially in big games. We will always wonder what could have been had she not been injured, but she continued to be one of our captains all season long. Whitni's infectious smile will be missed.
Marci Nelson became one of the most complete players in our league, as she was one of our leading rebounders, scorers and stealers. She earned honorable-mention all-league. Marci proved many people wrong all season with what she accomplished game-after-game. Marci got beat up in almost every game because of how hard she worked. She was always diving on the floor for the ball no matter how painful it was going to be. Marci was challenged at halftime of the 2nd Pateros game and she came up big in the second half. She led our team by example while being one of our captains. Marci's never ending encouragement for her teammates will be missed.
Verna LaCourse moved up from last year’s junior varsity to be a huge contributor to this years team. She had many huge defensive rebounds throughout the year, especially on nights where we were struggling as a team to get rebounds. Verna also got some big baskets for us against Waterville and Bridgeport when we were having trouble getting points. Verna's laugh will be missed.
Veronica Vanderholm was by far one of the most improved players on this team throughout the entire season. When it was all said and done she was our second leading scorer and rebounder and our best post defender. Veronica is very strong and was able to defend much bigger players because of how hard she worked for position at both ends of the floor. Veronica has become a very good inside-outside player which gives teams match-up problems with her defensively.
Hailey Ellsworth has become our most versatile player while also being our most unselfish player. She worked all summer to be a point guard, then moved to a post when the season started and then moved back to the point for the last 3 weeks of the season. No matter what was asked of Hailey she did it, worked hard at it and NEVER complained. Hailey's athleticism was a huge part of our success. Hailey was challenged at halftime of both the 1st Pateros game and the 2nd Oroville games and both times she came up big in the 2nd half and did exactly what the coaching staff wanted her to do. We were lucky to have her leadership as she was just a sophomore, but still one of our 3 captains.
Angelica Suarez got better with every practice and every game this entire season. Angelica may be small, but she is never afraid to throw her body around for the good of the team. She also never backed down to the challenge of guarding much taller players. Angelica has great offensive moves and when she learns how to finish them the sky's the limit for her. No matter the situation Angelica was able to help this team stay focused, but make us ALL laugh at the same time.
Eva Escoto took a couple years off of basketball and joined us in December. What an addition she turned out to be! Eva is so fast, on defense she can stay with anyone no matter how big or fast they think they are. She takes every defensive possession as a personal challenge to stop her player. Eva is an amazing person, she will never blame anyone else and even says sorry for other people's mistakes. Eva improved offensively all season too with both her shooting and dribbling.
Mindy Neal didn't get to play near as much as she probably would have liked to have, but when she did play she always played hard and smart. Mindy has become a very good shooter, in fact one the best pure shooters on the team. She is a very good kid to have on the varsity because of her work ethic and her attitude. No matter what was happening Mindy was always in a good mood and always picking her teammates up when they were down whether it was at a game or practice.
Abby Bridgewater is a player that will do anything to make herself better, she is always asking questions to find out what she can do to get better. She is a real competitor who cannot stand losing. Although she is only a freshman she contributed to this team all season long especially at the defensive end and rebounding. Abby became a starter late in the season, and she flourished in this role. I could really see the excitement in her when she became a starter.
Yessenia Escoto had her season cut short, and missed a lot of time in December due to vacation, but while she was with the team she worked hard and learned her role and played it well. She is an exceptional defender and a great athlete. When she realized how quick she is she was able to go to the basket against almost any defender.
Coach Bennett is one of the greatest, most caring, knowledgeable and hardest working people I have been around! She made the transition of coaching girls an easy one for me. No matter the situation Mrs. Bennett knew exactly what to do whether it was late in a game and we needed to change something up or it was when a girl got hurt. She was always calm no matter what was going on. She was always willing to do whatever was needed and volunteered to do many things. She will be missed in Manson Athletics.
Thank you to everyone that contributed to this GREAT season!
Coach Chris Hill
VETTA MAYNARD: 10 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal
MARCI NELSON: 5 points, 5 rebounds
VERNA LACOURSE: 3 points, 2 rebounds,
ABBY BRIDGEWATER: 4 points, 2 rebounds, 1 steal
VERONICA VANDERHOLM: 8 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist, 5 steals
HAILEY ELLSWORTH: 3 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist
EVA ESCOTO: 2 rebounds, 1 steal