Secondary players could decide District 11 girls basketball titles

Anyone who has followed girls basketball in the Lehigh Valley this season knows the names of the top players – Bethlehem Catholic's Kalista Walters, Southern Lehigh's Madelene McDonald and Notre Dame-East Stroudsburg's Angelica Bertola, to name three – who will try to lead their teams to District 11 titles over the next two days.

No one should underestimate the impact a star's supporting cast can have in a championship game.

Here are six players, one from each area team competing for a district title Friday or Saturday, who should have a say in who celebrates this weekend.

Lennon Kramer, Nazareth. From handling the ball against pressure to sinking late-game free throws, Kramer has done a bit of everything for Nazareth during its late-season surge. The second-seeded Blue Eagles will need her athleticism and versatility to match up with No. 1 Pocono Mountain West in the District 11 Class 4A final.

Kramer is averaging 10.0 points per game over her last five contests.

Stephanie Davis, Pocono Mountain West. Sisters Ramonia and Jackie Benitez provide much of the offense for the Panthers, but Davis is a critical third scorer for them. She played a huge rule in their semifinal win against Bangor, scoring a team-high 15 points.

Davis has made 35 3-pointers this season, so Nazareth can't lose her on the perimeter.

Nicole Lacherza, Bethlehem Catholic. With junior Janelle Robinson likely lost for the season because of a collarbone injury, Lacherza has assumed most of the point-guard duties for the Golden Hawks. Third-seeded Bethlehem Catholic will need her to play with composure against the full-court pressure of top seed Southern Lehigh in the District 11 3A final.

Lacherza can also hurt teams who lose her on defense. She doesn't take a lot of 3-pointers, but she is the Golden Hawks' most efficient shooter from the arc (13-for-33, 39 percent).

Melann Amory, Southern Lehigh. The junior wing drilled 5 3-pointers in the Spartans' district semifinal win over North Schuylkill. When she makes outside shots, it leaves space for McDonald and Mady Campbell to drive.

The Spartans will also need the length of the 5-10 Amory to contend with Bethlehem Catholic's duo of Walters and Bridget Smith.

Gabby Altmire, Notre Dame-Green Pond. Seniors Shannon Moran and Lexi McGivern have carried the Crusaders' offense late in the season. Notre Dame will likely need a third player to produce points to keep pace with Pine Grove in the District 11 2A final.

Altmire is the most likely girl to fill that role. She only has 11 points in Notre Dame's last three games, but she is averaging 8.0 points per game this season. If she scores 10-12 points, Notre Dame should have a decent chance to upset the Cardinals.

Lacey LaRezza, Notre Dame-East Stroudsburg. The second-seeded Spartans will face one of the toughest players they have seen all season in the District 11 Class A final. Top seed Tri-Valley's 6-5 senior, Tara Nahodil, is a Seton Hall recruit who averages 18.0 points per game.

Notre Dame's best chance of slowing Nahodil is to pressure Tri-Valley on the perimeter. When Nahodil does touch the ball down low, the 6-foot LaRezza will be the Spartans' last line of defense against her.

Final call for all-area team

Coaches, you still have a few days to voice your opinion and aid in the selection of The Morning Call all-area team.

If you would like to participate, please submit a ranked list (1-10) of the top 10 players from The Morning Call's coverage area. Players from all Colonial League, LVC and MVC teams are eligible, as are girls from other schools within The Morning Call's coverage area (Jim Thorpe, Lincoln Leadership Academy, Marian Catholic, Moravian Academy, Notre Dame-East Stroudsburg, Pennridge, Pius X, Quakertown, Tamaqua and Upper Perkiomen). Coach of the year and team of the year nominations are also welcome.

Coaches, please submit your lists by email no later than Monday.

Via All-Star Banquet

mc-district-11-girls-basketball-finals-preview-022-20130228
 
Advertisement

PHOTO GALLERIES

TOP VIDEO

CONNECT WITH US


2013 YEAR IN REVIEW
Look for this special section in your
Baltimore Sun newspaper on Dec. 29, 2013.
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Google Plus
  • RSS Feeds
  • Mobile Alerts and Apps