Once again, the girls basketball coaches of the Southern Hills Athletic Conference have spoken and voted on their 2015-16 All-Conference girls squad. Of the 16 players honored, six of them come from the schools here in Adams County. three from North Adams, and one each from West Union, Peebles, and Manchester.
The North Adams Lady Devils were the champions of the SHAC regular season in the small school division with a conference mark of 11-2 and that earned them three berths on the girls All-Conference Team, beginning with senior guard Staci Dinsmore. Despite missing three games to injury, Dinsmore led the 18-6 sectional champion and district runner-up Lady Devils in scoring, putting up 14.2 points per outing. She also averaged 6.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists, and her quickness and wing span on the defensive end led to 4.9 steals a game.
Part of a still-bright future for the Lady Devils basketball program, sophomores Avery Harper and Lakyn Hupp also earned All-SHAC honors. Harper was one of the most improved players in the conference, averaging 13.3 points and a team-high 9.3 rebounds per game, while shooting 51% from the field. Hupp also made major jumps from last season, becoming an integral part of the Lady Devils on both ends of the floor. The sophomore guard averaged 10.7 points a game and 2.7 steals and shot 72% from the free throw line.
The West Union Lady Dragons, who won more games this season than they had in a decade, were represented on the All-SHAC squad by freshman Alexa Pennington, who began her high school career with a season where she averaged 10.9 points per game, while adding 8.1 rebounds, nearly averaging a double-double. Pennington, who can be an offensive threat inside or out, also fired in 31 three-pointers in her freshman campaign under the direction of head coach Jason Claytor.
Representing the Peebles Lady Indians on the 2015-16 All-SHAC team is junior guard Jessica Sowards. After battling back through various injury problems, Sowards turned in an outstanding junior season for Coach Vohn Hoop. She averaged 12.0 points per game and 7.1 rebounds, while hitting 78% of her free throws on a very good free-throw shooting team. The Lady Indians were also not shy about their affinity for the three-point shot and Sowards was a major part of that, hitting 56 out of 149 attempts from beyond the arc for 38%.
Finally, the Manchester Lady Greyhounds placed senior Morgan Johnson on the SHAC All-Conference squad, and certainly no one was more deserving. With the target on her back from day one and usually defended by 2 or 3 players, Johnson still managed to lead all girls’ players in the county in scoring, putting up 20.3 points per game and 9.8 rebounds, again nearly a double double average. She recorded 11 double double efforts during the season, a senior campaign which saw her surpass the 1,000 point mark and beyond that, become the school’s all-time leading girls scorer with a final career total of 1,273 points.
The Lynchburg Lady Mustangs, who won sectional and district champions, were also the undefeated, gold ball champions of the SHAC and they were rewarded with four players on the All-Conference team- twin sisters Hannah and McKayla Binkley, senior Ali Little, and standout freshman Peyton Scott. Lady Mustangs’ head coach Whitney Lewis was also named the 2015-16 SHAC Coach of the Year.
Rounding out the All-Conference girls squad were Allison Day and Molly Prine from Eastern Brown, Kacy Gilkerson from Ripley, Samantha Murphy from Fayetteville, Grace Shope from Fairfield, and Emma Wardlow from Whiteoak.
All of the All-Conference players plus the first and second place teams in each division will be honored at the SHAC Winter Sports Awards on Sunday, March 13 at 2:30 p.m., hosted by North Adams High School.
SHAC GIRLS BASKETBALL FINAL STANDINGS
Division I (Big School)
W. Union 2-11
Division II (Small School)
North Adams 11-2