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This year there was general agreement on who should be on the All-Perry County girls basketball team but little agreement on who should be named its Most Valuable Player.
Once again I had the three county coaches, the two who coaches against all three county teams (Alan Cox of Crawford County and Randy Graham of Tecumseh) and me, who saw all three county teams play at least four times, do the voting.
Each was asked to vote for five players they would want to put on the floor together to try to win a game.
Seven players received votes, with the five who made the team each receiving at least four.
Four players received votes for MVP, with one voter splitting his choice between two players.
Perry Central junior forward Deidra Dickerson was named the MVP in one of the closest votes in the 30 years the Perry County News has been naming an all-county girls team.
Dickerson’s scoring average of 7.7 points per game is the lowest of any all-county MVP we have named. But Perry Central’s deliberate style on offense meant Commodore players had lower scoring and rebounding averages than comparable players on many other teams.
Dickerson’s all-around game is probably what impressed the voters most, as she placed in the top eight in the county in every statistical category but one (see accompanying statistics tables).
She was third in three-point shooting percentage and attempted 91, second most in the county.
She was fourth in assists, fifth in rebounding, sixth in scoring, seventh in steals, and eighth in free-throw shooting.
Besides Dickerson, repeaters from last year’s all-county team are Perry Central forward-guard Hilarie Hahus and Cannelton guard Sarah Powers.
They are joined on this year’s team by Tell City freshman center McKenzie Hayes and Perry Central point guard Lavina Schwartz.
Hahus led the county in three-point shooting by a wide margin at 40.0 percent and really hit well from beyond the arc in the season’s last month.
She led Perry Central in scoring at 9.0 points per game and the Commodores likely would not have reached the Class 2A sectional championship game for the second year in a row without her shooting.
She improved in other areas this year also, though, including ball-handling and rebounding.
Though Powers made all-county last year, I said in this column that she needed to improve her free-throw shooting. She apparently took that advice to heart.
She raised her free-throw percentage from 52.2 percent last year to a county-best 77.1 percent this year. Had just one of her misses been a make, she would have broken the school record of 77.3 percent set by Laura McClintic in 2000-01.
And Powers used her quickness and driving ability to get to the line 170 times. Only former Cannelton center Amie Joyal ever shot more free throws in a Perry County girls basketball season.
Hayes needs to improve her free-throw shooting as much between her freshman and sophomore seasons as Powers did, as it would add nearly two points per game to her scoring average.
Hayes shot 142 free throws this season, breaking Krystal Lawalin’s record for most attempts by nine. But she hit only 53.5 percent at the line.
She still led Tell City in scoring at 13.7 points per game and led the county in rebounding with 12.2 per game, an average more than twice as high as anyone else’s.
She broke Kara Kara Kessans and Manette Rudolph’s single-game rebounding record with 27 against Reitz. And she broke Tell City season records for most total rebounds (formerly 225 held by McClintic, who played two years at Cannelton and two at Tell City and still holds school records both places) and best rebounding average formerly held by Carla Snyder (11.3 in1978-79).
Schwartz was second on Perry Central’s team in scoring at 8.0 points per game. And her usually steady ball-handling and quickness helped control the Commodores’ attack at both ends of the floor.
She averaged 2.5 steals and 2.3 assists per game and handled the ball well with either hand.
Because of this all-county team’s youth, it’s hard to say how many of them might play college basketball.
Hayes will probably have the best chance because of her height, but she may also be a college volleyball prospect.
Perry County Girls Final Leaders
Name and School G Pts. Ave.
Sarah Powers, Can. 21 371 17.7
McKenzie Hayes, TC 20 274 13.7
Nakaa Myers, Can. 20 201 10.1
Hilarie Hahus, PC 23 208 9.0
Lavina Schwartz, PC 23 173 8.0
Deidra Dickerson, PC 23 176 7.7
Katie Schwartz, PC 23 127 5.5
Payton Reed, Can. 21 112 5.3
Kyli Smithson, TC 21 109 5.2
Mariah Alvey, TC 20 92 4.6
Rachael Rayford, PC 22 101 4.6
Name and School G Reb. Ave.
McKenzie Hayes, TC 20 244 12.2
Katie Schwartz, PC 23 126 5.5
Sammie James, Can. 21 113 5.4
Julia Allen, Can. 13 65 5.0
Deidra Dickerson, PC 23 113 4.9
Jaci Garrett, Can. 20 84 4.2
Sarah Powers, Can. 21 86 4.1
Gracie Kellems, Can. 17 69 4.1
Payton Reed, Can. 21 83 4.0
Stori Beard, TC 21 82 3.9
Rachael Rayford, PC 22 82 3.7
Allicyn Garrett, Can. 21 78 3.7
Field-Goal Percentage Leaders
(Minimum 80 Attempts)
Name and School FG FGA Pct.
Katie Schwartz, PC 51 104 49.0
McKenzie Hayes, TC 99 231 42.9
Hilarie Hahus, PC 81 196 41.3
Lavina Schwartz, PC 61 162 37.7
Rachael Rayford, PC 39 106 36.8
Free-Throw Percentage Leaders
(Minimum 24 Attempts)
Name and School FT FTA Pct.
Sarah Powers, Can. 131 170 77.1
Katie Schwartz, PC 25 33 75.8
Mariah Alvey, TC 23 32 71.9
Nakaa Myers, Can. 35 49 71.4
Lavina Schwartz, PC 54 81 66.7
Hilarie Hahus, PC 16 24 66.7
Tessa Lynch, PC 21 34 61.8
Deidra Dickerson, PC 32 52 61.5
Three-Point Shooting Leaders
(Minimum 20 Attempts)
Name and School M Att. Pct.
Hilarie Hahus, PC 30 75 40.0
Nakaa Myers, Can. 28 87 32.2
Deidra Dickerson, PC 26 91 28.6
Mariah Alvey, TC 9 32 28.1
Name and School G Ast. Ave.
Payton Reed, Can. 21 47 2.2
Rachael Rayford, PC 22 51 2.3
Lavina Schwartz, PC 23 52 2.3
Deidra Dickerson, PC 23 40 1.7
Taylor Lawalin, Can. 21 35 1.7
Kyli Smithson, TC 21 30 1.4
Jaci Garrett, Can. 20 28 1.4
Nakaa Myers, Can. 20 27 1.4
Katie Schwartz, PC 23 31 1.3
McKenzie Hayes, TC 20 25 1.3
Name and School G Stl. Ave.
Rachael Rayford, PC 22 64 2.9
Sarah Powers, Can. 21 53 2.5
Lavina Schwartz, PC 23 57 2.5
Payton Reed, Can. 21 49 2.3
Nakaa Myers, Can. 20 30 1.5
Taylor Lawalin, Can. 21 31 1.5
Deidra Dickerson, PC 23 33 1.4
McKenzie Hayes, TC 20 27 1.4
Hilarie Hahus, PC 23 31 1.3
Kyli Smithson, TC 21 28 1.3