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Deboy and Neal share POTY honors on All-County Team

By AARON KENNEDY - akennedy@ftimes.com

Both the Rossville Hornets and Clinton Prairie Gophers had highly-successful seasons, posting as many wins as each school had in recently history, and that success is apparent on this year’s All-County Team where they account for four of the five spots on the First Team.

Frankfort Times Player of the Year honors are shared this year between two former winners of the award in Rossville senior Maggie Deboy and Clinton Prairie junior Tatum Neal. Deboy shared the honor with former Clinton Prairie standout Madison Douglass at the end of the 2015-16 season before Neal earned the honor at the end of last season.

On the All-County First Team, Deboy and Neal are joined by Clinton Prairie junior Jaycie Pletch, Rossville senior Julia Malson and Frankfort junior Kimee Kingma.

The All-County Second Team is comprised of Frankfort junior Rylee Siebert, Clinton Central sophomore Jessica Akard, Clinton Central junior Kaylea Whitcomb, Rossville senior Cory Taylor and Clinton Prairie sophomore Katie Blacker.

Rossville junior Camryn Geheb, Frankfort junior Emily Michael, Frankfort junior Nallely Alanis, Clinton Central sophomore Cassidy Jenkins, Clinton Prairie sophomore Emma McKinney, Frankfort junior Kya King and Clinton Central freshman Haley Scott earned honorable mentions.

Voting for the All - County teams were Rossville head coach Chad Geheb, Clinton Prairie head coach Jessi Johnson, Frankfort head coach Joe Marsh and Clinton Central head coach Nic Carothers.

FIRST TEAM

Maggie Deboy

Rossville senior

One year after missing much of her junior season with a knee injury, Deboy returned to lead the county in scoring with 20.4 points per game while adding 7.9 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.3 steals per contest. During her final season with the Hornets, Deboy reached the 1,000-career-points milestone, was named to the Kitchen Classic All-Tournament Team and helped the Hornets win a Hoosier Heartland Conference Championship.

“We had a realty successful year as a team, and that was predicated upon Maggie Deboy,” Geheb said. “She was a four-year starter at point guard for us. The bottom line is that she was the engine and did a nice job of distributing the basketball as well as getting points and rebounds. She was a very special player who had a great career, and she had a great year. She does a lot of things well and is productive. She made us a better team and she was a great teammate as well. She is a very encouraging young lady who wanted us to do well first and foremost. That is what she was a captain the last three years.”

Deboy was an All-County Second Team selection as a freshman, shared Player of the Year honors as a sophomore and was a First Team selection as a junior.

Tatum Neal

Clinton Prairie junior

Neal earns Player of the Year honors for a second straight year after helping the Gophers win 20 games.

The talented guard for the Gophers averaged 17.5 points, 4 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game while helping her ream rank fifth out of 410 teams in the state in defensive average. She was deadly from the perimeter. Neal finished seventh in the state in 3-pointers made with 75 and led the state by shooting a ridiculous 52 percent from beyond the arc.

“Tatum is much-deserving of having a piece of the Player of the Year title again this season,” Johnson said. “She puts in a lot of time, both during and outside of practice, to better her game.

“This season, she surpassed her 1000th career point,” Johnson added. “We are proud of all she has accomplished this season and look forward to another year of Tatum helping our team be successful.”

Neal was has been selected to the All-County First Team in each of her three seasons and was also named Player of the Year as a sophomore. 

Jaycie Pletch

Clinton Prairie senior

Pletch lands squarely on the All-County First Team after a senior campaign in which she averaged 6.4 points per game and shot 39 percent from the perimeter.

“Jaycie was a senior leader,” Johnson said. “She was a key in many of our games. She forced zone defenses to come out to shooters. She also played solid defense for us – many times guarding our opponent’s best guards.”

This is Pletch’s first selection to the All-County First Team.

Julia Malson

Rossville senior

A tenacious rebounder and defender who affected the outcome of games through sheer hustle, Malson earns her second consecutive All-County First Team selection after averaging 6.9 points, 8.9 rebounds and 2.3 steals per game.

Among the top rebounders in the state, Malson is Rossville’s all-time leader in rebounds in a season (311) and a career (836). Malson was selected to the All-County Second Team as a sophomore.

Kimee Kingma

Frankfort junior

Kingma earns her first selection to the All-County First Team after a breakout junior season in which she averaged 9.4 points and 8.1 rebounds per game for the Hot Dogs. She led the Sagamore Athletic Conference in rebounds this season with 179.

“She has improved so much in just a year’s time,” Marsh said. “Her size around the basket allows her to make an impact that we depended on every game. She commanded the presence of the defense around her. She has become a leader for this team on and off the floor.”

Kingma earned an honorable mention last season.

SECOND TEAM

Rylee Seibert

Frankfort junior

In her junior season with the Hot Dogs, Seibert led the team in scoring while averaging 11 points and 7 rebounds per game.

“She was in double figures in all three games versus the county schools,” Marsh said. “Her ability to get to the rim this year has increased her ability to compete with teams. She was used heavily to break the press from other teams, and she creates a mismatch with her size and speed.”

Seibert was an All-County First Team selection last year and earned an honorable mention in her freshman season.

Jessica Akard

Clinton Central sophomore

In her sophomore season with the Bulldogs, Akard helped Clinton Central win six more games than the year before while averaging 7.8 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.8 steals per game.

“A two-year captain, Akard led the team in assists all year and was second in scoring, blocks and steals,” Carothers said.

“She leads by example on the floor and improved her play this season by making her teammates better by getting them good looks on the floor. She consistently sacrificed her good shots for great shots for her teammates.”

Akard was an All-County First Team selection as a freshman last year.

Kaylea Whitcomb

Clinton Central junior

Whitcomb finds herself on the All-County Second Team for the second straight year after averaging 8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3 steals per game for the Bulldogs.

“Another two-year captain, Whitcomb led the team in scoring the past two years,” Carothers said. “Her play this year improved in every way. She even gave up scoring opportunities this season, sacrificing her point totals this year in exchange for wins. At the same time, Whitcomb raised all of her other statistics except for one. Whitcomb also led the team in steals and helped set the tone defensively each game.”

Cory Taylor

Rossville senior

In her final season playing for the Hornets, the hard-nosed Taylor stepped up into more of a scoring role and averaged 6.2 points and 3.8 rebounds per game while helping Rossville to an 18-win season and conference title. This is the first year that Taylor was named to an All-County Team for girls’ basketball.

Katie Blacker

Clinton Prairie sophomore

Perhaps the most versatile member of the Gophers, Blacker was a “glue” player for Clinton Prairie in her sophomore season, averaging 5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2.2 steals per game.

“Katie was the player that did all of the behind-the-scenes work for us,” Johnson said. “She led our team in rebounds, assists and steals. She played a big role in our defense, always being in position on the support line and guarding bigger players.”

This is Blacker’s first selection to an All-County team.

HONORABLE MENTION

Camryn Geheb

Rossville junior

If there were an annual sixth-man award for Clinton County, it would have likely gone to Camryn Geheb. A valuable weapon coming off the bench for the Hornets, Geheb averaged 7 points and 2.1 rebounds per game in her junior season with the Hornets. She was also named to the Kitchen Classic All-Tournament Team.

Emily Michael

Frankfort junior

One year after her selection to the All-County Second Team, Michael averaged 8.5 points and 2.3 assists per game in her junior season with the Hot Dogs.

“Emily had to learn that, if her shot isn’t falling, she still needs to compete on offense with the drive,” Marsh said. “I think she did a great job at attacking and creating for others this season. She is able to extend a defense with her ability to knock down the outside shot or finish with either hand at the rim. She ended the season with some solid performances to help this team finish strong.”

Nallely Alanis

Frankfort junior

A supreme athlete who is a state-finalist hurdler for the Hot Dogs, Alanis took a huge step forward in her development as a basketball player in her junior season, averaging 3.7 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game.

“Her speed and length brings an impact that dominates on the defensive end,” Marsh said. “She had seven deflections and 11 steals and totaled 17 rebounds for the three games versus county schools. Her energy and will to win brings this team to another level on that end of the floor. She was always asked to guard the other team’s best offensive player. She never complains and works her tail off in practice.”

Emma McKinney

Clinton Prairie sophomore

A starter for the Gophers during their 20-win season, McKinney averaged 4.8 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1 steal per game in her sophomore season.

“Emma was another solid guard on our team,” Johnson said.

“She defended well and gave us the ability to put pressure on ball handlers. She was also a key player in many games, hitting shots and creating for others.”

Cassidy Jenkins

Clinton Central sophomore

Jenkins earns an honorable mention for the second straight year after averaging 5.8 points and 3.4 rebounds per game for the Bulldogs.

“She almost doubled her scoring production this year,” Carothers said.

“She earned three player of the game awards and led the team in scoring in four games this season. Her defense improved tremendously and her confidence in her abilities has risen multiple levels.”

Kya King

Frankfort junior

King averaged 2.5 points, 2.7 assists and 1.7 steals per game for the Hot Dogs in her junior season, but her greatest contributions seldom make it onto the stat sheet.

“She is asked to make her impact on the defensive side of the ball,” Marsh said.

“She brings a level of aggressiveness that leads to others getting deflections and or steals. She led the team in deflections this season.”

Haley Scott

Clinton Central freshman

In her first high school season, Scott averaged 4.8 points, 5.6 rebounds and 0.5 blocks per game for the Bulldogs.

“As a freshmen Scott started every game this season and, with her effort and ability, helped to transform our defense and take it to new levels,” Carothers said.

“Her ability to rebound and defend multiple positions were a big part of our success this season. Scott played the entire season fighting injuries but never complained or missed a contest.”