Best of Bristol: Girls basketball

By MICHAEL LETENDRE

STAFF WRITER

BRISTOL – The postseason was a great stepping stone for the St. Paul Catholic girls basketball team while Bristol Eastern also made some tournament strides as well.

Bristol Central would like to enter that fray next season but in terms of the most recent “March Madness” several local players did well over postseason play.

And now, in a yearly tradition for the Bristol Observer, it’s time to announce the Bristol Observer All-Tournament Teams for the 2017 postseason.

Let’s look at the Bristol Observer All-First Team:

Janessa Gonzalez, Freshman, St. Paul Catholic – Easily the best freshman in the Mum City and proved as much during postseason play…In a reserve role (she probably won’t be a reserve next season) she canned 13.7 points-per-game and didn’t show any fear on the court…Had a 20-point game against Valley Regional and sank 12 points during the season ending loss to Career Magnet of New Haven…”Only” has nine points in the first round showdown against Griswold, which was the exact same number of points the opponents scored that night (9)…Tallied three steals against Griswold and nabbed a three assist game versus Valley Regional.

Diana Wnuk, Senior, Bristol Eastern – She went out with a bang, posting very good numbers across the line…Netted a double-double over two postseason games, kicking in 13.5 points, 13.0 rebounds. 3.5 blocks and 2.0 steals-per-game…Against a very good Lyman Hall squad, she rambled up 14 points, 14 rebounds and rejected four shots over the 51-42 winning effort…Against double-tough Enfield, Wnuk added 14 points, 13 rebounds, rejected three shots, and made four steals…The senior wrapped up her scholastic career with two additional three pointers, once again displaying her long-range shooting attack.

Mandi Janick, Junior, Bristol Eastern – We knew the junior was a nifty shooter but she displayed a little consistency against two tough opponents…Overall in postseason play, Janick canned 11-of-21 field goals for a slick 52.4-percent shooting clip…Dropped in a career high 16 points while also adding four assists and two steals while hitting 2-of-5 three-pointers in the victory over Lyman…Managed eight points and rejected two shots against powerful Enfield…The 2.5 assists and 1.5 steals-per-game were a nice postseason contribution by the shooter.

Jade Udoh, Freshman, St. Paul Catholic – Instead of Gonzalez, maybe Udoh was the best freshman hoopster in the city (it must be nice to have those types of problems…) because she  didn’t hold back during the postseason play…The referee who called her for a travel on her successful up-and-under move during the postseason probably thought former Boston Celtics’ legend Kevin McHale traveled all the time as well…Notched 8.7 points-per-game off the bench and pretty much had her way in the paint over the first two state tournament encounters…Snared 12 rebounds in the victory over Valley Regional while leading the squad in scoring against Griswold with 10 points – outscoring the opponents all by herself…Showed up against Career with a state tournament personal best of 14 points.

Brigid Johndrow, Senior, St. Paul Catholic – Left it all out on the floor, literally, as she tried to single-handedly carry her squad to victory against Career Magnet. It wasn’t a fair fight but, boy, she went down swinging in the end…Probably the Observer All-Tournament Team MVP, averaging 13.7 points-per-game during the Falcons’ postseason run…Scored 16 points over her final two scholastic games and on the other side of the ball, she did her best “Dennis Johnson’” impersonation on defense…Had a five-steal, first round effort versus Griswold while posting a slick stat-line of 16 points, nine rebounds, three assists, and three steals versus Valley Regional…Was a 2016 Observer All-Tournament pick as well.

*That First Team was a pretty impressive bunch. And now, announcing the Bristol Observer All Tournament Second Team:

Hannah Maghini (Jr.), Bristol Eastern – She didn’t get her usual volley of three-pointers off but instead, showed everyone her all-around skills in the postseason…Posted 11.0 points-per-game over state tournament play, which also included numbers of 16 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals in the nine-point victory over Lyman Hall…. Added six points and five rebounds in the season-ending loss to Enfield…Two-time member of the Bristol Observer All-Tournament team.

Miya Laprise (Sr.), Bristol Eastern –  The six steals she swiped against pesky Lyman Hall was easily a career high…Overall in the postseason, Laprise led Eastern with nine total steals for a slick average of 4.5 steals-per-game…Also averaged 3.0 points, two rebounds and two assists-per-game during state tournament play.

Jillian LeBeau (Sr.), Bristol Eastern – Had a pretty good postseason as the senior nabbed eight rebounds and rejected three shots in the winning effort over Lyman Hall…Also tallied a steal in each postseason contest…Scored six total points over Eastern’s final two games of the year.

Lexi Morneault (Sr.), St. Paul Catholic – The three-point ace came through with a big effort in round one of the postseason, burying three 3s in the demolition of Griswold…Overall, hit three-of-four three-pointers for nine points while also collecting a team best six assists while and making two steals in the winning first round endeavor… Added a four-assist game in the 52-33 win over Valley Regional.