2013 Girls All-Bee Team
La’Trice Hall — Sacred Heart Sharks
There are few institutions held in as high esteem as the University of Notre Dame, especially for wide-eyed high school students. So it’s no surprise that a trip to South Bend two years ago helped inspire 2013 All-Bee Team Girls Most Valuable Player La’Trice Hall to become the player she is today.
“We take a trip to Notre Dame as a program every couple of years, and while we were there La’Trice said to me, ‘Sister, do these girls get to come here for nothing?’” Sacred Heart coach Sister Maria Pares said. “I explained to her that some of them do, but that you’ve got to be smart and have good character on top of being a top-notch athlete for that to happen. But it was ever since that trip that she got into a training program and really worked on her shot.”
That trip certainly proved to be inspiring for Hall, a 5-foot-9 senior forward who finished nearly 100 votes ahead of the second-place finisher in this year’s MVP race. Hall helped guide Sacred Heart to its fourth consecutive Monsignor Martin Association championship in the final of her three-plus seasons of varsity play — a feat not recorded since Holy Angels’ run from 1996-99 — by scoring 395 points (14.1 per game), pulling down 229 rebounds (8.2) and dishing out 95 assists (3.4).
Hall also posted 3.6 steals per game in helping the Sharks post a 25-3 record this winter, including three efforts of seven or more steals.
“La’Trice has speed, she has quickness, she’s a great shooter, and she just sees every inch of the floor,” Pares said. “Her passing is just unbelievable; she sees girls under the basket that I don’t even know are there. There was just a complete transformation in her game to where she’s now just the total package. She was definitely a big reason why we had the success that we’ve had these last few years.”
A Second Team All-Bee pick last year, Hall earned All-Catholic North Division First Team All-star status this winter after guiding the Sharks to the state Catholic Class A semifinals, where she concluded her high school career with a 14-point, six-rebound, three-assist effort against Brooklyn-Queens’ Nazareth. That final effort, plus those recorded throughout the winter, led to Hall finishing her career with 832 points (10.2 per game) and 571 rebounds (6.9).
But by no means was the Nazareth game Hall’s swan song on the court; Hall will continue her career, and earn her degree, compliments of a full athletic scholarship to Division I’s University of Hartford.
“We’re definitely going to miss her, but she’ll be in good hands at Hartford,” Pares said. “I sometimes had a tendency to take her for granted a little bit because there wasn’t a ton of hoopla despite her superior play.”
Leah McDonnell - FIRST TEAM
Cardinal O’Hara Hawks
It’s hard to find a more prolific scorer in the annals of Monsignor Martin girls basketball than Leah McDonnell.
McDonnell, a four-year varsity team member, probably could’ve moved even higher on the all-time MMA scoring list — her 1,586 career points, tops for O’Hara’s girls program, puts her third in MMA history, 28 points behind second place — if the 5-foot-5 senior shooting guard hadn’t toned down her offensive output following her freshman season. Yet even with that dialed-back effort, McDonnell posted 376 points (13.4 per game) this winter, to go along with 5.3 rebounds, a team-best 5.4 steals, and 3.1 assists per game.
But, O’Hara coach Dan McDermott noted that McDonnell — an All-Bee Second Team All-star as a junior — was more focused on the team’s success than her own.
“Leah definitely had the right attitude about the situation and putting the team first,” said McDermott, the inaugural All-Bee Girls Coach of the Year. “She’s the consummate team player and hard worker. She can play hard for all 32 minutes if we need it.”
The MMA South Co-MVP for a second consecutive season, McDonnell was also MVP of the Jamestown Tournament that O’Hara — which enters Saturday’s Class B Federation semifinal against Scholars Academy sporting a 27-1 record — won in December. But despite her ability to score seemingly at will, McDonnell could also turn up the defensive pressure on the opposition’s top player if necessary.
“On the rare occasion she had an off night with her shooting, she would play that much harder on defense so that she ‘wouldn’t let the team down’ and would ‘try to make up for what wasn’t happening at the other end of the court,’” McDermott said. “That’s not always the case with people who are scorers.”
It takes smarts to excel on the basketball court, which explains why Sacred Heart’s Hannah Rehbaum is as good as she is.
The Sharks’ other captain this season, the 5-foot-9 senior forward was the perfect foil for teammate La’Trice Hall.
Rehbaum’s play not only helped take some of the heat off
Hall — Rehbaum scored 305 points, grabbed 151 rebounds and dished out 81 assists this winter — but also allowed her to shine brightly on a nightly basis.
Rehbaum’s best game of the year was her last, as she scored a season-high 22 points — making four three-point baskets — to go along with 10 rebounds and three assists in the Sharks’ state semifinals loss to Nazareth. Though it wasn’t the end result that Sacred Heart was hoping for,
Rehbaum’s finale effort was a fitting way for her to close out her three-plus years of varsity play.
“Hannah is one of the smartest players on the basketball court that I’ve coached in a long time,” coach Sister Maria
Pares said. “She knows the game, and she gets her teammates involved. She just sees everything because of her knowledge of the game. If there’s a switch on defense, she’s calling it before it happens. If we need to change the offense, she’ll do it. She just plays hard and is a vocal leader for us.”
The MMA North Division First Team All-star, who finished her career with 667 points (8.2 per game) and 345 rebounds
(4.3), will be bringing her shooting touch to a college campus next fall, but Pares said where has yet to be decided.
Wherever it may be, Pares is confident that program will get “an excellent three-point shooter, even against good defenses” and “a strong defensive player” in Rehbaum, who was an All-Bee Second Team All-star as a junior.
Lauren Jensen - FIRST TEAM
Lauren Jensen was a jack-of-all-trades for Iroquois this winter, and the Lady Chiefs reaped the benefits.
Jensen, a senior three-year varsity team member and Honorable Mention All-Bee selection last year, led the team with 277 points (13.9 per game), 148 rebounds (7.4), 74 assists (3.7) and 67 steals (3.4) — and was second with 20 blocks (1). The team captain and point guard, who also played at the AAU level, was the Matthew Foster Tournament MVP, an ECIC II First Team All-star and an All-ECIC Large Schools First Team All-star this season.
“Lauren has been an integral part of our success for the last three years,” Iroquois coach Frank Payne said. “I’ve coached her since eighth grade, and have truly enjoyed seeing her develop from her smooth ball-handling skills during fourth-grade physical education ‘March Madness’ to an all-star as a senior.”
If nothing else, Jensen has been consistent during her time at the varsity level. As a sophomore, Jensen put up 181 points (9.5), 143 rebounds (7.5), 34 assists, 45 steals and 27 blocks; as a junior, she scored 202 points (10.1), 127 rebounds (6.4), 52 assists, 43 steals and 17 blocks.
“I pushed Lauren very hard throughout her career because of all the skills and talent that she possesses,” Payne said. “She can do it all on the court, with her shooting touch, her ball-handling skills, outstanding defensive play and her ability to hit the boards. She’s definitely ready for the next level.”
Jensen will continue her career collegiately next year at Medaille College.
Ciara Rosten - FIRST TEAM
It’s safe to say that Maryvale’s girls basketball program welcomed 6-foot-1 junior center Ciara Rosten back from St. Mary’s of Lancaster with open arms.
Rosten became the first Lady Flyer to record a triple double with her 26-point, 21-rebound, 10-block effort against Lake Shore on Jan. 14, and then added another when she scored 24 points — to go over the 1,000-point plateau for her career — to go along with 22 rebounds, 10 assists, seven steals and four blocks against Depew on Feb. 5.
For the season, Rosten, a Second Team All-Bee selection last year at St. Mary’s, finished with single-season records in points (418), rebounds (378) and blocks (93), and also added 90 steals and 88 assists. Rosten’s 10 blocks in her first triple double and 10 assists in her second triple double were also single-game records, and her seven steals against Depew tied the single-game record.
Had she played all of her career games at Maryvale, the MVP of the inaugural Maryvale Lady Flyers Tip-Off Tournament would be just 16 points away from the girls’ all-time career scoring mark.
Yet with all that skill, it was Rosten’s selflessness while pursuing the 1,000-point club that stood out in Maryvale coach Tim Klimtzak’s mind.
“Ciara always put her teammates ahead of herself,” Klimtzak said. “In the game in which she scored her 1,000th point, she just continued to give the ball up, even when she was just a few points away. She knew it was a huge career moment, but she took that step back to get her teammates involved.”
For her career, the ECIC Division III First Team and All-ECIC Small Schools First Team All-star has a combined 1,134 points, 978 rebounds, 344 blocks, 160 assists and 122 steals. And Klimtzak can’t wait to see how she caps her career next winter.
“It’s just really nice to have a well-rounded player of her caliber — and she’s only going to get stronger,” Klimtzak said.
Sarah Saba - FIRST TEAM
At 6 feet tall, Sarah Saba’s versatility was as big of a weapon during Lancaster’s run to a second-place finish in the ECIC Division I standings as her outside shooting touch was.
Saba, the ECIC Large Schools Player of the Year, finished the season with 379 points, 133 rebounds, 55 steals, 47 blocks and 26 assists. The junior third-year member of the varsity squad, who moved up from Second Team All-Bee All-star status as a sophomore, used her length to not only crash the boards offensively, but to be a nuisance defensively as well.
“One of the things that makes Sarah special is her length,” Lancaster coach Karen Catalano said. “She’s really able to anticipate well defensively, and she takes up a lot of space with her wingspan. She’s tall, lanky and extremely athletic, which allowed us to utilize her at both guard and forward. If we needed her to work inside against the other team’s post players, we did. If it was more beneficial for us to send her outside to knock down some shots, she’d do that too.”
Saba, who sits 183 points away from the 1,000-point barrier, relished her move to go-to-player status this season, and with another year to go should only further blossom as even higher expectations are heaped on her.
“You could see that teams’ game plans were to try to slow her down, but Sarah really did a nice job of being the go-to playe r,” Catalano said. “She played with two outstanding players last year and was still able to do a lot for us, but this year she knew she’d have to carry the bulk of the load. She did really well in that regard.”