Mississippi Valley Conference: Top returning scorers
As we start off our previews of the Mississippi Valley conference I am going to preview the top players first and then finish off with my predictions of All Conference, MVP and the order of finish of the teams. So,…
As we start off our previews of the Mississippi Valley conference I am going to preview the top players first and then finish off with my predictions of All Conference, MVP and the order of finish of the teams. So, to begin with we explore the top returning scorers in the conference .Who are those players that will provide the scoring and make the key baskets this year?
- The top returning scorer in the conference is Sophomore Clare Breden of Jerseyville. Clare had an extremely consistent first year by scoring in double figures in all but three games and she was named Honorable Mention IBCA All State after averaging 17.8 points per game. Breden shows the ability to score at all 3 levels despite her 5’5 frame. She hit 68 three pointers, but is also great at getting into the lane and scoring or drawing fouls. She was able to make 89 free throws at over 77% which makes her very tough to guard. Clare was able to really solidify her status as a top scorer by getting Highland for 39 in a double overtime win late in the season.
- Another guard to watch is Highland’s Ellie Brown. Ellie is a 5’5 Guard that led the Bulldogs in scoring at 12.6 points per game. She was able to hit over 50% of her two point shots last year and found space for 31 threes. Brown was also a strong free throw shooter at 69%. Entering her 3rd year as a starter Ellie is excellent at handling all situations on the floor and seems to know where to be or where the openings are to score. If she can expand her ability to hit the 3 pointer she will really make it tough on defenders.
- The other half of Jerseyville’s dynamic duo is wing player Abby Manns. Abby had an excellent Sophomore campaign scoring 12.5 points per game. Abby is strong going to the basket and is capable of creating a shot on her own when the offense breaks down. At 5’8 with long arms she is very long and athletic and is strong in the mid range game or going to the basket. Abby was able to create contact that led her shooting 160 free throws so when she goes to the basket she is very productive.
- Civic Memorial’s Anna Hall retunrs for junior season after averaging 10.3 points per game for the Lady Eagles. At 5’11 and strong she is hard to guard in the lane. Anna is also adept at hitting shots from the high post area and runs the floor well to get easy baskets. Anna was able to make 54% of her 2 point shots last year,so she was very efficient. During her off season Anna has been working more at extending her shot out to the 3 point line and hopes to add that to her game this year. Anna was able to get to the free throw line for 120 attempts last year and made 61% so the added work on her shooting should pay off at the line this year too.
- Triad returns their top scorer in Ali Barisch who put up 9.7 points per game in her junior season. Ali took on more of the scoring load after the loss of Heather Rood to a knee injury after 12 games. Ali made 39% of her 3 point shots last year and 74% of her free throws for the season. With Heather back from her knee injury she will look to team with Ali again after averaging 9.3 points per game before she went down with her injury. Heather made 38% of her 2 point shots and was effective from the free throw line where she shot 73%. Heather has been known to get really hot from the 3 point line so I am sure the Knights are hoping to see that come through this year.
These are the players that return as the leading scorers in a very tough conference. It is no surprise that it these ladies are from the perennial powers of Highland, CM, Jerseyville and Triad trying to break into that top 3. Next we will examine those players doing the dirty work, getting the rebounds and playing tough defense.