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Article posted: 3/7/2013 4:00 PM

Tri-Cities All-Area girls basketball team

Alyssa Andersen, Aurora Christian

The Eagles' junior co-captain finished second in the area averaging 16.5 points per game. Also contributed 4.3 rebounds, 2.6 steals and 2.7 assists while leading the Eagles to their best season ever at 19-8 including their first conference and regional championships for a team that only had one senior among its 15 players. Voted SCC Gold Division co-Player of the Year and made fourth team IBCA All-State. "She has been a load for other teams to guard, many times commanding junk defenses to try to slow her down," Aurora Christian coach Jerry Tokars said. "On many nights Alyssa drew the assignment of guarding the top scorer of the opposing team, which makes her offensive production even more impressive. She is a difference-making player and a great young lady on and off the court."

Liza Fruendt, Batavia

A two-time All-Area selection and this year's All-Area captain, Fruendt scored 20 or more points 17 times while finishing with 572 points and an area-leading 19.7-point scoring average including 80 3-pointers and 78 percent free-throw shooting. Heads into her senior season with 1,155 career points and poised to become the school's all-time scoring leader. All-tournament at Morton and Oswego and Player of the Year in UEC River Division. Selected third team all-state by the IBCA. Her jump from 14 points per game as a sophomore to this year's numbers was just part of what impressed Batavia coach Kevin Jensen. "I knew she was coming up and would be a pretty good ballplayer," Jensen said. "I had no idea she would be what she's been so far. I had no idea she would be capable of averaging nearly 20 points a game."

Amanda Hilton, St. Charles East

This junior point guard whose college future lies in soccer at Nebraska took her already outstanding play to another level halfway through the season. With games like her 33-point night against Geneva or 26 points in a close win over St. Charles North, this two-time All-Area pick finished averaging 14.4 points a game -- third-best in the area -- while shooting 77 percent from the line. Led her team in assists (3.1 a game) and was second in steals (64). "Amanda had a great year and really took off in the second half of the season," Saints coach Lori Drumtra said. "She gives opposing defenses fits with her ability to break presses and penetrate the lane. She sees the floor extremely well and is just plain fun to watch."

Abby Novak, Geneva

This versatile forward became one of the key reasons Geneva won Upstate Eight Conference and regional championships. Not only did she average 10.2 points and 5.5 rebounds a game, Novak shot a team-best 76.5 percent from the free-throw line with 81 attempts. Defensively, her coach Sarah Meadows often put her on the opponent's best player -- no matter what position that opponent played. Even if it was a point guard 6 inches shorter, Novak had the quickness to handle the challenge. "She played huge for us this year as a sophomore," Meadows said. "She started out a little slow but I can honestly say without her we would be a totally different team. She stepped up and filled a huge role for us this year."

Sami Pawlak, Geneva

Relentless might be the best word to describe this senior forward and two-time All-Area player who will continue playing basketball next year at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Teams couldn't find a way to keep the all-UEC performer and fourth team IBCA all-stater off the boards as evidenced by her 10.1 rebounding average, the second-best in the area. Also scored a team-high 13.7 points a game and used her active hands and hustle on defense for 3.0 steals a game. "Sami had a big year," Vikings coach Sarah Meadows said. "She is a huge presence in the inside. She is so strong and aggressive it makes her hard to guard. She understands her role on the team and fills it with everything she has. She is very determined and focused on her goals. She is a go-to player and steps up to the challenge every time."

Carly Pottle, St. Charles East

Nobody improved like the Saints senior guard who went from a 2.7 scoring average as a junior to 11 points a game as a senior. Also among the area leaders in steals (72), 3-pointers (40) and free-throw percentage (75.4). Made the Upstate Eight all-conference River team while being a key reason the Saints won 18 games and finished second in the UEC River and reached a regional final. "This has been a breakout year for Carly," Saints coach Lori Drumtra said. "While her scoring has improved dramatically from last year, it is her energy, hustle and leadership that have been crucial to the team's success. She has been a spark for us defensively and her hustle is contagious to the rest of the players."

Lisa Rodriguez, Aurora Central Catholic

While her final numbers were mighty impressive -- team-best 11.6 scoring average, and also team-highs in rebounds (4.5 per game), steals (57) and blocks (23) -- the senior stepped up her play even more in the Eagles' biggest games. Rodriguez, an all-tournament selection at the Oswego East holiday tournament when ACC finished fifth out of 16 teams despite being the smallest school in the field, scored 20, 20 and 17 points in the Chargers' three regional games. Four-year starter who began at Aurora Christian and helped the Chargers take fourth in state as a junior. "Lisa was a tremendous leader for our team this year. She led by example both on and off the court," Chargers coach Mark Fitzgerald said. "She will always be remembered as one of the greats in ACC girls basketball history."

Sidney Santos, Geneva

You won't find a more unselfish player who changed her game to help her team than Santos. She started the year as a post but moved to point guard when teammate Michaela Loebel went down. Finally healthy after two ACL injuries, Santos averaged 8.8 points, an area-best 4.3 assists and 1.2 blocked shots while also ranking among the leaders in rebounds (5.6) and free-throw percentage (72.5). IBCA honorable mention all-state and all-UEC. "I can't say enough about Sidney," Geneva coach Sarah Meadows said. "She is a four/five player, playing a point guard. We moved her to point guard and she did not hesitate to say yes when we talked to her about it. She started to score more over our Christmas tournament and continued to score since then. She is a true leader and has had an outstanding year. I could not be more proud of her and talk about a kid who deserves success after her first two years. She has worked extremely hard on getting in shape and working on her game."

Alex Silverman, St. Charles North

The third-year varsity player stepped up in her senior season with her team-best 11-point scoring average, 70 percent free-throw shooting and 54 3-pointers, which ranked second in the area. The Upstate Eight River all-conference selection will play next year at Wisconsin-Whitewater. "Alex excelled her senior year on and off the court," St. Charles North coach Colleen Backer said. "Her leadership skills and constant display of sportsmanship were an example to our team. Her experience as a player and knowledge of the game are something that the players and coaches on our team will always remember in addition to her constant support of each member of our program. She was a constant go-to player in competitive situations on the floor."

Karly Tate, Rosary

Tate turned in a big senior season on both ends of the court leading the Royals in scoring at 10.4 points a game and also in steals (2.5) and rebounds (6.0). Scored 23 points to lead the Royals to a regional semifinal win despite missing the fourth quarter with an injury. Two-time All-Area selection. "Many times teams played a box-and-1 on her and even if they limited her scoring, she stepped up in other ways on the defensive end guarding their best player," Rosary coach Jessie Wilcox said. "Her scoring may have wavered this season at times but that was because she was fulfilling many different positions for us from playing the point guard all the way to playing the post. She flat-out put the team on her back to pull out some of our close victories."

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