Herald Staff Report
As the returning Most Valuable Player in the Big East Conference, Bellevue’s Kelsey Ernst entered the 2012-13 girls basketball season as the center of attention.
Losing all-conference guard Ali Reeg to injury for most of the season put even more pressure on Ernst.
But Ernst answered the challenge, improved in all the key statistical categories and led the Comets to the championship in the final season before the Big East disbands. As a result, Ernst repeated as league MVP and was named to the first team for the third year in a row.
“Without Ali, she pretty much carried us through the first half of the season,” Bellevue coach Tim Roth said. “We looked for her to score more.”
Ernst, a 5-foot, 11-inch forward, averaged a league-leading 20.8 points a game in Big East games, ranked second in rebounds (11.3 a game), was third in blocked shots (21) and ranked fourth in assists (3.4 a contest). She shot 60.6 percent from the field and 71.4 percent from the free-throw line as she led the Comets to a 13-3 league record and a second straight title.
Preston senior guard Cassie Aldis also earned first-team honors for the third year in a row.
She averaged 16.5 points and finished third in the Big East in assists (3.6 a game) and steals (3.4). She shot 40.5 percent from the field and 40.3 from 3-point range, making 31 of 77 attempts. She also led the league in free throws made (75) and attempted (110) for a .682 percentage.
Seniors Danielle Bender and Kelsey Tebbe, key players on a Marquette Catholic team that tied for second place in the conference and advanced to the Class 1A state tournament, were repeat selections on the first team. Tebbe averaged a team-best 12.1 points a game in the conference, while Bender averaged 10.1 points and 9.6 rebounds.
Also making the first team for the second year in a row were juniors Addie Oberman of Northeast and Kylie Vogel of Camanche. Their teams tied Marquette and Preston for second place with 11-5 records.
Oberman finished second in the conference with 18.5 points a game and had a league-high 56 steals. Vogel averaged 12.2 points and 4.7 assists, good for second in the league, a game. She shot 36.9 percent from 3-point range, leading the league with 41 3-pointers and 111 attempts. She also had the best free-throw percentage (.727) for players averaging more than 1.5 made free throws a game.
Rounding out the first team were Prince of Peace senior Julia Isenhour and Northeast junior Breanne Butler.
Isenhour, a second-team choice last year, averaged 13.9 points and a league-best 11.8 rebounds a game, shot 48.7 percent from the field and ranked third with 49 steals. Butler had a breakout season, averaging 12.6 points and 8.8 rebounds a game. She shot 50.3 percent from the field and her 76 blocked shots were 44 more than the second-best total in the league.
The second-team included three repeat selections: Brooke Krogman of Preston, Sarah Lampe of Marquette Catholic and Carly Rubel of Bellevue.
Reeg, a junior, received the Golden Award, which is given to an all-conference-caliber player who is hampered by injury. A first-team pick as a sophomore, she missed much of the 2012-13 season with a knee injury.
Roth was named Big East Coach of the Year for the second year in a row.
ALL-BIG EAST GIRLS BASKETBALL
Cassie Aldis, sr. (Preston), Danielle Bender, sr. (Marquette Catholic); Breanne Butler, jr. (Northeast); Kelsey Ernst, sr. (Bellevue); Julia Isenhour, sr. (Prince of Peace); Addie Oberman, jr. (Northeast); Kelsey Tebbe, sr. (Marquette Catholic); Kylie Vogel, jr. (Camanche).
Lindsey Grams, sr. (Camanche); Ryleigh Keeney, sr. (Preston); Brooke Krogman, sr. (Preston); Sarah Lampe, sr. (Marquette Catholic); Alexa Moothart, sr. (Lisbon); Carly Rubel, jr. (Bellevue); Brianna Schurbon, jr. (Midland); Courtney Sowle, sr. (Camanche).
Theresa Koos, sr. (Marquette Catholic); Zeva Light, sr. (Lisbon); Alaina Martensen, jr. (Midland); Morgan McAleer, sr. (Northeast); Abbie Moellenbeck, sr. (Calamus-Wheatland); Lauren Pittman, jr. (Prince of Peace); Mariah Steines, jr. (Bellevue); Emily Strait, sr. (Preston); Julia Moore, jr. (Camanche).
Most Valuable Player — Kelsey Ernst, sr. (Bellevue).
Golden Award — Ali Reeg, jr. (Bellevue).
Coach of the Year — Tim Roth (Bellevue).
W L W L
Bellevue 13 3 18 5
Marquette Cath. 11 5 17 7
Camanche 11 5 16 6
Northeast 11 5 16 7
Preston 11 5 16 7
Prince of Peace 9 7 13 11
Lisbon 4 12 10 16
Midland 2 14 5 17
Cal.-Wheat 0 16 0 22