CB West’s Munger is The Reporter/Montgomery Media’s 2014-2015 Player of the Year

The best way to describe the manner in which Central Bucks West senior Nicole Munger plays basketball comes via two plays during this season’s playoff run.

Each play featured a loose ball, Munger diving after it and crashing into a table. Both times, Munger needed a few seconds to shake it off, but got right back up and into the game.

The kicker is at what point in those two games said plays happened.

The first came in the PIAA Class AAAA title game at the Giant Center in Hershey with a dive into media row early in the first quarter. It was the last game of Munger’s high school career, so the stakes were never going to be higher.

The other came in West’s District 1 opener against Owen J. Roberts when the score was heavily lopsided in the Bucks’ favor. Munger could have easily saved herself a rough crash into the side of the scorer’s table, but it just wouldn’t have been right.

From modest beginnings as a skinny 5-foot-2 ball of energy to now, a 5-foot-10, Michigan-bound dynamo, Munger has come a long way. For someone who plays as hard as she does and does as much as she does on the floor, Munger’s college future is bright.

She leaves CB West after, along with her three fellow senior starters, leading the Bucks to the best season in school history. It didn’t end with a state title, but that shouldn’t detract at all from what Munger accomplished in her four years.

Munger has been selected as The Reporter/Montgomery Media Girls Basketball Player of the Year to headline the All-Area team.

“Every single day, every game, every practice, even in summer pick up stuff, she’s on the floor all the time,’ Bucks coach Terry Rakowsky said after CB West’s first-round state playoff game. “She’s always making that extra effort. She’s one of the kids you would pay to watch practice.’

The senior was named a first team all-state selection in Class AAAA, an honor that was clearly earned and deserved.

Munger averaged a solid 17.5 points per game in her senior year and likely could have gotten to 20, but that again, isn’t her game. A terrific shooter and a fierce driver to the rim, Munger can score in plenty of ways. She also doesn’t force the issue and if a teammate is rolling, Munger has no problem ceding shots.

Even going half to half, Munger can change her game. The senior said earlier in the year she just goes as the game goes, and just takes what’s there for her. Because she doesn’t demand shots, at times Munger didn’t take enough, even when she was feeling it.

“I don’t really think about it when I play,’ Munger said earlier this year. “I just kind of play. We’re a great team when we play together.’

Despite all that prowess on offense, basketball is still a two-way game and Munger is just as effective on defense. The Bucks were defined by their defense all season and many of their offensive highlights were spurred by a defensive stand.

In the state championship, a game that didn’t have many highlight plays, Munger provided one for CB West early in the game. Swiping the ball away from Cumberland Valley’s star Kelly Jekot, Munger went up the floor, pulling a fantastic move going into the lane and scored a layup for the game’s first basket.

After games, Munger often referred back to “playing West basketball.’ What that meant was a hard-nosed team approach that started on the defensive end. Whether it was playing lockdown defense on her assignment, or coming out of nowhere to force a steal, Munger encapsulated the mantra.

CB West only lost two games all year, and they didn’t trail often, but it was a team that never played with anything less than its hardest. But when the star player is throwing herself around the court in a lopsided game, there’s no excuses that will work for anyone else.

Even a few moments after her last high school game, one where several members of the travelling fan section loudly thanked her, Munger was able to praise her team’s effort.

“We kept battling and that’s something to say,’ Munger said after the state title game. “We kept fighting and that’s what it’s about.

“I think the momentum shifted, maybe a little too late for us, but, we tried and like Coach said, we battled to the end. It speaks to our character and how we play and hustle and is a testament of our four years because that’s how we play, to the end.’

CB West’s supporting cast was plenty talented as well, with Colgate-bound Mackenzie Caroll, Binghamton-bound Corrine Godshall and Peyton Traina making up the four senior starters. The players that came off the bench allowed Munger to play her hardest until she was tired then take a quick breather knowing the intensity wouldn’t drop off.

It was a team full of players who could have gone elsewhere and thrived, but they chose to stay together. What resulted was the best season in school history, a once in a generation group that set the bar to a new level and showed what a close knit group could do.

They went as their leader went, spurred by a player who never stopped, who never failed to impress and who will likely continue to do great things. They went as Nicole Munger went.

“This whole year had a different feel,’ Munger said in Hershey. “I honestly can say I have never played for a closer team. We really came together. We love each other.’


Mackenzie Carroll, Central Bucks West senior guard: While Munger drew plenty of attention, Carroll proved a capable No. 2 and made third team all-state in Class AAAA. A knockdown shooter on the perimeter, Carroll also had a knack for some key buckets and she was plenty capable of driving to the rim and scoring. Heading to Colgate next year, Carroll saved her best play for the postseason, heating up with each passing round.

Deja Rawls, ABINGTON senior guard: A smooth guard with a sweet handle, Rawls was a threat to score from any spot on the floor. She was at her best when attacking however, capable of passing off for an assist as easily as she could score and found her name on the all-state Class AAAA second team. Committed to Siena, Rawls embraced her defensive role, taking on the opponent’s top perimeter player and led the Ghosts to the district title game and state quarterfinals.

Ashley Jones, CHELTENHAM sophomore guard: Very few teams had success slowing down the high-scoring Panther guard. Jones reached the 1,000 point plateau in just her second year and didn’t need a lot of time to get into a groove and her prowess got her second team all-state in Class AAAA. A terror in the open floor, Jones will have ample opportunity to keep piling up the points.

Bailey Greenberg ARCHBISHOP WOOD junior forward: A force inside, Greenberg was the generator that powered the Vikings. A first teamer on the Class AAA all-state team, Greenberg scored and rebounded at a high rate as she helped lead Wood to the state title game while growing her all-around game. Already being courted by several colleges, the forward looks primed for a huge senior year.

The Reporter/Montgomery Media Girls Basketball All-Area Teams

First Team: Nicole Munger, CB West, senior center; Mackenzie Carroll, CB West, senior guard; Deja Rawls, Abington, senior guard; Ashley Jones, Cheltenham, sophomore guard; Bailey Greenberg, Archbishop Wood, junior forward.

Second Team: Olivia Gorman, Germantown Academy senior guard; Mikaela Giuliani, North Penn junior forward; Julie Cross, Upper Dublin senior forward; Aubree Brown, Archbishop Wood senior forward; Keyen Green, Phil-Mont Christian Academy junior forward.

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