Daily Local News All-Area Girls Basketball Teams

First Team
Grace Sundback, Sr., Westtown — The senior was named to the first-team All-FSL team. Sundback averaged 13 points a game and went over the 1,000-point career mark during the season. Sundaback will head to Delaware to play her college ball. She was a key cog in the Moose capturing the PAISAA championship.

Ryann Jennings, Fr., Conestoga — One of the most promising newcommers in the area. Jennings averaged nearly 19 points a game and has a classic inside-outside game. At nearly six feet, she can score inside, but can step outside and fill it up from 3-point range.

Deja Morris, Sr., Coatesville — Morris became a staple of the Red Raiders’ lineup. She averaged 15 points as she used her combination of strength and speed to maxium effect. “She was again DAT girl for us,” said coach Tina Nicholson. “She was a presence not only in the offensive about the defensive end as well a great senior I just wish I had more time with her. I will always remember Deja and she is a senior in my first class as a head coach and that’s very important to me.”

Riley Angstadt, Sr., Unionville — The engine for the Longhorns. She averaged 11.7 points a game with 6.1 reabounds, 2.3 assists and two steals. “She has been the heart and soul of our program for the past two years,” said coach Fred Ellzy. “She was a four-year varsity player, three-year starter and two-year captain, and it was a pleasure to have had the opportunity to coach such a wonderful young lady. Her hard work, leadership and dedication to our program was top notch and will definitely be missed.” Angstadt was a first team All-Ches-Mont American Division selection.

Marah McHugh, Sr., Villa Maria — The effervescent senior has a game as big as her personality. She led the Hurricanes with 12.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.5 steals a game. “Marah certainly was a big part of our success this year,” said coach Kathy McCartney.

Alyssa Brown, Sr., Bishop Shanahan — Brown is a first-team All-Ches-Mont National selection. Her defense and outside shooting was instrumental in leading the Eagles to the Ches-Mont National title.

Jordyn Palmer, Fr., Westtown — A name to watch for the future. Palmer made an immediate impression for the Moose. She average 15 points and nine rebounds a game. “She’s a unicorn,” said coach Fran Burbidge. “She’s 6-foot-1, can handle the ball and shoot the three.”

Second Team
Laura Lum, Sr., Great Valley
Samantha Blumenthal, Sr., Bishop Shanahan
Joniyah Bland Fitzpatrick, Sr., Westtown
Marisa Francione, Jr., Conestoga
Whitney Evans, Jr., WC Henderson
Zahara King, Sr., Westtown

Honorable Mention
Avon Grove: Naiya Murphy, Fr. Bishop Shanahan: Alexa Bojko, Sr., Faith Ambrose, Jr. Coatesville: Serenity Burgess, Jr., Sydney Butcher, Sr. Downingtown East: Ari Smuda, Sr. Downingtown West: Lizzie Grant, Sr. Great Valley: Gia Sioutis, Sr., Lauren Fredrick, Sr. Kennett: Makayla Kelly, Sr. Oxford: Olivia Voss, Sr. Unionville: Milana Amoss, Jr., Elle Johnson, Soph. Villa Maria: Ella Iacone, Sr. WC East: Annnie Kerns, Jr., Annalise Kubasko, Soph. WC Henderson: Jackie Shea, Jr. WC Rustin: Lola Flynn, Sr., Ava Panetta, Sr. Westtown: Savannah Curry, Jr.

Coach of the Year
Lauren Stackhouse, West Chester Rustin
When you see Stackhouse gyrating on the sidelines or mimicking the defensive stance her players are in or tearing up after the state semifinal game when asked about star Laine McGurk, one word immediately jumps to mind — passion.

“That’s my personality,” said Stackhouse. “I’m animated. I try to pass that passion on to my players and keep things positive.”

The Golden Knights had a season to remember, winning the Ches-Mont League, the District 1 5A title and reaching the PIAA 5A semifinal before falling to Archbishop Wood.

Following their success, comes the accolades. McGurk was named the DLN Player of the Year, and now Stackhouse has been tabbed as the DLN Girls’ Basketball All-Area Coach of the Year. She was also named as state co-coach of the year along with Mike McDonald of Archbishop Wood.

Stackhouse, in her fourth year, has stabilized the program that was in a state of flux before she took over. Her and then freshmen on the team — Ava Panetta, Laine McGurk, Elizabeth McGurk, Lola Flynn, Raelyn Loper, Claire Bozckowski and Maura Evangelista — grew together and built a family atmosphere that Stackhouse eventually felt like the team were her own daughters.

“When we first started, we were not sure of the lay of the land,” she added. “We wanted to build winning culture with a positive mindset and they bought into it.

Speaking of daughters, Stackhouse coaches hers, Riley, who will be a senior next season.

“It’s nice to be able to watch her play,” Stackhouse said. “I’m lucky and blessed.”

Rustin may go through a rebuild next season, but one thing will remain constant. The passion of the woman on the sidelines.



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