Saturday, April 2, 2011

LadySwish top honors go to JMU's Evans, Hampton's Six

Courtney Hurt and Chelsie Schweers made it tough on LadySwish. Both have strong resumes to be our Player of the Year. Hurt was the national leader in double-doubles whose consistency never wavered despite a trying season at VCU given injuries and not having Andrea Barbour in the lineup for the early part of the season.

Schweers was nothing short of a marvel in leading Christopher Newport to its first-ever Final Four. She graduates as the all-time leading scorer in the state, any division, and the No. 2 leading scorer in Division III history.

But our nod went to Evans, who leaves a legacy at James Madison and in the CAA as the conference's all-time leading scorer and 3-point shooter. The Dukes won the conference for the second straight year behind Evans, who has set 40 school records at JMU, and won the V Foundation Comeback Award earlier this week, a testiment to her grit and determination in the face of a kidney ailment that will likely require a transplant in the future.  Evans' honors in 2010 included watch lists for three national player of the year awards (Naismith Trophy, Wade Trophy and Wooden Award), AP All-America honorable mention, WBCA State Farm All-America Team finalist, WBCA State Farm All-Region 2, CAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player and runner-up for CAA Player of the Year.

This kid never met a shot she didn't like, and if you want to quibble with her shooting efficiency, we won't stop you. But you cannot deny her impact as a leader on her team, a star in her conference and an ambassador in her sport.

Our coaching award goes to Hampton's Six for turning the Pirates into not just champions in the MEAC but contenders nationally that took SEC power Kentucky to overtime before falling in the NCAA Tournament's first round. In two years at Hampton Six is 45-19, a record that included victories this season at James Madison and over Florida.

Drumroll, please

LadySwish Player of the Year: Dawn Evans, James Madison

Coach of the Year: David Six, Hampton

All-Virginia First Team

Dawn Evans, James Madison
Brittani Shells, Richmond
Chelsie Schweers, Christopher Newport University
Courtney Hurt, VCU
Jericka Jenkins, Hampton

Second Team
Lauren Jimenez, James Madison
Tia Lewis, ODU
Andrea Barbour, VCU
Ataira  Franklin, Virginia
Avery Warley, Liberty

Third Team
Jasmine Parker, ODU
Abby Oliver, Richmond
Da'Naria Erwin Spencer, Radford
Crystal Goring, Richmond
Quanneisha Perry, Hampton

Honorable Mention: Brittany Poindexter, George Mason; Rae Corbo, Norfolk State; Brittanni Billups, Longwood; Shanel Harrison, Virginia Tech; Taysha Pye, William and Mary

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