LANGLEY — Welcome to the Sweet 16.
As has become a traditional way to welcome March Madness, the B.C. Secondary Schools Girls Basketball Association, in conjunction with VarsityLetters.ca presents its annual Player of the Year and B.C. Top 15 Girls Dream Team.
The POY and Top 15 honourees are selected by a BCSSGBA committee. Coaches at all tiers are invited to cast a ballot to vote on the top players they have seen this season, excluding players on their own teams.
The BCSSGBA takes pride in presenting this class of talented players today, on the eve of the 2017-18 B.C. senior AA and AAA and junior championships set to begin Wednesday at the Langley Events Centre.
The BCSSGBA acknowledges that with so many outstanding players in our province, many will not be included, some due in part to the fact that they have not been seen by as many coaches.
Varsity Letters is proud to partner with the BCSSGBA in the presentation of the Player of the Year and the Top 15 Dream Team players, but had no part in any of its selection.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
TAVIA ROWELL, Walnut Grove Gators (Langley)
Averages — 31. 7 points, 10 assists, 6.7 rebounds
The skinny — Has made the Gators a more complete team by lifting her passing numbers to a new high. Lives a life dedicated to a strict training and shooting regimen.
And more… — Read her feature story here!
THE TOP 15
(in alphabetical order)
GEORGIA ALEXANDER, Oak Bay Breakers (Victoria)
Averages — 27 points, 16 rebounds, 3 assists
The skinny — Has a feel for the game and a skill-set matched by very few in the province. Alexander can attack almost any matchup with her combo of guard skills, post size, and elite athleticism. She is a matchup nightmare.
University choice — Dartmouth (NCAA)
JAYA BANNERMAN, G.W. Graham Grizzlies (Chilliwack)
Averages — 15 points, 5 assisst, 5 steals
The skinny —Has added a three-point game to her arsenal, and it’s given her a new dimension this season. Greatest trait is her anticipation. Can be a tempo changer due not only to a fluid level of athleticism, but a vision for steals that is coupled to perhaps the quickest pair of hands in the province.
University choice —Trinity Western (U Sports)
HAILEY COUNSELL, Heritage Woods Kodiaks (Port Moody)
Averages — 18.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists
The skinny —An exciting two-way player with tremendous speed and athleticism, Counsell has worked diligently to improve her game. The UBC-bound guard is an exceptional leader by example led her team to a program-high No. 4 in the AAA senior varsity at one stage of the season.
University choice —UBC (U Sports)
JENNA DICK, Brookswood Bobcats (Langley)
Averages — 24.5 points, 9.5 assists, 5.8 rebounds
The skinny — One of the top shooters in B.C., has joined the Bobcats at a young stage in their rebirth, thus has not only provided big offensive numbers but has assumed a mantle of leadership well in advance of her senior season.
KENNEDY DICKIE, Kelowna Owls
Averages — 15 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists
The skinny — Strong and athletic, her ability to score, rebound and defend has been a big part of the Owls success. Not only is she effective in the paint, but is also a threat from the perimeter.
MADDY GOBEIL, South Kamloops Titans
Averages — 25.7 points, 8.2 rebounds, 4.2 assists
The skinny — The guard’s greatest strength is her combination of ball-handling strength and self belief. She takes the ball where she wants to go regardless of which position she is playing, and from their makes things happen. A great shooter and rebounder, she creates a unique ripple effect through her entire team.
TAYA HANSON, Kelowna Owls
Averages — 23 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds
The skinny — Returned to her original senior varsity program after spending her grade 11 year at prep school. Commitment to every level of her game, from leadership to strength-conditioning evident every time she steps on the court.
University choice —Arizona State (NCAA)
EMMA KRAMER, Sullivan Heights Stars (Surrey)
Averages — 27.5 points, 14 rebounds
The skinny — Simon Fraser-bound Kramer is as valuable to her team as any in the province, an engine-room of activity who has helped set the bar for an entire high school program to make its first-ever appearance at the senior provincials. Clearly committed to excelling at both ends of the floor.
University choice —Simon Fraser (NCAA)
MARIN LENZ, Abbotsford Panthers
Averages — 23 points, 7 rebounds, 6 steals, 5 assists
The skinny —Sums up the ideal basketball player, she thinks defence first and then her teammates and it’s a mentality that has set her apart from the pack. Played a leading role a season ago in Abby’s run to the AAA championship game.
SIENNA LENZ, Abbotsford Panthers
Averages — 28 points 12 rebounds, 5 assists
The skinny — Aggressive but poised is tough territory to tread, but the SFU-bound Lenz pulls it off. A true heart-and-soul player, has a work-ethic that if off the charts, but also respected as a team leader. Skill level is blue-chip, but her competitiveness scores a notch higher. University choice —Simon Fraser (NCAA)
TANIS METCALFE, Carson Graham Eagles (North Vancouver)
Averages — 25 points, 12 rebounds, 9 assists
The skinny —The UBC-bound Metcalfe didn’t begin playing basketball until the eighth grade but has shown a huge spike in her overall game as a 6-foot-2 post presence with developing guard skills. Already a game changer, but has a large ceiling with which to still improve.
University choice — UBC (U Sports)
NATALIE RATHLER, Walnut Grove Gators (Langley)
Averages — 15.9 rebounds, 11.7 points, 3.4 assists
The skinny — Has expanded her game away from the basket, but her ability to command a game from the paint makes her perhaps B.C.’s most under-rated game changer. Will bring her toughness and developing skill set next season to the next level.
University choice — Fraser Valley (U Sports)
GEORGIA SWANT, Argyle Pipers (North Vancouver)
Averages — 27 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists
The skinny — Two seasons ago the B.C. junior MVP, her senior varsity career has solidified her greatest strength: Court vision. Add a work ethic, hustle, a dynamic outside jump shot and her under-rated trait of inviting contact and you have a complete high school player.
University choice —Simon Fraser (NCAA)
DEANNA TUCHSCHERER, G.W. Graham Grizzlies (Chilliwack)
Averages — 24 points, 13 rebounds
The skinny — Defines the term ‘student of the game’. Not an aspect of thriving in the game has been ignored by the rugged forward with guard skills. Hoops IQ is high but so is her realization of what the true definition of team really is.
JESSICA WISOTZKI, Walnut Grove Gators (Langley)
Averages — 24.9 points, 13.6 rebounds. 1.9 assists
The skinny — The fast-rising talent in the province this season, has stepped up from being a complimentary piece to a leading lady. Her combination of scoring and rebounding gives Walnut Grove a trio of unique talents.
If you’re reading this story or viewing these photos on any other website other than one belonging to a university athletic department, it has been taken without appropriate permission. In these challenging times, true journalism will survive only through your dedicated support and loyalty. VarsityLetters.ca and all of its exclusive content has been created to serve B.C.’s high school and university sports community with hard work, integrity and respect. Feel free to drop us a line any time at email@example.com.