The 37th annual JG-TC All-Area Girls Basketball Team consists of players from eight schools and eight seniors. There are three sophomores and a freshman.
Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond, Arthur Okaw Christian, Casey-Westfield, Charleston, Mattoon, Sullivan, Tri-County and WSS had at least one player selected.
The seniors on the team are Harley Barry (Tri-County), Regan Bollant (Charleston), Amanda Franklin (Arthur Okaw Christian), Marissa Herschberger (A-L-A-H), Esther Miller (Sullivan), Kiersten Price-Wilson (Tri-County), Jae Lynn Riggleman (Casey-Westfield) and Megan Schlecthe (WSS). The sophomores are Tayler Barry (Tri-County) and Emily White (Sullivan), while Mallory Ramage (Mattoon) is the lone freshman.
Harley and Tayler Barry became the first sisters to make the all-area team since Tri-County's Amber and Autumn Meyer in 2013.
The player of the year is Charleston sophomore Shae Littleford, who is featured in a separate story.
Price-Wilson, Littleford and Herschberger were selected to the 2018 all-area team. Harley Barry finished her career on the all-area team her last three seasons, while Schlechte pulled off a rare feat in being on the all-area team all four years.
Here are the JG-TC's other 11 girls basketball All-Area players:
Harley Barry, Tri-County
Barry not only led her team in assists and steals, but the entire JG-TC area, averaging 4.5 and 5.4, respectively. She averaged 11.3 points and 4.1 rebounds per contest, shooting 36 percent (150-of-412) from the field. The 5-6 guard was 37-of-137 (27 percent) from 3-point range. She was 60-of-88 (68 percent) from the free-throw line. She had a season-high of 27 points in a 60-48 win over Marshall. A unanimous all-Little Okaw Valley Conference Southeast Division player also earned second-team Illinois Basketball Coaches Association All-State honors. The Lady Titans had a program-best 29 wins and six losses and finished fourth in Class 1A, winning the LOVC SE Division tournament, the overall LOVC Tournament and the Oakwood Comet Classic. She was an honorable mention Associated Press Class 1A all-state player and went over the 1,000 point mark in her career.
"She has a nose for the ball and reads the floor very well," Tri-County coach Joe Morrisey said. "She can see things before they happen. Her strength is her defense and being able to distribute the ball to her teammates. She is a great defender who applies a lot of pressure on the ball. She can suffocate who she is defending with all of the pressure she applies. Harley is an exceptional basketball player that I have enjoyed coaching for the last four years. The impact she has had on the program is something that I can't thank her enough for."
Tayler Barry, Tri-County
Barry led the Lady Titans in scoring, at 15.8 points per game. She also led in 3-point field goals made (65), 3-point percentage (35), 2-point percentage (52) and in free throw percentage (79) which was also an area high. She was 187-of-423 (44 percent) from the field, including 65-of-188 from beyond the 3-point line. The 5-6 sophomore guard averaged 2.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 4.5 steals per game. She was a unanimous all-LOVC SE division player as well as second-team Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Class 1A All-State, honorable mention Associated Press Class 1A All-State, all-Charleston Holiday Tournament team, and made the Oakwood Comet Classic All-Tournament team. She scored a season-high 29 points in the 74-65 sectional championship win over Altamont.
"Her shooting range is unreal. She is a great outside shooter that can also take it to the rim," Morrisey said. "She is a great one-on-one defender who plays defense with her whole body with her long arms and legs to clog up the passing lanes. She puts a lot of hours in practicing basketball. and extra time in the gym working on her shooting. Her defense has improved greatly from last year. She has really worked on becoming a great all-around player. She is a great young lady who is dedicated to the game of basketball. She has only scratched the surface of how good she can be."
Regan Bollant, Charleston
Bollant not only led the team in 3-point field goals, but also the entire JG-TC area and all of Class 3A. She made 88 of her 218 attempts for 40 percent, also tops in the area. She helped Charleston to its first-ever perfect regular season averaging 9.7 points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.6 steals per game. She was 93-of-233 from the field overall and made 17-of-25 (68 percent) from the free-throw line. Bollant was on the Charleston Holiday Tournament team for the 12-0 Apollo Conference champions. Charleston also won its own holiday tourney as well as the Clinton Class 3A regional tournament. Bollant scored a season-high 24 points in a 73-44 win over Tolono Unity. Bollant is a 5-9 senior forward.
"Last year she wasn't shooting enough," Charleston coach Jeff Miller said. "I kept getting on her and probably didn't even play her as much as I should have because she wouldn't shoot. I think a large part of that was being the new kid on the block (transferred from Judah Christian). She didn't want to come in and upset the apple cart. When we try and get to the rim, we have those wings flattening out to the baseline to create a better passing opportunity. She comes across with a very calm demeanor, but she fit in really well with how we try to be aggressive."
Amanda Franklin, Arthur Okaw Christian
Last year, Franklin proved she could play an entire IHSA schedule at Mahomet-Seymour, where she led them in points and steals and this year helped the Conquering Riders go 17-7 against IHSA schools and 33-7 overall. She averaged 18.9 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 4.5 steals per game. She shot 54.6 percent from 2-point range and 30.4 from 3-point range. She was a 71.7 percent free throw shooter. She set 12 school records this season, including three career marks. She was on the AOC Holiday Classic, ACSI Mid-America, and NACA all-tournament teams as well as earning NACA Christian School All-American honors, all-East Central Illinois all-conference and Illinois Christian School All-State honors. Had a high game of 36 points. Franklin is a 5-10 guard/forward senior.
"Her strength is the fact that she is so versatile," AOC coach Nate Kauffman said, "She can be a guard or a post and on top of that she can shoot and handle the ball. On defense, she can guard a guard or a post. She is stronger than she looks. She has plenty of strength and quickness. She is just a good all-around player. She is the whole package. She leads by example. It was great having her on the team and it was fun watching her and Alexis (Amanda's sister, who also plays for AOC) bond with the other girls and make the team become a unit."
Marissa Herschberger, Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond
The 5-3 senior guard led the Knights in a 21-10 season by averaging 16.4 points, 3.7 steals per game. She also averaged 2.0 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game as well as 0.6 blocked shots. She made 45 3-pointers and was 92-for-151 (61 percent) from the free-throw line. She scored a season-high 27 points in a 66-54 win over Meridian. Herschberger earned unanimous first-team all-Little Okaw Valley Conference Northwest Division honors for the division champions. She was also a special mention IBCA Class 2A all-atate player, the team's most valuable player, and mad the Knights Classic All-Tournament team.
"She has a knack for getting into the paint and her mid-range game made her a legit scorer," A-L-A-H coach Mac Condill said. "As for defense her on the ball defense was the best. She is tough and just has a hard nose for the ball. She is not afraid of anything."
Esther Miller, Sullivan
Miller helped Sullivan to its best record since going 31-2 in 1993-94. The Lady Redskins went 26-4 and won the Central Illinois Conference, going 7-0. Miller led the squad in scoring (14), rebounding (7.9), steals (4.6), free throws made (84) and 2-point field goal percentage (48) and total field goal percentage (46). She also averaged 1.3 assists and 0.5 blocks per game. She was 165-of-357 from the field and 84-of-158 (53 percent) from the free-throw line. She scored a season-high 25 points twice in a 65-30 win over Arcola and a 48-42 loss to Teutopolis in back-to-back games. The 5-8 senior forward earned second team all-state IBCA Class 2A honors as well as first-team unanimous all-conference honors. She was the MVP of the Knights Classic at Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond, a tourney the Lady Redskins won and earned the team defensive award. She was also on the all-tournament team at the Maroa-Forsyth Tip-Off Classic. She was voted the Most Outstanding Player on the team and also earned the offense and defensive awards. Scored over 1,000 points in her career.
"She was so hard to defend because if you tried to guard her outside, she would shoot or drive past you to the hoop," Sullivan coach Sheri McCain said. "If you tried to defend her in the post, she would use her speed to get around you. She is a tremendous defensive player who sees the floor well and can anticipate where the next pass is going. Whenever we needed a stop defensively, we always knew Esther would be the one to come up with it. She led by example and her floor presence was crucial to our success. I said all year that she was our catalyst and the rest of the team followed her lead. She made everyone better and challenged others every practice. She is a tremendous athlete and is successful in everything she sets her mind to."
Kiersten Price-Wilson, Tri-County
Price-Wilson averaged 12.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.4 steals per game while making 179-of-383 (47 percent) from the field and 79-of-135 (59 percent) from the free-throw line. She scored a season-high 21 points in a 63-54 overtime win over Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin. She was a first-team all-LOVC SE Division player, who also was named to Oakwood Comet Classic all-tournament team. The 1,000 point scorer signed to continue her basketball career at Parkland.
"Her defense really improved from last year," Morrisey said. "She has an incredible knack for blocking shots from behind. She was able to get some defensive stops when needed. She also stepped up and took several charges this year. She was an offensive threat. She was a vocal leader who was not afraid to get on her teammates. She has spent the last four years working on her game. All of her hard work and dedication to the game has paid off."
Mallory Ramage, Mattoon
Ramage, a 5-9 freshman guard, helped Mattoon to a 16-15 record by averaging a team-leading 19.3 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.2 steals and 0.8 assists per game. She was 217 of-469 (46.3 percent) from the field to lead the team, including a team-high 54-of-152 (35.5 percent) from beyond the 3-point line. She was 123-of-183 (67.2 percent) from the free-throw line. She has a season-high 33 points in a 55-45 Apollo Conference win over Mount Zion. She scored at least 10 points in every game. She was an honorable mention all-state Class 3A player, who also earned first team all-conference honors as well as the all-tournament team at the Mattoon Holiday Tournament and Pana Thanksgiving Tournament and the team's MVP.
"Mallory had an outstanding season for us. She always saw our opponents' best defender and would get double teamed," Mattoon coach Amanda Aydt said. "She knew when to push the ball, when to attack the basket, and when to set up and run our offense. She also did a good job on the defensive end. She plays hard on both ends of the floor and doesn't take plays off. She always gives 100 percent no matter what. She's a great leader and a hard worker and has a positive attitude. She really understands the game of basketball and loves playing it. She is an all-around great young lady on and off the floor."
Jae Lynn Riggleman, Casey-Westfield
Riggleman led the 5-19 Lady Warriors in scoring (17.0 per game), overall field goal percentage (39), 2-point percentage (39), 3-point percentage (36), free throw percentage (73 percent), and rebounds (7.4) per game. The 5-7 guard/forward senior was 146-of-376 from the field, including 41-for-113 from 3-point range. She was 74-of-101 (73 percent) from the free-throw line. She had a game-high of 32 points in a 63-48 loss to North Clay. Riggleman was a first-team All-Little Illini Conference player. She won the Class 2A Country Financial Three-Point Contest winner and on the Dieterich Holiday Tournament team.
"She is a fantastic shooter and is naturally gifted in that area," Casey-Westfield coach Jerome Williams said. "She has exceptional range and is not afraid to have the ball in her hands at the end of the game. During her four-year career, she continued to mature and did not allow a bad shooting night to keep her from helping her team in other areas. She improved on her ability to distribute the ball and provide scoring opportunities for teammates. She has the ability to recognize what opposing defenses were trying to do to limit her and stayed patient until opportunities opened up for her to score. Most of the time she led by example. This year she had to be more vocal and spoke up when it was needed. It was a pleasure coaching Jae Lynn and to be a part of her growth over the last four years. She has improved as a basketball player and more importantly, she is a better person."
Megan Schlechte, WSS
The all-time leading scorer in the girls basketball or boys Stewardson-Strasburg program led the Hatchets in scoring (16.9 points), rebounds (8.3), steals (3.1) and blocks (1.7) per game. The 6-0 senior forward also averaged 2.9 assists per game. She was 187-of-496 (38 percent) from the field overall. She was 95-of-140 (68 percent) from the free-throw line. She was the MVP of the Cowden-Herrick/Beecher City Thanksgiving Tournament, was on the all-tournament team in the A-L-A-H Knights Classic. She was an honorable mention Associated Press Class 1A All-State player and on the all-National Trail Conference team as well as the all-tournament team. She had 1,754 points in her career and is headed to play volleyball at Lewis University. She had a game-high of 30 in a 60-52 win over Cowden-Herrick/Beecher City and scored at least 10 points in every game.
"Megan was our biggest offensive threat this year and has been the past four years," WSS coach Mariah Bolin said. "She has an innate ability to know where the basket is at all times and she adjusts her shot/drive accordingly. She can score from the perimeter or at the block. Her versatility allowed for us to run her in multiple positions depending on who was in the game off of our bench. Defensively, she is very aggressive and can read the ball very well, which I think can be attributed to her success as a volleyball and softball player. Megan would ask to guard the other team's best player and was always up for the challenge. She wanted to take on the best and that drove her defensively. She led by example and exemplified what it meant to give 110 percent at all times. Megan is just one of those kids who have true grit and wants to dig in and do everything she can to secure a win for her team. She means everything to the program and there is no doubt in my mind that she will be the face of the program for years to come when people talk about WSS. It has been my pleasure and honor to coach, arguably one of the best all-around athletes in the state, the last four years. She is the epitome of a student-athlete and what it means to work hard."
Emily White, Sullivan
The 5-11 sophomore forward helped Sullivan to back-to-back Class 2A Sweet 16 teams leading the Lady Redskins in 3-pointers made (67) and e-point percentage (35). She averaged 11.9 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 2.8 steals per game. She was 126-of-230 (39 percent) from the field and 37-of-58 (64 percent) from the free-throw line. The second team all-Central Illinois Conference player earned the Hustle and Heart team award. She had a game-high of 23 points in a 68-59 loss to Decatur St. Teresa.
"Her defense improved tremendously from last year," McCain said. "She shut down a number of guards on the perimeter. She moves her feet very well for a 5-11 guard. She is a huge threat from behind the 3-point line. She did a great job handling the ball and being a point guard for us in the beginning of the year. Her on the ball defense is phenomenal. She always made it a priority to stop her opponent from getting into the lane. She pointed our press, and if she didn't come up with the steal she always seemed to find a way to cause a turnover. Emily is only going to get better in the near future."