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Awards Parade
by Dan Eckles
Mar 01, 2011 | 1674 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Reed High’s (above photo clockwise from top left) Makaela Moore, Nyasha LeSure, coach Sara Schopper, Micah Walker, Joanna Phillips, Gabby Williams, Sierra Hooft and Tyler Sumpter all earned High Desert League postseason honors. Below, Spanish Springs (left to right) Sam Owens, Riley Holladay, Lyndsey Anderson and Amanda O’Farrell did as well.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Reed High’s (above photo clockwise from top left) Makaela Moore, Nyasha LeSure, coach Sara Schopper, Micah Walker, Joanna Phillips, Gabby Williams, Sierra Hooft and Tyler Sumpter all earned High Desert League postseason honors. Below, Spanish Springs (left to right) Sam Owens, Riley Holladay, Lyndsey Anderson and Amanda O’Farrell did as well.
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The Reed High girls basketball team dominated competition in northern Nevada this winter so it was no surprise that when the High Desert League's postseason awards were announced this week, the Raiders dominated those honors as well.

Reed saw seven players, as well as its coach, take home all-league honors after a 26-1 season where they did not lose to a regional foe and their lone loss came in the state tournament semifinals to eventual 4A champion Centennial.

Sixth-year Reed coach Sara Schopper garnered the HDL's Coach of the Year award after guiding Reed through a perfect regular season and the Raiders' third league title in the past five years. Schopper has led Reed into the Northern 4A title game in each of her six years at the program's helm.

"That award is voted on by the other coaches, your peers. So it was nice to win it," said Schopper, who won the award for the first time. "I think the biggest reason I won it this year is because we lost six seniors from last year. This is the first time we've had to rebuild and we were still able to hold up the Reed tradition."

Reed also took home the league's other top honor, Player of the Year. Raiders senior Micah Walker, a four-year all-league honoree, captured the HDL's MVP award after a sterling season that saw her captain the Raiders to victory time and again from November through February.

"I really wanted to hang a (state championship) banner," Walker said. "That was my No. 1 goal coming into the year. Anything else was just going to be extra. What I liked about the all-league voting was we had seven honorees. That really shows we were a legitimate team."

Walker averaged 17 points and six rebounds per game this season.

The Raiders' awards parade was far from finished. Reed got two players on the High Desert League's first team: junior post Nyasha LeSure and freshman point guard Gabby Williams.

LeSure scored 16 points and snared eight rebounds while Williams poured in 20 points and gave up five assists per game.

Reed got two more players on both the HDL's second team and its honorable mention list. Senior shooting guard Joanna Phillips and junior swingman Sierra Hooft were the Raiders' second teamers, while junior forward Makaela Moore and freshman guard Tyler Sumpter were the honorable mention award winners.

"It's rare to get that many kids on all-league," Schopper said. "It's nice to see them recognized. They deserved it."

The Rail City's other HDL member school, Spanish Springs, also saw a handful of its players earn all-league awards. Four Cougars grabbed that distinction as Spanish Springs (14-13) posted its fifth-straight winning season en route to its third playoff beth in the last four years.

Cougars sophomore Lyndsey Anderson got an honorable mention nod a year ago as a freshman, but jumped up to first-team status in 2010-11 after a standout campaign that saw her average 15 points and 10 rebounds per game in conference clashes. Her single-season scoring and rebounding totals were among the top four marks in both categories in the 10-year history of the SSHS program.

"I think her consistency on the scoring side was a bit of a surprise," Spanish Springs coach Christine Eckles said. "I was not expecting her to score a 15 points a night, maybe 10. So, I was pleased with that and I think it's attributed to her work ethic. She's undersized a little bit, but she works so hard at it and I hear that in the comments from the other coaches. It's a big jump up to first team from honorable mention."

Spanish Springs' sophomore point guard Riley Holladay was voted a second-team HDL all-star.

Another sophomore, guard Sam Owens, and a senior, guard Amanda O'Farrell, each were selected to the league's honorable mention list for Spanish Springs.

"The four that made it for us were key to our success this season," Eckles said. "It's exciting that three of them are sophomores and have two more years to impact our program and improve. And it was nice for Amanda as a senior, who put in a lot of hard work, to end her career with that award.

"The important thing is you can't overlook that they help each other be successful. It's an individual award but we teach that those awards are built on good teamwork."

•At Sparks High, the SHS girls team was in the playoff hunt all the way into the 3A/2A Mount Rose League's final weekend before being eliminated from contention. That left the Railroaders with their most impressive season in the last nine years.

A trio of Sparks players captured all-league status during their improved season. Sophomore Krystal Parker was the Railroaders' top honoree as she was a second-team pick.

Senior Ruby Valdez and junior Emma Clune posted honorable mention awards.
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Awards Parade by Dan Eckles


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