Cardinal O’Hara: 6-1 senior forward PPG: 15.1. Reb: 7.7 Steals: 3.1
Don’t take our word for it that Summer Hemphill is one of the top players in the area. Ask the University at Buffalo. That’s where she’ll be playing next as Hemphill moves up the ladder to play with a team that took part in the NCAA Tournament last month. She signed the letter of intent on Wednesday. The 6-foot-1 forward averaged 15.1 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.8 blocks, 3.1 steals and 2.1 assists, but she left many games early – sometimes even in the third quarter – as the Hawks dominated several opponents. “Summer is the most gifted female athlete that I have seen in my 25 years-plus of coaching,” assistant coach Dan McDermott said. “She has worked very diligently on her basketball skills.”
Holland: 5-5 senior guard PPG: 23.3 Assists: 5.7 Steals: 4.2
Schmidt didn’t just have the type of career at Holland that sets records. Her stay was the type that results in retired numbers and Hall of Fame status, if the school takes such steps. The statistics are but one way to mark her basketball abilities. The guard finished with 2,263 points. That figure puts her fifth on the Section VI all- time list. When the competition got better, Schmidt picked up her game. She averaged 25 points and 8.0 assists in the sectional playoffs. Schmidt had 44 points in a loss to eventual state champion South Seneca in the Far West Regionals. “She sees the floor so well that her teammates know she will find them, and in return they look for her,” Holland coach Dan Parker said. “Olivia and her senior teammates led Holland to our first-ever sectional basketball title and left a legacy for future generations to emulate.”
Williamsville North: 6-0 senior center PPG: 19.2. Reb: 11.6
Taplin showed everyone what she could do when her Williamsville North team played in the Far West Regionals. With an undefeated season on the line, Taplin scored 10 points in the final four minutes – including 8 for 8 from the free-throw line – to lead the Spartans back to victory. It was one of the great clutch performances of the season, as a Section VI champion won the Class AA regional for the first time in 13 tries. “Ericka is without question one of the very best players that I have ever coached, if not the best,” North coach Bill Shaw said. “As great of a player that she is, she is 100 times a better person.” Taplin often played around the lane because of her height, but she was a matchup nightmare. She’s a good ballhandler to break defensive presses and she also could hit the outside shot.
Cardinal O’Hara: 5-8 junior guard PPG: 15.2 Reb: 3.7 Steals: 3.1
A repeat first-team selection, Zeigler shared Player of the Year honors in the Monsignor Martin Association with Hemphill. One outstanding player often is enough to push a team toward postseason glory. Two is the proverbial “embarrassment of riches.” Add a fine cast around them, including honorable mention selection Corean Dickson and a couple of others who easily could have joined Dickson on that list and you have a championship team. Zeigler, a dynamic player on offense and defense, was the Hawks’ leading scorer, and her career total is up to 1,210. The Cardinal O’Hara record for career points is within reach. The mark of 1,617 points is held by 2013 graduate Leah McDonald. “Anndea was a first-team All-WNY selection last year, and has done everything asked of her to maintain that spot,” assistant coach Dan McDermott said.