GIRLS’ BASKETBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR
The Auburn University signee led the Bruisers to their second consecutive Division IIAA state championship, averaging 17.3 points, 4.6 assists, 3.7 rebounds and three steals per game. She also was the state’s D-II Miss Basketball for a second straight year and was voted state tournament MVP after contributing 21 points, five rebounds, two steals and two blocks in the Bruisers’ 17-point title-game win.
“This year was the last time playing with all those girls, which is kind of sad,” Clay said. “I’ve been playing with some of them since I was 9 years old. It’s been fun, especially the last two years being the team to beat. I’ve had a great time all four years and learned a lot of good things.”
Clay, whose goal next year is to make the starting lineup at Auburn, is ranked as one of the top point guards in the nation, according to ESPN.com recruiting. GPS plans to retire her No. 5 alongside the No. 51 of Alana Smith, also a two-time Miss Basketball.
“I don’t know if you can really replace someone who was three-time all-state and a two-time Miss Basketball winner,” GPS coach Susan Crownover said. “She just had the knack for making big-time plays in big-time moments.”
COACH OF THE YEAR
In her eighth season at GPS, Crownover guided a senior-laden team back to the state tournament, where the Bruisers claimed their second consecutive Division IIAA championship.
She kept the experienced and talented group focused, continually challenging the four senior starters and their teammates as the postseason began.
“We won because the bigger the stage, the better they played,” Crownover said.
The Bruisers’ relentless pressure was too much for even their state-tournament opponents; they won their last two games by 14 and 17 points, avenging a regularseason loss to Ensworth in the final. As the first school in 10 years with back-to-back D-II girls’ state titles, GPS finished 27-4.
“I think when you win the first one, everything is more special,” Crownover said. “This one was much different, just because we had the target on our back all year long. Everybody wants to beat you when you’re the defending state champion and have everybody back.”
- Junior guard
- She averaged 15.2 points, 4.6 steals and 4.5 assists a game for the Georgia Class A quarterfinalists.
- Senior post
- She averaged 22.3 points and 8.9 rebounds as the Lady Panthers won the District 6-AA regular season.
- Junior forward
- Tennessee’s Class AA Miss Basketball averaged 23 points and 12 rebounds for a statetourney team.
- Junior guard
- She was by far the area’s leading scorer, averaging 31.5 points, and dished out 3.4 assists per game.
- Senior forward
- Her 23 points and nine rebounds a game helped Grundy reach a sectional for the first time in 13 years.
SIMONE BUSBY GPS FORWARD SENIOR
BROOKE COPELAND BRADLEY CENTRAL FORWARD SOPHOMORE
TIFFANY LEWIS EAST HAMILTON JUNIOR GUARD
TAYLOR PALMER CALHOUN JUNIOR POST
CAROLINE SMITH BRADLEY CENTRAL SENIOR GUARD
AMBER HOWARD BAYLOR GUARD SENIOR
KELSEY NUNLEY SODDY-DAISY FORWARD SENIOR
HALLE WARE WHITWELL GUARD SENIOR
MISHANNON WILBANKS RED BANK FORWARD SENIOR
ERIKA WOODFIN DADE COUNTY GUARD JUNIOR