Mitchell's determination inspires Hubs

March 28, 2009|By DAN KAUFFMAN

North Hagerstown's Kirksten Mitchell had no trouble finding motivation this season.

"I just knew it was my senior year," she said. "I had to go all out and leave it on the court, because any game could be my last game."

Mitchell gave everything she had, and it helped give the Hubs girls basketball team its best season in 23 years. North went 23-3, won the Maryland Class 2A West title and played in the state semifinals for the first time since 1986.

Mitchell is The Herald-Mail Washington County Girls Basketball Player of the Year.

"It means a lot," she said. "I worked real hard to get my team to states. It's a good feeling to know I'm recognized as a good player."


"She is driven, she's competitive and she leads by example," said coach Barry Brown. "She gives everything she has and Kirksten just refuses to lose. She absolutely refuses to lose, and that just permeated throughout our team, that attitude. It just spreads. That was a big factor in why we had such a successful season. She leads more than she just plays. A lot of players score, rebound and get assists, but she also led the team and we had a young team that needed that leadership."

Mitchell averaged 17.1 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 3.4 steals per game. She was at her best in the 2A West playoffs, when she had 25 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists in the semifinals against Clarksburg, then scored 12 points in a 23-5 fourth-quarter run that led the Hubs past Middletown in the final. Mitchell finished with 26 points in that game.

Mitchell started her Hubs career as a power forward, moved to point guard during her junior year and made the switch to shooting guard midway through this season.

"She made the transition to point guard out necessity and that year we won 20 games with her at point," Brown said. "This year, she played a combo guard and was expected to be both a point guard and a big-time scorer. How can you be any more multi-dimensional than that? Hats off to her and she's just a tremendous talent."

Mitchell is joined on the 2008-09 Herald-Mail All-County First Team by:

LaRae Allen, North Hagerstown

Senior center averaged 12.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.8 blocks, 2.1 steals and 2.1 assists per game for the Hubs.

Brynn Arnone, Boonsboro

Senior center averaged 12.0 points, an area-best 13.1 rebounds, 3.5 blocks and 2.7 steals for the MVAL Antietam champions.

Kelly Beard, Williamsport

Senior forward averaged 12.0 points and 6.3 rebounds for the Wildcats.

Colleen Costello, St. Maria Goretti

Sophomore center averaged 10.0 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.1 blocks and 1.7 steals for the Gaels.

Luna Jefferson, South Hagerstown

Junior forward averaged 12.3 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.1 steals and 1.3 blocks for the Rebels.

Morgan McIntire, Heritage Academy

Senior guard led the Eagles to the MDCC Tournament title and the Maryland Christian State Division I final, averaging 20.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.5 steals and 2.9 assists.

Angie Nevarez, St. Maria Goretti

Senior guard averaged 13.2 points, 3.7 assists and 3.6 steals.

Alex Silva, South Hagerstown

Junior guard averaged 16.8 points, 9.2 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 4.6 steals.

Katie Sprecher, Smithsburg

Sophomore guard/forward had a breakout season for the Leopards, averaging 14.8 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.8 steals.

All-County Girls Basketball Second Team

Andrea Baum Sr. F Clear Spring

Emma Dalton Sr. G Boonsboro

Brianna Dorsey Jr. F Heritage

Quielanna Gantt So. G North

Kishia Jackson Sr. G North

Marissa Luipersbeck Sr. G Smithsburg

Allie Nickels So. F Smithsburg

Sara Rishell So. C Smithsburg

Caroline Salisbury Sr. G Saint James

Shawnda Wills Sr. F Hancock

Honorable Mention

Boonsboro -- Kristen Byers, Katie Marshall, Courtney Silvis, Ashley Smothers; Broadfording -- Charlotte Worsfold, Ariana Litten, Hannah Young; Clear Spring -- Lindsey Trumpower, Hannah House; Grace Academy -- Tori Aikens; Hancock -- Maureen Leavy; Heritage Academy -- Callie Butts, Caroline Clark, Rachel Clarke, Rebekah Clarke, Jessica Gaylor; North Hagerstown -- Samantha Koterwas, Meredith Perini, Iman Scott; Smithsburg -- Alexis Andrukat, Taylor Belella, Emily Hargreaves; South Hagerstown -- Emma Stahl; Saint James -- Taylor Deveaux, Jordan Wills; St. Maria Goretti -- Maggie Garvey; Williamsport -- Kayla Ewing, Brittany Malott, Courtney Shaw.

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