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Hardwood Hardware Handed Out For Lady Mustangs
varsity girls hoops
The varsity Lady Mustangs gathered for the final time this season for their end of the year basketball awards banquet and ceremony. Shown is the team along with coaches Julie Ford and assistant coach Merle Esparza. Photo Contributed

The 2016-2017 Oakdale Lady Mustangs basketball season has come to a close and members of the team were recently recognized for their accomplishments. On Tuesday night, Feb. 21 parents and fans alike gathered inside the Oakdale High School main gym for the end of the year banquet and awards ceremony in honor of all three Lady Mustangs basketball clubs.

Taking home freshman basketball awards were Courtney Koelmans and Jazmin Martinez for Co-Outstanding Player of the Year. Coaches Award was presented to Stella Flodman and Aubree Ugalde was named team Most Valuable Player.

The junior varsity team finished the year with an impressive 23-4 overall record, and averaged 41.4 points per game while holding opponents to just under 27 points per game. Head coach Cheryl Martin issued four awards on the night. Offensive Player of the Year went to Caroline Hamilton, who averaged a double-double this season with 10 points and 10 rebounds per game. Hamilton shined on the defensive side of the floor having 36 blocks.

Defensive Player of the Year went to Kendra Branch. She averaged 3.5 steals per game and had a season high 10 steals in one league game. Team Most Valuable Player honors went to Hallie Morton. The sophomore boosted her average from 3.6 as a freshman to 9.9 points per game this year. She also averaged 7.5 rebounds per game.

Earning the Coaches Award for junior varsity was Carley Maaske. Her efforts were noticed early and often this season as Maaske averaged nearly nine points per game but became a more rounded player when Coach Martin asked her to begin focusing on becoming a playmaker that makes her teammates better. Maaske dished out five or more assists in each game and lowered her turnover ratio.

Oakdale’s varsity girls may not have had the best overall season, (13-14) but players did respond well to second year head coach Julie Ford. Sophomore Zoe Gillen took home the Offensive Player of the Year award.

“Zoe was an offensive force that garnered frequent double and even triple teams from the opposing teams. Despite other team’s best efforts, Gillen was still able to score 14.2 points per game, with an impressive 51 percent field goal percentage, as well as adding 10.1 rebounds,” Coach Ford said. “Zoe finished the year with 16 double-doubles and had game highs of 25 points and 21 rebounds this season.”

The Most Improved Player award went to Angie Lowry. The freshman averaged 8.6 points per game and averaged 6.3 rebounds per game as well.

“Lowry was moved up to varsity partway through league and immediately made an impact at the next level, contributing 23 points and 13 rebounds in a league win,” said Ford. “Most impressively, her stats remained nearly identical to her JV numbers, though facing more difficult competition.”

Oakdale’s Mustang Award was awarded to Krissy Lolonis.

“Krissy is the epitome of a team player and hard worker, who stepped up as a sophomore to lead the Mustangs as the point guard and a co-captain,” Ford said of the young player. “Lolonis led the team with 3.6 assists per game and was invaluable to the team’s success as a ball handler, as well as defender.”

Oakdale’s other co-captain, Sarah Bohrer, was named Most Valuable Player.

“The MVP award is also called the Outwork, Outhustle award and is given to a player who not only performs well on the court, but also demonstrates those qualities in practice, the weight room, the classroom, and as a leader,” explained Ford. “On the court, Bohrer is a team-first player who excels defensively and possess an incredibly high basketball IQ. Bohrer also contributed on the offensive end as the Mustangs’ second leading scorer with 8.5 ppg, as well giving the Mustangs a consistent outside presence with 52 made three-point shots.”