March 6, 2013
After winning the Southwest District Tournament championship and tying for the regular season title, Carroll County’s girls’ basketball team placed three players on the All-SWD team.
Senior Taylor Martin was the Lady Cavaliers’ lone first-team selection, while fellow seniors Michala Hash and Rachel Sellers both were picked to the second team.
Martin led the Cavaliers in several categories, pacing the team in scoring (8.3 points per game), assists (4.9 per game) and free throw percentage (94-of-127 for 74 percent). She also finished third on the team with 63 steals to go along with 2.5 rebounds per game.
“Taylor kind of ran the show for us and she had the ball in her hands 90 percent of time. We put the ball in her hands and let her make plays for us,” Carroll County head coach Marc Motley said. “When she was playing well, we were playing awful good. But even the times she may not have played her best, she still had to control the game with the ball in her hands and that made a huge difference for us. She did everything we asked her to do all year.”
Overshadowed by Carroll greats such as Lindsay Martin, Rachel Dalton and Shyann Dalton last year, Hash came into her own as a senior in 2012-13. Though she showed signs of her scoring ability a year ago, Hash stepped into the forefront this season, tying Martin for the team lead in scoring with 8.3 points per game, including a high of 19 points against Galax in December.
“Michala showed flurries of being able to score last year, we just had so many bodies last year there was just not enough minutes,” Motley said. “I think this year she really took advantage of making an impression. She really wanted to do her best this year and I thought she did that. She came out of the gates looking to score and we needed that because sometimes we struggled to put points on the board.”
Hash led Carroll County (16-10) in steals with 67 and finished second on the team in 3-pointers (32), 3-point percentage (28.6 percent) and free throw percentage (63.9 percent). She also grabbed 74 rebounds and made a huge impact on the defensive end by drawing 34 charges.
“That is taking fouls from the other team. It’s basically like a steal and a foul on the other team. It’s about the best thing you can do on the other end of the floor,” Motley said. “She was always around the basketball.”
A senior center, Sellers played much bigger than her size of 5-7. She was the team’s leading defender, pacing Carroll in rebounds (5.9 per game) and blocked shots (22). She averaged nearly three offensive rebounds per game alone with 73. Sellers also led the team in field goal percentage (44.7 percent on 55-of-123 shooting) and was fourth in scoring (5.8 points per game), to go along with 41 steals.
“She is 5-7, but she is pretty strong and was able to push some of those bigger post players out,” Motley said. “We allowed her to play one-on-one in the post at her size because she is so athletic, and that let our other defenders to go out and play and stop penetration. That makes everybody a better defender.”
Sellers also tied for the highest single-scoring game for a Cavalier this season, scoring 20 points against Floyd, in addition to scoring games of 18 and 16 points this year.
“She did a lot for us. She had some really big games where she scored a lot and carried us,” Motley said. “She came on big in some really key times throughout the year.”
Carroll County senior Hayden Caldwell (5.5 points, 4.8 rebounds per game) and junior Crysta Guynn (7.7 points, 3.6 rebounds per game, team-leading 40 3-pointers) received All-SWD honorable mention accolades for the Cavaliers.
Richlands swept the postseason awards with Brittany Allen tabbed as district player of the year and Dennis Palmer selected as SWD Coach of the Year.
Brittany Allen (Richlands); Taylor Blevins (Abingdon); Taylor Catron (Tazewell); Cassie Richardson (Rich.); Taylor Martin (Carroll County)
Makenley Davis (Rich.); Michala Hash (CC); Whitney Saunders (T.); Autumn Hash (T.); Rachel Sellers (CC); Callie Mellinger (Marion)
Player of the Year - Brittany Allen, Richlands
Coach of the year - Dennis Palmer, Richlands