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Comebacks were the story of the 2010-11 Lancaster County girls basketball season.
The Andrew Jackson Lady Volunteers and their coach Dennis Farmer and Indian Land High School senior guard Mariah Williams were all about success after some trying times on the hardwood.
Williams, who rebounded from a torn ACL in July, is The Lancaster News’ 2010-11 Girls Player of Year, earning the honor for the third straight season.
Farmer, a veteran of 36 seasons – five at AJ, earned The Lancaster News’ Coach of the Year for girls hoops.
Williams, who joined the Warriors in late December, came on to lead coach Tamara Jacobus’ team to an Upper State postseason bid in IL’s first season of Class AA basketball.
Williams, an all-region pick, was the county’s top scorer, averaging 16.5 points a game, to go with 4.5 assists.
She capped her career, earning selection to the annual North-South All-Star game at North Myrtle Beach High School where she helped the North stars capture a 77-69 comeback win over the South stars.
“Mariah worked hard to get back and have an outstanding senior season,” Jacobus said. “She was in the gym long after practice was over in an all-out effort be at her best.
“It showed during our season and in the all-star game where she held her own with the state’s best,” she said.
u Farmer guided the Lady Vols to a 14-9 finish and a Class AA Upper State playoff bid, AJ’s first in three seasons. AJ was 4-6 in region play, but that was a notable improvement after going 0-20 in region play over the last two seasons.
Farmer, assisted by veteran aide Kelly Phillips, showed early they were on their way back, defeating county rival Lancaster and winning the Comporium Christmas Classic at AJ.
“We had a good, solid season,” Farmer said. “We made a lot of progress and we feel we’re headed in the right direction.”
AJ loses only two seniors, Rebecca Johnson and Ashleigh Aiello, but Farmer
said the duo will be tough to replace.
“Those girls gave us great senior leadership, especially considering the
youth on this team,” he said.
Two AJ aces lead the first-team all-county girls team, sophomore Bree
Wright and freshman Dareisha Sowell.
Sowell, an all-region pick, averaged 15.7 points and 4.5 rebounds a game.
Wright, also an all-region pick, was the county’s top rebounder, 10 boards
a game, and averaged 12.8 points a game.
The Lady Vols’ ace pair is joined by LHS freshman guard Kyia Hough, Indian
Land’s senior Hannah Harris and Buford’s Carley Bailey.
Hough, the Lady Bruins MVP and an all-region pick, averaged 11.7 points
and 3.4 rebounds a game. Harris, a Lady Warriors’ all-region pick, hit
12.5 points a game to go with 7.1 rebounds an outing. Bailey, a sophomore
standout and all-region pick, scored 11 points an outing and grabbed 4.4
Second team: ShaRon Brunson (LHS), Jessica Floyd (IL), Rebecca Johnson
(AJ), Hannah Knight (BHS), Tarah Tipton (LHS).
The all-county honors, including coach and player of the year, were made
from nominations from the four county coaches.