Danville's Schommer, Jackson lead girls' all-area team

March 17, 2004|JILL ERWIN

Danville's girls put together their winningest season, made only their second 12th Region Tournament appearance and earned a berth in their first state All "A" Classic by taking advantage of senior leadership this year.

One of the team's seniors, Krystal Jackson, led the area in scoring at 15 points per game and also led the Admirals in assists during their 20-8 season. For those reasons, Jackson was voted by area coaches as the 2003-2004 The Advocate-Messenger Area Player of the Year.

"I think it's definitely something she earned," Danville coach Justin Schommer said. "She's done a lot of great things for Danville over the last five years, and the improvement she's shown each year is a sign of her desire to get better."

Jackson's teammate, Monica Vonderbrink, was also named to the All-Area team.

For his part in Danville's success, Schommer was named Area Coach of the Year in a unanimous vote. In his two years on the Danville bench, the Admirals have gone 33-22.


Danville and Mercer County each had two players make the first team, while the Scotties led the way with three players total on the first two teams.

Courtney Watts of Mercer is the only repeat first-team honoree, her third year on the first team. Jackson jumps from a second-team honoree last year to player of the year this time around in her third year on the team. Meagan Murphy of Casey County makes it for her third term, while Garrard County's Kia Howard, Casey's Beth Patterson and Burgin's Taylor Bottoms each make it for the second time.

A look at the All-Area honorees:


Krystal Jackson

Jackson has started at guard since her seventh-grade year, but this year was her standout performance. She averaged 15 points, seven rebounds and four assists per game while shooting 48 percent from the field and helped lead Danville to its first 12th Region Tournament appearance since the 1975-76 season.

"Not only does she lead our team offensively, but defensively we put her on the opponent's best ballhandler to try to disrupt the flow of the other team's offense," Schommer said. "She's very good at guarding off the dribble."

Jackson not only led the Admirals in scoring and assists, but also tied for the team lead in rebounding.

"Her statistics the last couple of years have been phenomemal," Schommer said. "This year she's gotten over 100 assists, almost 100 steals, and she leads our team in scoring. To lead your team in scoring and assists is not something you see every day."

Schommer said Jackson would like to continue playing basketball at the next level, and would like to stay close to home. She is considering several in-state schools.

Courtney Watts

Watts was the on-floor leader for Mercer's successful run over the past several years, and helped lead two younger players into being ready to take over for her next year.

Watts averaged 14 points and seven assists her senior year while also helping sophomores Chrystal Claunch and Chelsea Goodman get acclimated to the pressure of leading the Scotties.

"She's not the most vocal leader, but sometimes in practice when I go off, she'll go over to Chrystal and Chelsea and pat them on the back and whisper in their ear," Mercer coach Chris Souder said. "It's good for them to hear that from an older player, and one they look up to like Courtney."

Souder said Watts finished her career at Mercer with more than 1,400 points and 850 assists.

"People think of a true point guard in terms of assists, but she has also become more offensive-minded as we've needed her to," Souder said. "She's really done whatever we've asked her to do in terms of improving her game. She's had a pretty daggone good career."

Watts is considering Centre, Campbellsville and Lindsey Wilson and has been offered a full scholarship to Division II Missouri-St. Louis.

Monica Vonderbrink

Vonderbrink, a senior, led the team in rebounding and Schommer said her willingness to follow her own shot and bang inside showed a newfound maturity.

"She has a knack of going after the ball," Schommer said. "She has the size to get her own rebounds and to power her way to the basket."

Vonderbrink was able to assert herself more this year in Danville's games, not just when the Ads needed a big outside shot.

"She's been a lot more confident this year than last year, and she's just someone that's improved her game from last year to this year," Schommer said.

Vonderbrink averaged 12 points and seven rebounds for Danville. She is considering playing basketball at Centre.

Beth Patterson

Patterson carried the scoring load for Casey inside when Meagan Murphy missed the first couple of months with a knee injury. Casey coach Randy Salyers said Patterson was tough to stop down low in her senior year.

"When she catches the ball on the low blocks, she's developed an outstanding spin move," Salyers said. "She has a great drop step, and she's really developed that over the last few months.

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