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NEW CASTLE – South Oldham High School junior Jasmine Whitfield led a quartet of local players selected to the coaches’ All-Eighth Region team this season.
Whitfield is joined on the team by teammate Mary Dye and by Oldham County’s Ashley McMurtrey and Ericka Hardin.
Whitfield tallied the third highest vote total from the coaches just behind Player of the Year Rianna Gayheart of Owen County and Carroll County’s Hannah Devine.
Whitfield, a 5-foot-10 guard, had a banner junior season averaging a team-high 20.9 points a game as the Lady Dragons were ranked as high as No. 15 in the state this season.
SOHS won the district title and reached the final four of the region falling to eventual champion Walton-Verona in overtime.
Whitfield also went over 1,000 points for her career this season and became the school’s all-time leader in steals with 307. It is the second year Whitfield was voted to the team.
“The thing about Jasmine is she is a baseline-to-baseline impact player,” SOHS coach Frank Wright said. “She’s not just a shooter, not just a slasher, but someone who can score and defend all over the court.”
Dye, a 6-foot junior forward, came into basketball after helping the SOHS volleyball team to the regional title.
She averaged 12.4 points and a team-high 8.6 rebounds a game this season.
She also went over 500 rebounds for her career this year and is currently fifth on the all-time list with 527 rebounds.
“I think Mary is just now realizing how good she can be,” Wright said. “She is evolving into more of a force.”
McMurtrey emerged as one of the top freshmen in the area this year in helping the Lady Colonels to a 16-11 record and the regional tournament.
The 5-foot-9 guard led OCHS with a 16.6 scoring average and grabbed four rebounds a game. A year of maturity and improved strength were the big keys for McMurtrey.
“That’s a pretty impressive freshman year,” OCHS coach Steve Mullins said. “She had those kind of moves last year, but really wasn’t strong enough to complete them. We knew she was going to be good, but not 17 points a game good.”
Hardin, a 5-foot-9 senior, capped a three-year run as a starter by averaging 12.1 points and four rebounds a game in running the fast-paced Lady Colonels’ offense from her point guard position.
“Ericka is the kid you get into coaching for,” Mullins said. “She’s a great player, but an even better person who is a leader on and off the court. She is an outstanding student who might end up being the valedictorian of her class. She just has the total package.”
Players of the Year
Rianna Gayheart - Owen Co.
Hannah Devine - Carroll Co.
Jasmine Whitfield - SOHS
Sydni Wainscott - Simon Kenton
Kelli Dixon - Walton-Verona
Aaliyah Wells - Collins
Makenzie Cann - Anderson Co.
Tori Wilhoit - Williamstown
Mary Dye - SOHS
Brooke Hill - Gallatin Co
Sydney Brown - Anderson Co.
Ashley McMurtrey - OCHS
Ericka Hardin - OCHS
Raegan Black - Trimble Co.
Billie Hearn - Grant Co.
Coach of the Year
Bob Osborne – Owen Co.
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