The Times area had a solid year in the girls basketball department, both on the individual and team levels.
Nine of the 12 squads posted an overall record above .500, and three registered 20 wins or more. Seneca in Class 2A and both Newark and Serena in Class 1A brought home regional championships. Overall the area's girls hoops teams won 187 ballgames against just 143 losses.
As far as individual players goes, the area saw its share of tremendous game and season performances, many from student-athletes who will take to the floor again next season. There was also a handful of great players that walked of the high school court for the last time, but left a lasting impression to their teams and fans.
Here are the 2017-2018 Times Girls Basketball All-Area Teams:
This year’s Times Girls Basketball Player of the Year, Cowan averaged 13.6 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.5 steals while also hitting 36 percent (58 of 161) from beyond the arc. A Times First Teamer as a sophomore, she also named to the Northern Illinois Big 12 West Division First tTeam and the league's most valuable player for the second consecutive season. She was a Lady Pirate Holiday all-tournament pick and named IBCA Class 3A/4A All-State Special Mention.
She scored a career-high 32 points in a win over Aurora Christian at the IMSA/Aurora Christian Hoop Happening Tournament at the start of the season; 19 points in a victory over Pontiac; 18 points in a triumph over Morris and 16 in a big NIB 12 win over Yorkville.
The Falcons guard led the Times area in scoring at 18.8 points per game while also averaging 4.3 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.1 steals. Mitchell made good on 44 percent (54 of 122) of 3-pointers and swished 85 percent (148 of 175) from the free-throw line. She was an IBCA Class 1A/2A Special Mention honoree, named to the Heart of Illinois Conference Second Team, and was an all-tournament selection at the season-opening Stone Seed Lady Falcons Classic.
She poured in an eye-popping 41 points, including four 3-pointers, in FCW’s win over Tri-Valley at the McLean County/Heart of Illinois Conference Tournament and netted 29 points each in Falcons victories over Pontiac and Roanoke-Benson.
The Lady Irish point guard helped lead her team to 21 wins and a Class 2A regional title by posting norms of 11.3 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 3.2 steals. Robinson was a Times Honorable Mention pick as a freshman,Third Teamer as a sophomore and a Second Team selection as a junior. She was named to the Interstate Eight All-Conference and All-Tournament teams, the St. Bede Lady Bruin Christmas Classic All-Tournament squad and was an IBCA Class 1A/2A Special Mention honoree.
She became the ninth Seneca girls basketball player to surpass the 1,000 career point mark in a loss to Herscher at the I-8 Tournament. She finished the season strong, posting 23 points and five assists in a regional semifinal win over Putnam County and then netted 21 points with four rebounds, four assists and four steals in Seneca’s regional championship triumph over FCW.
The Lady Norsemen point guard averaged 11.7 points, 3.0 rebounds, 7.1 assists and 4.6 steals to help her team capture a Times-area best 23 victories, the Little Ten Conference regular-season title and a Class 1A regional championship. Scott was named to the Lady Pirate Holiday Classic All-Tournament Team, was a repeat unanimous pick to the LTC All-Conference Team, and was an IBCA Class 1A/2A All-State Fourth Team selection. She was a Times Third Team member as a freshman.
She registered a 13-point, 17-assist, 13-steal triple-double in an LTC win over Kirkland Hiawatha; netted 17 points each in victories over Earlville-Leland and Dwight; and poured in a season-high 19 points, including five 3-pointers, in the Lady Norsemen’s sectional semifinal triumph over Kewanee Wethersfield.
Senior, Marquette Academy
The Lady Crusaders guard/forward helped her team to their first 20-win season since 2012 and a Tri-County Conference unbeaten championship. Sypniewski posted norms of 14.8 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.7 steals. She was a First Team and All-Tournament TCC selection, as well as being named to the Stone Seed Lady Falcons Classic and Marquette Christmas all-tournament squads. She was an IBCA Class 1A/2A Special Mention honoree. She was a Times Second Team pick as a junior.
She had 26 points and seven rebounds in Marquette’s Class 1A regional semifinal victory over Leland-Earlville; 27 points in a TCC win over Putnam County and 26 points in a triumph over LaMoille-Ohio. Sypniewski finished her career with a team-high 15 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals in a loss to Annawan in the regional championship game.
The Raiders forward averaged 11.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.7 steals to help her team to a 19-win season. Cook was a unanimous Little Ten All-Conference honoree and was named to the Earlville Holiday All-Tournament Team.
She had 11 points and four steals in E-L’s win over Alden-Hebron in the title game of the Elgin Academy Thanksgiving Tournament and also had a game-high 13 points in the Raiders win over Dwight to win the championship of their own holiday tournament. She ended her career with a team-high 19 points in a Class 1A regional semifinal loss to Marquette.
The Lady Pirates point guard finished a fine career by posting norms of 8.1 points, 2.1 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.2 steals to help her team to 17 wins. Guerrero was a unanimous Northern Illinois Big 12 West Division selection. She was a Times Second Team honoree as a junior.
She posted 14 points, including a trio of 3-pointers, seven rebounds and five assists in a NIB 12 West win at Rochelle early in the season, had nine points and seven assists in a triumph over Pontiac at the Lady Pirate Holiday Tournament and 17 points in a conference crossover win against DeKalb to begin the new year.
The Lady Huskers shooting guard averaged a team-leading 13.1 points while registering norms of 3.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 3.5 steals. Holdiman was a unanimous repeat selection to the Little Ten All-Conference team and was an all-tournament pick at the Peotone Blue Devil Classic. She was a Times Third Team honoree as a sophomore.
She had 23 points, including four 3-pointers, in a overtime loss to Marquette at the Stone Seed Lady Falcons Classic and a 10-point, 10-rebound effort in a LTC win over E-L. Holdiman also netted 12 points — including the game-winning triple with five seconds left — to lift Serena over Newark in the LTC Tournament title game.
The Lady Indians guard helped lead her club to 16 wins and the co-championship of the Interstate Eight Conference regular season with 10.3 points per outing, while also averaging 6.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 5.5 steals. Ness was named to both the I-8 All-Conference and All-Tournament teams and was named to the Marquette Christmas All-Tournament squad. She was a Times Honorable Mention pick as a sophomore.
She poured in a game-high 22 points in the Lady Indians' one-point loss to then unbeaten Dixon in mid-December, nine points and eight boards in a one-point I-8 win at Seneca and a team-high 12 points to help Sandwich capture the third-place game at the I-8 Tournament over Peotone.
Senior, Marquette Academy
The Lady Crusaders point guard averaged 12.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists which all helped her team to 20 wins and an undefeated Tri-County Conference regular-season title. Owens was a named to the TCC Second Team and All-Tournament club, as well as being an all-tournament selection at both the Stone Seed Lady Falcons Classic and Marquette Christmas Tournament. She was also an IBCA Class 1A/2A Special Mention honoree.
She had 21 points, including six 3-pointers, in the Lady Crusaders TCC-opening win over Henry-Senachwine, 28 points in an overtime loss at St. Bede, and nine points and eight rebounds in the TCC-clinching contest against Midland.
The Lady Bobcats center registered norms of 11.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks. She was a unanimous selection to the Little Ten All-Conference Team and was an all-tournament pick at the Amboy Christmas Tournament.
She had a game-high 19 points, nine rebounds and three blocks in a win over Hinckley-Big Rock, 16 points in a victory over Mooseheart, 17 points against Ashton-Franklin Center at Amboy and 12 points each in contests against Serena and Indian Creek.
The Lady Pirates post player averaged 9.5 points, 9.0 rebounds, 1.1 assists and swished 55 percent of her field-goal attempts. Gayan was a Northern Illinois Big 12 West Division Honorable Mention honoree.
She had 15 points and 15 rebounds to help Ottawa top rival La Salle-Peru, 19 points in a victory at Joliet Catholic, 16 points in a triumph over Morris and 14 points each in wins over Streator and Rochelle.
Freshman, Paw Paw
The Lady Bulldogs point guard was second in The Times area scoring at 17.1 per contest and registered norms of 2.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 3.4 steals. Heiman was a Little Ten All-Conference honoree.
She had 28 points in a season-ending loss to Indian Creek in the regional quarterfinals, 26 points and five assists against Midland, 24 points against LaMoille-Ohio and 24 points and four assists in a win over Somonauk to claim the LTC Tournament consolation title.
The Lady Huskers forward posted norms of 8.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.7 steals. Hook was named to the Little Ten All-Conference Team and was an all-tournament selection at the Stone Seed Lady Falcons Classic.
She had 16 points in Serena’s season-opening win over FCW, 12 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks in a victory over Sandwich, 15 points and nine boards in a triumph over E-L in the LTC Tournament semifinals, and 12 points and 13 caroms in a victory over Henry-Senachwine.
The Lady Knights' guard led her 19-win team with 10.4 points per game, while posting averages of 4.0 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 4.5 steals.
She had 23 points, including a trio of 3-pointers, in a Heart of Illinois Conference win over FCW, 16 points in a victory over LaMoille-Ohio at the St. Bede Lady Bruins Christmas Classic, 14 points in an HOIC triumph over Fisher and posted a 10-point, four-assist, 10-steal contest in a win over Blue Ridge.
Earlville-Leland — Alex Koontz (So.), Julia Niles (Jr.), Jadyn Pickert (So.)
Fieldcrest — Madi Hock (Jr.), Lexi Jochums (Jr.), Emma Lorton (Sr.)
FCW — Elise Kane (So.), Liberty Vollmer (Sr.)
Marquette Academy — Hannah Cowie (Jr.), Maggie Hettel (Jr.)
Newark — Madi Malone (Fr.), Evie Martin (Jr.), Jocelyn Mitchell (So.)
Ottawa — Molly Harris (Jr.)
Paw Paw — Joslyn Hopkins (Sr.)
Sandwich — Josie Ness (Fr.), Jaylynn Vana (So.)
Seneca — Lexi Greve (Jr.), Abriana Jashari (Jr.)
Serena — Mackenzie Harris (Sr.), Susan Tuftie (Jr.)
Somonauk — Jessica Christiansen (Sr.)
Streator — Mallory Aukland (Sr.), Natalie Haynes (Fr.)