By David Rogers. March 5, 2017. BOONE, NC — Her team may have “only” finished second in the Northwestern Conference regular season as well as in the championship tournament, but the other Northwestern Conference coaches certainly appreciated the job that the Pioneers’ first year head coach Laura Barry did in turning around the women’s basketball program. In a press release received Saturday night, Barry was named “Coach of the Year,” while three of her players received all-conference honors.
COVER IMAGE: Watauga head coach Laura Barry (center) wonders about a call against her Pioneers at South Caldwell. All photographic images by David Rogers for Blowing Rock News
Junior guard Madie Darner and senior guard Karson Hamrick were named to the all-Northwestern Conference team, whle freshman guard Brooke Byrd received honorable mention recognition. Freedom High School’s (Morganton) Ariyana Williams was named “Player of the Year” for the conference.
The entire all-conference women’s team:
- Makenzie Starnes, South Caldwell
- Keyana Cardoza, Hickory
- A’mya McClain, Hickory
- Kylea Cooper, St. Stephens
- Madie Darner, Watauga
- Karson Hamrick, Watauga
- Abbey Setzer, Fred T. Foard
- Ariyana Williams, Freedom
- Amaryah Corpening, Freedom
- Madison Bailey, Freedom
- Blakley Crooks, Freedom
- Kyndall Warren, Hibriten
- Makayley Lovelace, Patton
- Victoria Eckard, Hickory
- Sierra Davenport, Freedom
- Lacey Annas, South Caldwell
- Amiya Randles, St. Stephens
- Brooke Byrd, Watauga
In Saturday’s women’s action, Freedom lost in the North Carolina 3A Regional Finals to Hickory Ridge, 55-42. In the 1A Regional Finals, Mount Airy defeated Avery County, 49-38.
Men’s All-Conference Selections
On the men’s side, Watauga senior forward Jeremy Ringler was named to the Northwestern Conference.
Conference champion Freedom placed three on the squad, including Jakari Dula, Fletcher Abee and Niguel Moore. Representing Hickory was Kaleb Hewitt and Jaquan Thurman, while Hibriten placed Anderson Keller, David Patterson, and Avery Keller on the team. Besides Watauga’s Ringler, other schools with single representatives include St. Stephens’ Will Shumate, Fred T. Foard’s Caleb Schmidt, Patton’s Austin Spurlin, and South Caldwell’s Alex Haigler.
Coach of the Year honors went to Patton’s Dennis Brittain, while Player of the Year recognition was afforded Hibriten’s Anderson Keller.