— By GREG WEBB
The British jazz singer Sade was certainly not paying tribute to basketball, nor any particular cager, when she recorded “Smooth Operator” a few decades ago, but one could certainly cue up the song as background music for a highlight film featuring Aledo’s Alyssa Dry, the 2013-14 All-Parker County Girls Basketball Teams’ Most Valuable Player.
The junior guard was easily the top scorer in the county, but was also a prolific rebound and assist force that helped propel Aledo to another district championship and postseason run. Whether directing the Ladycats’ half-court offense or inciting fast breaks, Dry was a primary focus of opposing defenses, but was also the bane of offensive foes, recording 130 steals on the season.
The number of playoff teams Parker County produces each year is a testament to the level of talent in the area. Of the seven prep teams in the county, five moved to postseason play. The APC rolls reflect the talent on the playoff squads, but also issue earned kudos to the other competitive teams from the area.
While Dry sits alone as the MVP, the top offensive and defensive postings are shared shout-outs.
Aledo’s favoritely-monickered player, Justis Szczpanski-Beavers (and that is not the junior’s entire name), shares the Defensive MVP designation with Springtown’s Brooklyn Dauenhauer.
The superlative choices on offense are a study in contrast. While Brock junior Lexie Ducat prowled the paint for inside feeds to score for the Lady Eagles, Weatherford senior Abbye Shearmire was draining 3-pointers on the perimeter and tacking on free throws at an 85 percent clip. Both methods netted about the same results statistically and were both significant;y valuable to their respective teams’ success.
There were several very good candidates for APC’s Newcomer of the Year award, including Peaster’s well-rounded talent Baylee Chapman (a freshman) and Brock long-range threat Rachel Harrell (a sophomore). Both were the top newbies from their respective districts.