The Poolville Lady Monarchs earned a spot in the Class 2A postseason picture in 2019-20, finishing as a bi-district finalist, the end to a campaign which recently netted the group four all-district honors (District 11-2A).
Poolville came away with two first-team and second-team selections apiece, led by junior point guard Payton Jennings and junior shooting forward Brooklyn Hensley who both earned first-team honors.
Lady Monarchs’ Head Coach Jennifer Fricke said Jennings proved a force for her team in essentially every statistical category.
“Payton is our reliable point guard,” Fricke said.
“She carries a big offensive load, can be a dangerous shooter from anywhere on the court, but her court vision and passing is what makes her one of the best point guards in the region.
“She stuffed the stat sheet, averaging 11.6 points per game, 6.2 rebounds per game from the guard spot, 5.2 steals per game and 7.6 assists per game, with over a plus-one turnover ratio.”
Hensley, who averaged 12.6 points per game, 9.1 rebounds per game and two steals per game, showed great versatility out on the court, Fricke said, something which was even more impressive considering the junior battled through injury.
“Brooklyn was our post presence on both sides of the ball, showing her versatility playing physical defense in the half court, but also being a presence at the top of our press,” Fricke said.
“Her ability to create shots on the low block and also get the team second chance opportunities with her rebounds, along with her other intangibles made her a force in district. She was so invaluable to our team’s success, despite playing through a serious foot injury.”
The Lady Monarchs’ second-team selections included junior shooting guard Lexi Heiser and junior Bentley Bryan.
Fricke said Heiser consistently sparked the team with her infectious energy, while often taking on the responsibility of guarding opposing teams’ best players.
“Lexi was our leading scorer on the season with 12.9 points per game,” Fricke said.
“She could bring the speed and energy to change games on both ends of the court and averaged 3.8 rebounds per game and 3.5 steals per game. Lexi also carried the burden night in and night out of guarding the best offensive player on the opposing team. She really stepped up her defensive game this year and was our Energizer Bunny, especially in the press.”
Fricke also praised Bryan’s play, saying the junior secured herself a spot in the team’s starting lineup at Christmas and has backed up that decision with her play ever since.
““Bentley, our six foot, one inch post could not only control the boards on both ends, averaging 6.9 rebounds per game, but also could stretch the floor with her shooting, where she added just under six points per game,” Fricke said.