Used to be all-star recognition on these pages was reserved mainly for seniors, a few juniors, and once in a great while, the odd sophomore or freshman sensation. Not anymore. Players are becoming more and more skilled at a younger age, and our exhibit to hammer home that point is this year’s select group of nine Evening Sun all-stars, two-thirds of which are underclassmen.
Still, while the quantity of seniors is low, the quality is indeed superb. Two of those three seniors played for the team with the best overall record – and winning percentage – in Chenango County this year, Unadilla Valley. Seniors Amanda Off and Jordan Anderson, the former winning our scoring title, finished one and two overall in local scoring, and led their club to its first Midstate Athletic Conference championship.
Off and Anderson, all-star alumni from last season, completed their four-year careers as the number one and two all-time leading scorers in their school’s history. Not too shabby a legacy to leave.
Along with our other senior selection, returning all-star Kaitlin Gorton of Greene, we have four juniors, one sophomore, and one freshman If next season plays out anything like this past one, we expect an even mix of newcomers and returning veteran.
Making up the rest our all-star collection are Jenni Borfitz and Breanna Cashman of Norwich; Jordan VanAlthuis and Lilly Berg of Sherburne-Earlville; Taylor Davis of Unadilla Valley; and Morgan Bullis of Bainbridge-Guilford.
All-star selections were based on our observations of players this season and the recommendations of area coaches. Players are listed alphabetically.
Jordan Anderson, sr., 5-foot-2, Unadilla Valley
Anderson, a four-year starter for UV – just like Off – finished her distinguished career as the number two all-time scorer at UV with 928 points. A fearless competitor who regularly drove to the basket amongst players much bigger than herself, Anderson went to the foul line more than any player in Chenango County over the past two seasons, and this year alone she averaged nearly 8.5 foul shots per game. In addition to her 13.3 points per game average, Anderson rounded out her game with 4.4 assists, 3.6 steals, and 3.7 rebounds per game. She was particularly effective in the MAC championship game scoring a game-high 17 points in her club’s first league title. “Jordan has been the leader of this team since she was a freshman, and she showed her heart and determination in the MAC championship,” said UV coach Brandi Backus
Lilly Berg, fr., 6-foot-1, Sherburne-Earlville
In terms of low-post play, Berg was as polished a freshman as we’ve seen in some time. Berg led the Marauders with 254 points this season and shared the team lead at 12.7 points per game, but she was easily the most consistent scorer reaching double figures 17 times in 20 games, the best on her club this season. “She obviously drew a lot of attention on the inside, and that led to open shots for her teammates,” said S-E coach Karen Mulligan. “She rebounds well on both ends of the floor, and does a great job of running the floor. As she continues to get stronger and mature, she should be one of the best big girls in our league over the next few years.” Berg averaged a team-best 8.6 rebounds and 1.4 blocked shots. She was over 20 points three times this season scoring a season-high 23 points against powerhouse Holland Patent.