Herald's All-Area girls basketball features leaders

Greg Mast
The Ottawa Herald
The 2021 Ottawa Herald All-Area Basketball team members are front row (from left), Bethan Pearson, Wellsville; Mary Roehl, Central Heights; Lily Meyer, Central Heights; Taryn Compton, Central Heights; back row, Jayden Troutman, Wellsville; Sofia Ficken, Ottawa; Brooklyn Hadl, Ottawa; Kirsten Evans, Ottawa; Allison Swank, West Franklin. Not pictured is Lexi McDaniel, Wellsville.

Sports can be a vehicle to showcase athletes’ talents, but also their character.

The 2021 Ottawa Herald All-Area girls basketball team members are not only good all-around athletes, but are leaders in their schools.

The all-area team members are:

Taryn Compton, jr., Central Heights

Compton took her game to another level this season. She led the Vikings in scoring at 7.6 points per game and made treys (33). She had six games where she canned three or more treys. She was an all-league selection. Compton was a star during the cross country season, finishing 18th at state.

"Taryn had a really good year for us,” Central Heights coach Doug North said. “We all know she's a big time threat from the 3-point line, but she made strides this year in regards to attacking the basket and getting to the free-throw line where she shot 60%. She's making that important transition from being just a shooter to being able to get to the rim and be a scorer."

Lily Meyer, jr., Central Heights

Meyer was the quarterback of the Vikings. She grew into a floor general that made everything run smooth. She averaged 5.5 points and led the team in assists. She had game highs in points (19) and 3-point field goals (5) against West Franklin.

"It was so gratifying to see Lily emerge as a leader for us this year,” North said. “As the point guard, she did whatever the team needed her to do whether it be handling and distributing the ball, playing great defense or at times being more of a scorer. I'm excited to see her elevate her game even more her senior year."

Meyer was also a cross country standout.

Mary Roehl, sr., Central Heights

Roehl was a mainstay for the Vikings throughout her prep career. Roehl rebounded from an injury-plagued junior season to have a solid senior campaign. She averaged 7 points a game. She had two games (Mission Valley and West Franklin) where she made four treys.

"Mary was a four-year starter for us,” North said. “After missing the last two months of the season last year with an injury, it was great to see her have a healthy senior season. She stepped up her game at times when the team needed a lift most notably hitting some big baskets at key times this year in our wins over Chase County and West Franklin."

Kirsten Evans, jr., Ottawa

Evans kept getting stronger and stronger as the season progressed. She was the main ball handler for the Cyclones. Her improvement led opponents to curtail their full-court pressure. She became a constant offensive threat this season. She averaged 6.9 points and led the team in rebounds (95), assists (48) and minutes (568).

Eans is a three-sport standout for the Cyclones. She helped lead the volleyball team to third at the state tourney this fall. She earned all-state volleyball honors. She was an all-league selection in volleyball and is a two-time all-area team member for volleyball and basketball.

Sofia Ficken, jr., Ottawa

Ficken became a solid contributor in every facet on the floor. The all-around athlete used her speed and size to get off shots in the lane and had three-point range. She averaged 7.2 points a game and was one of the team leaders in rebounds (80), blocks (11), minutes (509) and assists (22).

She also is a three-sport standout. She was a member of the state-placing volleyball team. She earned all-league honors in basketball. She is a two-time basketball all-area team member.

Brooklyn Hadl, so., Ottawa

Hadl made a big jump from her freshman season. She became more comfortable playing at the varsity level. She was a tough player to guard because of her aggressive driving ability. She led Ottawa in scoring at 7.7 points, charges taken (5) and free throws made (71). She was among team leaders in steals (28) and rebounds (53).

Lexi McDaniel, sr., Wellsville

McDaniel had her best overall basketball season. She averaged 7.9 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.1 steals per game. She is a three-sport standout for the Eagles. She is a four-time all-area selection for cross country.

Bethany Pearson, jr., Wellsville

Pearson had big shoes to fill this season as the Eagles’ point guard. She filled that role well. She averaged 6.8 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.3 steals per game.

Jadyn Troutman, sr., Wellsville

Troutman is involved in so many activities at Wellsville. She spent her high school career excelling in volleyball, basketball, track, softball and cheerleading. By the time she finishes in May, she will have 15 athletic letters.

Troutman became the go-to player on the basketball court. She averaged 17.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.8 steals, 1.0 steals and 2.6 blocks per game. She had a career-best 31 points against Prairie View this season, which put her in the top 10 for individual points in a single game.

Troutman was a first-team all-league selection. She is a multiple all-area team member in volleyball and basketball. She signed to play volleyball for Johnson County Community College.

Allison Swank, jr., West Franklin

Swank is driven for success. She helped lead the volleyball team to third place at state in the fall. She followed that up with a solid basketball season. She averaged 8.0 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game.

“Allison has a great desire to get better and is committed to our program here at West Franklin,” West Franklin coach Nancy Reed said. "She is passionate about the game and works on her game year round. She pushes her teammates to be the best they can be. Allison led us in scoring and rebounding this year. We moved her from a forward to a post and she responded well. She began the season with some double-double nights for us and we began to look to her as our go-to scorer. We are looking for some really big things from her in her senior season."

Swank was an all-league selection.