Two teams stood out as the best of the area in girls high school basketball, as Foster and George Ranch each had 19-plus wins in the 2018-19 season.
The Lady Falcons and Longhorns each reached the postseason, with the Lady Falcons going three rounds deep. Both teams were well represented on The Herald’s All-Area teams.
Foster took three of the all-area awards, including senior guard Micayla Hamilton being named the area’s most valuable player.
Hamilton was a four-year varsity starter with the Lady Falcons.
“Starting as a freshman on varsity forced me to mature and take on a leadership role that I wasn’t prepared for,” Hamilton said. “However, I believe that it shaped me into the mentor I was able to be my senior year.”
Hamilton led the Lady Falcons with 15.1 points per game and 2.9 assists per game.
“Coach (Nicole) Smith would always tell me, ‘A ship without a captain is bound to sink,’Hamilton said. “Being injured the first few games of the season made me step back and take a look at what she had been saying.
“When I was able to play again, I made it my priority to step up and lead the way as she believed I could.”
Sophomore forward Alicia Blanton was named the area’s defensive player of the year, leading Foster with 10.8 rebounds and 3.3 steals per game. She also scored 14.1 points per game.
Head coach Nicole Williams-Smith was named the coach of the year after leading the Lady Falcons to a 32-8 overall record and helping the Lady Falcons to go 12-4 in District 24-5A and reach the Region III-5A quarterfinals before losing to district champion and state finalist Hightower. Junior guard Sharlyne Dimalanta was a second-team selection as well.
George Ranch won 19 games despite a major turnover in its roster from a year ago. But the Longhorns got a surprising effort by freshman guard Savannah Velazquez, who led the team in scoring with 12.3 points and 4.0 rebounds per game. It was a very easy choice to name Velazquez the area’s newcomer of the year.
Junior guard Jaedyn Dunn was the offensive player of the year after averaging 12.3 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game. Her aggressive play was the spark George Ranch needed to finish 19-12 overall and 6-6 in District 23-6A play, along with getting a big win over Pearland Dawson for the district’s final playoff spot in a play-in game.
George Ranch also had two players named first-team all-area in senior forward Mi’lan Francis-Miller (5.9 points, 4.4 rebounds) and sophomore guard Amillion Fowler (4.4 points, 6.2 rebounds).
Travis also had a successful season despite missing out of the playoffs. The Lady Tigers went 18-14 in the season and 8-6 in District 20-6A for a fourth-place tie with Bush, but a player eligibility issue kept them out of the postseason.
Two Travis players made first-team all-area, led by senior forward Deiliah Van Campen, who led the Lady Tigers with 16.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.4 steals per game. Senior guard Ashley Williams was also named first-team with 10.7 points per game.
Brazos had the most surprising showing of any area team, as the Cougarettes won 11 games, including won three of its last four games to clinch a playoff spot, then got playoff wins over Falls City and Agua Dulce to reach the Region IV-2A quarterfinals before falling to District 27-2A rival Flatonia.
Senior guard Katherine Ressler was the leader of the team on the floor, and she was named to the all-area’s first team.
Despite having a new head coach and three sophomores on the roster, Lamar Consolidated won 17 games and got six wins in a very tough District 24-5A. The Lady Mustangs were led by the tough play of senior forward Ciarra Mutshtashi, who was a second-team all-area pick.
Terry had a tough run, winning only five games as the Lady Rangers only got one district win all season. But Terry had senior guard Reagan Blackburn named to the second team.
Needville struggled to win seven games in the season and only won one game in District 25-4A play, a 44-42 overtime win over Fulshear. The Lady Jays did have one player named second-team all-area in senior Camianne Buell.
Meanwhile, Fulshear took a couple more strides in its second season of varsity play, winning eight games, including going 4-8 in District 25-4A play, barely missing the playoffs. Senior guard Kylie Ashman was a second-team all-area selection.
East Bernard won only nine games in 2018-19, but the Brahmarettes did finish in fourth place in District 24-3A with a 6-8 record and reached the playoffs, where they lost to Anderson-Shiro in the first round. Two East Bernard players, Chesslee Karasek and Deaundra Smith, were honorable mention selections.