Section VII basketball had a new format for the 2013-14 season as everyone was combined into one Northern Basketball League.
The NBL’s Division I proved to be extremely competitive this season with five teams finishing over .500 on the year.
Beekmantown captured the division title with a near-perfect 13-1 NBL record — the lone loss coming to Saranac in the final regular season game of the season.
The Chiefs then did it again in the Section VII Class B championship game, knocking off the Eagles to capture the title.
Northern Adirondack, the lone Class C team in Division I, was also crowned sectional champion when it took down Seton Catholic in the Section VII Class C title game. For the Bobcats, it was their first ever sectional title.
The all-star teams and awards were selected by the NBL coaches.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
Shannon Ryan (Beekmantown)- Ryan, a junior, led the Northern Basketball League in scoring with a 23.9 point-per-game average. She was nearly unstoppable on the inside for the Eagles, only being held to single digits twice in 20 games on the season.
Ryan was also a force on the boards, and a stopper in the back of the defense. She blocked many shots on the season, and altered even more. Ryan finished the year with 1,663 career points after scoring 477 this season.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Jessica Barnhart (Northern Adirondack)- Barnhart, in her fourth season on the bench, made history for Northern Adirondack this season. The Bobcats finished 8-6 as the lone Class C team in Division I, but held their own, which helped them in the sectional playoffs.
Northern Adirondack finished the year 15-7, captured its first Section VII Class C sectional championship and picked up a state playoff victory over St. Lawrence. Barnhart, since taking over, has helped the Bobcats improve each season.
Meghan Strong (AuSable Valley)- Strong, a junior, was the floor general and leading scorer for the Patriots on the season. She finished the year with an average of 12.3 points per game.
Strong finished in double figures in 13 games on the season and connected on a team-high 33 points. She helped lead AuSable Valley to a 14-5 record and a trip to the Section VII Class B semifinals.
Kayla Napper (Saranac)- Napper, a junior, was both the leading scorer for the Chiefs as well as the primary ball handler. She hit double figures in 15 games on the season, including a season-high 25 points against Canton in the early part of the season.
Napper, who averaged 12.3 points per game, helped lead the underdog Chiefs to an upset victory over Beekmantown in the Section VII Class B championship game and into the state regional finals.
Kayla Carder (Northeastern Clinton)- Carder, a freshman, is the youngest all-star this season. She averaged 15.8 points per game to lead the way for the Cougars on the year.
Carder was a force on the inside for Northeastern Clinton. She finished the year hitting double digits in all but three games on the season. Carder had an 18-point, 25-rebound performance in a victory over Northern Adirondack late in the year.
Taylor Durnin (Northern Adirondack)- Durnin, a sophomore, was the leading scorer on the Class C champion Bobcats this season. She finished the year with 10.7 points per game.
Durnin had a season-high of 26 points in a game against Saranac Lake. She was part of a solid nucleus that helped Northern Adirondack into the Class C state regional finals.
Logan Snow (AuSable Valley)- Snow, a senior, became the third scorer the Patriots desperately needed this season. She finished the year averaging 10 points per game, and connected on 26 3-pointers.
Snow had a habit of coming through in big games for AuSable Valley. She had a season-high 27 points in a game against Beekmantown in the early part of the season, while also hitting five 3-pointers.
Summer Gillespie (Saranac)- Gillespie, a junior, finished the season averaging 9.9 points per game for the Chiefs. She also connected on 12 3-pointers on the year.
Gillespie was strong all season on both ends of the floor, and hit for double figures on 12 occasions. Her biggest moment of the year, however, came in the Section VII Class B semifinal game against AuSable Valley when she drained a floating layup at the buzzer to lift the Chiefs to the victory.
Emily Anderson (Beekmantown)- Anderson, a senior, was a valuable asset on the inside for the Eagles. She finished the year with a 9.4 point-per-game average and hit for double digits 10 times on the season.
Anderson also provided strong defense and was a force on the glass for Beekmantown.
Meghan Mazzella (Peru)- Mazzella, a junior, was the lone double-digit scorer for the Indians this season. She finished the year with an average of 12.1 points per game.
Mazzella was a bright spot for the young Indians this season, as she hit double digits in 13 games on the season, including a 20-point performance in a win over Northeastern Clinton earlier in the season.
Taylor Saltus (AuSable Valley)- Saltus, a senior, was the third Patriot to average double figures this season as she finished the year with a 10.7 point-per-game average.
Saltus had a season-high 22 points in an early season victory over Newark and hit for double figures in 10 games on the season.
Grace Kelly (Beekmantown)- Kelly, a junior, provided leadership and ball handling on the perimeter for the Eagles on the season. She also tossed in 8.3 points per game and connected on 16 3-pointers.
With Beekmantown’s strength on the inside, Kelly provided some much-needed shooting from the outside for the Eagles.
Northern Basketball League
Div. I All-Stars
Meghan Strong (AuSable Valley), Kayla Napper (Saranac), Kayla Carder (Northeastern Clinton), Taylor Durnin (Northern Adirondack), Logan Snow (AuSable Valley).
Summer Gillespie (Saranac), Emily Anderson (Beekmantown), Meghan Mazzella (Peru), Taylor Saltus (AuSable Valley), Grace Kelly (Beekmantown).
Madison McCabe (AuSable Valley), Kenna Guynup (Beekmantown), Jillian Scott (Northern Adirondack), Shaylyn Rowe (Northeastern Clinton), Maddison Flynn (Peru), Ashley Marlow (Plattsburgh), Kaitlyn Bowman (Saranac), Katie Buckley (Saranac Lake).
Most Valuable Player: Shannon Ryan (Beekmantown).
Coach of the Year: Jessica Barnhart (Northern Adirondack).
Ray Holmes Sportsmanship Award: Saranac Lake.