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Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014

All-Standard Democrat Girls Dream Team

Sunday, March 17, 2002

(Photo)
The All-Standard Democrat Girls Dream Team from left are: Delta's Rebecca Below, Dexter's Katie Dunlap, Charleston's Missy Whitney, Sikeston's Joy Daniel and Oran's Maria Eftink.
REBECCA BELOW

Delta, 6-0, Jr.

* Below had an outstanding year for Delta this season, averaging 18 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. The 6-foot junior shot 57 percent from the floor and 66 percent from the foul line, leading Delta to a 20-7 record and the 1A District 2 championship. With Below and teammate Rebecca Cook both coming back, the Lady Bobcats will be solid next season.

ON BELOW: "She moves with the ball very well and is tough to guard," said Dexter coach Gavin Miller. "You put a forward on her, she posts them up. You put a post player on her, she moves out and shoots the jumpshot. She poses a lot of problems for you when you try to man her. When you play zone, she's still tough to guard. (Delta is) going to be tough to beat next year with her."

MARIA EFTINK

Oran, 6-2, Sr.

* Eftink was one of the best all-around players in the region. The skilled, 6-foot-2 senior brought guard-like moves to the post, averaging 21 points, 11 rebounds and two blocked shots per game. She recently signed a letter of intent to play for Fontbonne College in St. Louis.

ON EFTINK: "She's one of the more improved players in the area," said Delta coach Randy White. "She's gotten a lot stronger, her offensive moves are a lot better and she does a good job on defense. With the personnel (Oran) had, she was forced to handle the ball quite a bit, and she did it well. I think she's going to have a lot of success in college, because they're going to have the guards to take that pressure off her. Somebody else will be able to get the ball to her in a scoring position."

MISSY WHITNEY

Charleston, 5-11, Soph.

* Whitney had a breakthrough sophomore year for the Lady Bluejays, leading Charleston to a 20-4 record. The 5-foot-11 center was dominant in the post, averaging 18.6 points, eight rebounds, two steals and 1.3 blocks a night. She shot 55 percent from the field and 68 percent from the foul line.

ON WHITNEY: "I think she's a big-time player," said Sikeston coach Lee Brooks. "She's the total package, probably one of the most complete players I've seen come out of Southeast Missouri when she's focused. She's like a guard in the open court, but she can also take you inside. Plus, she can jump like a guy. She's got some consistency problems, but when she's focused, there's nobody that can hold her."

JOY DANIEL

Sikeston, 5-10, Jr.

* Daniel was the go-to player on Sikeston's overachieving 16-10 team. The 5-foot-10 junior was solid in the regular season, then found another level in the 3A District 1 tournament. With above average height and strength, Daniel led the Lady Bulldogs to upset district wins over Perryville and Doniphan, two of the biggest victories in school history. She paced Sikeston in rebounds (124) and blocks (19) this year, averaging 9.5 points per game. Expectations will be high for Daniel next year as a senior.

ON DANIEL: "She's an awful nice player," said Doniphan coach Jimbo Blackwell. "I only saw her one time, but I was really impressed the time I saw her. She's tough inside and really caused us some problems -- she killed us. She's mobile and she uses her strength very well."

KATIE DUNLAP

Dexter, 5-11, Jr.

* With Dunlap leading the way, Dexter put together its best season ever in girls basketball, finishing 17-7. The 5-foot-11 junior averaged 15 points, nine rebounds, 1.3 blocks and 1.2 steals per game. She shot 58 percent from the field and 74 percent from the foul line. When the Lady Bearcats needed points this season, they looked to Dunlap. She has been Dexter's leading scorer for the last two seasons.

ON DUNLAP: "She handles herself pretty well on the inside," said NMCC coach Wayne Early. "If they get her the ball, she can score on you. I felt her best attribute was blocking out, she did it real well against us. She's also got a pretty good shot on her. We were able to match up with her two years ago, but didn't have anybody that could guard her this year."