Nicole Adams, So., Gulf
Why we picked her: The consummate basketball junkie, Adams faced a smorgasbord of gimmick defenses this season, yet still averaged 21 points for a 22-5 team. When the box-and-ones got too burdensome, the 5-foot-9 point guard simply created opportunities for teammates (4.9 assists per game). She also rebounded (5.1 per game) and was money from the free-throw line (162-for-187).
Most impressive accomplishment: With defenses focused on containing her, Adams scored in double figures in 26 of the Bucs' 27 games, tallying 20 or more 18 times.
Future plans: Adams is bent on becoming a Division I player. To that end, she works weekly with separate strength and speed trainers, and travels to Orlando three times a week to play for an "exposure" (think glorified AAU) team.
Did you know? Adams' obsession with hoops was sparked by what she described as a superior yet obnoxious opponent she faced at a local YMCA league at age 12. "(Nicole) came to me and said, 'Can I be better than that girl?' " recalled her dad, Tom. "I said, 'If you commit, I'll put together a whole training program.' " Today, that program consists of 240 dribbling drills, 200 pushups and situps a night, and countless other workouts gleaned from hundreds of basketball tapes and DVDs.
C Shareka Maner, Sr., Nature Coast: Had double doubles in district final and lone playoff win
G/F Shantel Houston, Jr., Wesley Chapel: Carried Wildcats (16.9 ppg, 8.2 rpg) when center Janelle Mills went down
G Jenn Marshall, Jr., Nature Coast: Averaged 11.7 points; shot 83 percent from free-throw line
F Meghan Keough, So., Land O'Lakes: Averaged nearly a double double for 5A playoff team
F Kianna Mills, Jr., Gulf: Solid low-post complement (14.6 ppg, 8.9 rpg) to Nicole Adams
G Latrel Kirkland, Jr., Mitchell
G/F Regan Knapik, Jr., Wiregrass Ranch
G Jasmire Brown; Jr.; Hernando
F Kelly McCaffrey, Fr., Wiregrass Ranch
C Janelle Mills, Sr., Wesley Chapel
Central: McKenzie Burns, Amanda Morris, Tiki Relaford; Hernando Christian: Heidi Riley; Hudson: Cara Carley; Land O'Lakes: Kaitlynn Pacholke; Mitchell: Lashe Kirkland; Nature Coast: Crystal Anthony, Alyssa Joens; Pasco: Ashley Larkin, Lucy Schneider; Ridgewood: Lauren Vanker, Daylyn Williamson; Wesley Chapel: Hannah Noble
Coach of the Year
Karim Nohra, Wesley Chapel
Of all the player/coach selections made for these winter sports teams, this was the easiest. Hired in August, Nohra inherited a team with zero returning starters and led it to a 26-3 season that ended a game shy of the Class 5A state tournament. Even more astounding, Nohra's top player, 6-foot-2 Stetson signee Janelle Mills, missed 19 games with a broken wrist.