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All-Hillsborough County girls basketball team

Sickles’ Amber Henson and Jordan Davis, the All-Hillsborough County players of the year, are both a bit superstitious. Henson must wear the same socks and shoes, and Davis had a certain late-season meal plan.

WILLIE J. ALLEN JR. | Times

Sickles’ Amber Henson and Jordan Davis, the All-Hillsborough County players of the year, are both a bit superstitious. Henson must wear the same socks and shoes, and Davis had a certain late-season meal plan.

Girls player of the year

F/C Amber Henson, Jr., Sickles

Why we chose her: Repeat performances are rare, but we honor Henson for a second straight season because she has continued to be the county's most dominant player. The 6-foot-4 Henson averaged 22.1 points, 12.1 rebounds and 4.9 blocks a game, leading the Gryphons to a 25-4 record. Along the way, she has added to an impressive resume that — we said this last year, too — could have her leave as the most decorated girls basketball player the area has seen. Her consistency (20 doubles doubles) stood out, as did her play in big games (29 points in win over Tampa Catholic, a 25-point average in the Fort Myers Dunbar holiday tournament and 33 points in region quarterfinal win over Naples Gulf Coast).

Biggest accomplishment: After leading the Gryphons to the region semifinals last year, Henson guided Sickles to the region final this season, further than any girls basketball team in school history.

Future plans: Henson has committed to play at Duke, a women's basketball national power. She was also considering Florida, Maryland, North Carolina, Stanford and Texas. It was tempting to join her older brother, UNC freshman John Henson, but she was drawn to Duke's medical program.

Did you know? Henson is slightly superstitious. She wears the same pair of white socks and shoes for every game. "I just feel like I have to wear the same ones for each game or it doesn't feel right." Case in point: In a game against Hillsborough this year, she didn't wear her usual pair of Nikes. "I was playing horrible, so I got my dad to get my shoes."

First team

F Sarah Brennan, Sr., Tampa Catholic: Averaged nearly a double double (14.1 points per game, 9.9 rebounds per game) for Crusaders.

F Michelle Taylor, Sr., Plant: Led Panthers in points (16.3), rebounds (6.5), assists (4.1) and steals (6.1).

G Colette Eule, Sr., Tampa Catholic: Averaged 19.5 points and was 11-for-11 at free throw line at state.

G Jade Givens, Sr., Jefferson: County's top point guard was the engine to Dragons' 4A final four run.

C Shayla Wilson, Jr., Jefferson: In six postseason games, averaged 12.0 points, 10.3 rebounds.

Second team

F Shayla Cooper, Fr., Wharton

F Deandra Davis, Sr., Spoto

G Laurie Beaty, Jr., Jefferson

G Meghan Keough, Jr., Tampa Catholic C Jasmine Rodriguez, Sr., Tampa Bay Tech

Honorable mention

Academy of the Holy Names: Selena Castillo; Brooks-DeBartolo: Keyann Powell; Blake: Erica Young; Cambridge: Rachael Bode; Chamberlain: Clarice Devine; Durant: Taylor Broadnax; East Bay: Shytina Harley, Layla Johnson; Freedom: Shaunice Hobbs, Kaitlynn Pacholke; Hillsborough: Khia Grubbs, Jasmine Hammond; Jefferson: Chantrell Frazier; Leto: Rachel Reid; Plant: Kelly Brennan; Plant City: Jade Forte, Michelle Sanders; Riverview: Ashley Favors, Faith Woodard; Seffner Christian: Arielle Jadlowski; Sickles: Lindsey Botts, Bre Crum; Erica Early; Spoto: Brianna Thomas, Chelsea White; Strawberry Crest: Shamaria Engram; Tampa Bay Tech: Dasia Daniels, Leria Jenrette; Tampa Prep: Latora Lofgren; Tampa Catholic: Kai Jones, Micah Kroll; Wharton: Tesha Hanson

Coach of the year

Nancy Kroll, Tampa Catholic

In her fourth year at Tampa Catholic, Kroll won the school's first state title by beating Orlando Bishop Moore in the Class 3A final, becoming the first county team to win a state title since 1996. Kroll has averaged 25 wins a year in her six-year high school head coaching career.

All-Hillsborough County girls basketball team 03/20/10 [Last modified: Saturday, March 20, 2010 11:16pm]
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