ADA — After being dominated by upperclassmen in recent years, the Ada Evening News All-Area girls first team experienced a youth movement this season.
Only one of this year's first-teamers — Konawa's Sydney Stoup — is a senior, with juniors filling out the other five spots in the Super Six. That group is led by Stoup's teammate, Nikki Nail, who snapped a 12-year run by seniors when she was named Area Player of the Year.
Here's a capsule look at the rest of the best of the best in area girls basketball for 2009-10:
SYDNEY STOUP, Konawa
Stoup is one of the area's best all-around athletes, and one of its most decorated. She was a starter on the 2007 Konawa squad that won the Class 2A fast-pitch state title, and she has started for the Lady Tigers in two basketball state tournaments. The versatile 5-8 senior ranked second to Nail in scoring for Konawa this season at 12.7 points per game, and also averaged 3.3 rebounds while grabbing 87 steals and dishing out 55 assists for a team that entered the state tournament as the No. 1 seed in Class 2A for the second time in three seasons.
ERIN WALLING, Ada
The area's leading scorer this season at 15.8 points per game and top 3-point shooter at 43.9 percent, Walling was asked to carry a big chunk of the scoring and rebounding load for the Lady Cougars, who struggled through a disappointing 10-12 season. She was also second on the team to senior Catie Newport in rebounding at 4.7 per game, and she was the area's most accurate free-throw shooter, hitting 78.4 percent of her 74 attempts during the season.
SHANNA DAVIDSON, Tupelo
Another of the area's most complete athletes, Davidson has been a three-year star in both basketball and softball for the Lady Tigers, and she had a breakout junior season. In addition to ranking second to Walling in area scoring at 15.6 points per game, Davidson was the area leader in steals (with 99) and field goal percentage (54 percent) and was the only player to rank in the top three in those three categories, rebounding (7.7 per game) and 3-point field goal percentage (41 percent).
PRESLI MANUEL, Byng
Manuel was the area's top post player this season, and her scoring (13.7 points per game) and rebounding (seven per game) were major reasons the 14-10 Lady Pirates were one of the region's most improved teams. She suffered a serious knee injury in Byng's final game, but if she can come back at full strength next season, she will be the leader of an outstanding group of returning players for Matt Fike's squad.
JORDYN MILLS, Allen
Mills, whose father, Greg, has long been one of the area's most respected coaches, emerged as one of the area's most dangerous long-range shooters this season. She hit just over 40 percent of her 3-point attempts and averaged a team-best 12 points per game for an Allen squad that finished a surprising 18-8 and won both the Pontotoc Conference regular-season title and conference tournament.