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GIRLS' BASKETBALL: Park’s Puskarich Named to Class AAA First Team

Teammate Robb, JM’s Howard, Montes are third-team selections

March 25, 2012
By RANDALL JETT The Exponent Telegram , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

CLARKSBURG - The buzz coming into the girls' high school basketball tournament surrounded Class AA Scott's Makenzie White and Class A St. Joseph's Mychal Johnson, but by the end of the four-day event, there was just as much excitement about the abilities of Bridgeport's Miki Glenn.

The junior point guard cemented herself as the top player in Class AAA, being named captain of the all-state first team chosen by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association for the 2011-12 season.

This season, Glenn averaged 18.8 points, 6.5 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 4.1 steals, and shot 78 percent from the foul line, while leading Bridgeport to a 26-2 record. Glenn also surpassed the 1,000-point mark in her career, sitting at 1,189 points.

To say Glenn was the focal point of the Indians in their run to a runner-up finish is an understatement, and even her coach had a hard time describing just what she meant to her team this season.

''It's hard to put it in words,'' Bridgeport coach Dave Marshall said. ''Not just the obvious things like scoring points, getting the assists and her great defense, but just her ability to think the game out there.

''You hear stories about Larry Bird. Larry Bird was always the first one in the gym 2 or 3 hours before the game working on getting shots in and things like that, and always staying later. That's kind of Miki. She's rarely misses any kind of workout. If we're lifting weights in July, she's always there. When we're running hills in October, she's always there. She'll show up in April, and she'll work hard the whole time. Everybody knows that. These girls kind of feed off each other, but if your all-stater doesn't have that mentality, then it becomes very difficult for everyone else to buy into it."

Glenn shined at the state tournament as well, topping Class AAA in points scored (63), scoring average (21.0), assists (20) and steals (7).

Not that Glenn noticed.

As unassuming as they come off the court, Glenn is a fierce competitor on it, slashing to the basket to score or kicking passes out to her teammates for easy buckets and playing relentless defense.

Still, she credited her teammates with earning her the honor of being named captain and making the first team for the second straight season.

''It's definitely something I wouldn't get without my teammates,'' Glenn said. ''I know people don't like to hear that, but I honestly don't think if we hadn't made it that far, I wouldn't have got this honor. It's all on them.

''It's a special honor. It's definitely a tribute to them and how well the coach I've had - he's done an amazing job pushing me whenever I've just wanted to quit. He pushes me through it, and it's helped me get this far in my career.''

Adding to her prowess, Glenn converted from power forward to point guard in the offseason.

"It's put the ball in my hands a lot more, and I love that," Glenn said. "It allows me to initiate the offense, and it just helped me get to the basket more and just do what I can do - get people the ball when they need it. It's helped me control things a little bit more."

Joining Glenn as returning first-team selections were Wheeling Park's Emily Puskarich and South Charleston's Brittany Gordon.

Puskarich led the Patriots to the semifinals of the state tournament this season and a 22-5 record. The junior guard averaged 19 points, six rebounds and four assists.

The Black Eagles advanced to the state tournament and a 20-4 record behind Gordon. The senior guard averaged 23 points this season.

Greenbrier East's Bianca Andre and Princeton's McKenzie Akers moved up from the second team and Robert C. Byrd's Alicia Noble moved up from third team to garner first-team honors this season.

Andre led the Spartans to their first state title since the 1981 season. The senior forward averaged 20 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and two steals as East finished the season 26-1.

Akers is a three-year starter for the Tigers, who ended the season with a 14-8 record. The junior point guard averaged 21.6 points, 6.8 assists and 4.4 rebounds this season.

Noble guided the Flying Eagles to a 16-10 mark and back to the state tournament for the first time since 2009. The junior power forward averaged 17.5 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.8 steals, and also made 71 percent of her free throws.

Rounding out the first-team selections are Huntington's Kiana Evans and Woodrow Wilson's Olivia Moore.

Evans led the Highlanders to a 20-7 record and the semifinals of the state tournament. The junior guard averaged 20.5 points and eight rebounds this season.

Moore paced the Flying Eagles to a 15-9 record in her senior season, while averaging 18 points.

Spring Valley's Megan Perry captains a second team that includes Nicholas County's Shealyn Shafer, Hurricane's Allie Browne, University's Mariah Callen, South Charleston's Keke Allen, George Washington's Alexa Peoples, Greenbrier East's Anna Hammaker and Bridgeport's Courtney Small.

The third team is captained by Parkersburg South's Jenna McAtee, and includes Morgantown's Brianna Nuzem, Spring Valley's Madison Morris, George Washington's Adrian Cunningham, Wheeling Park's Haley Robb, Logan's Shayna Gore and the John Marshall duo of Alexis Montes and Kylie Howard.

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