It was a school-record year for Melissa Lady Cardinals basketball and several top players from that team have been aptly recognized in the recently released District 11-4A superlatives and honors list. Earning Co-Newcomer of the Year respect was sophomore guard Mia Ellis while senior guard Sally Clemmons, senior forward Charley Lane and junior forward Ashley Gideon picked up All-District honors. Additionally, junior guard Mya Ellis was named to the All-Defensive Team and Honorable Mention recognition went to senior guard Allie Graham and sophomore guard Jaydyn Bullard.
Reaching Academic All-District status were Lane, Clemmons, Graham, Gideon, Mia Ellis, senior Bionca Mays and freshman Grace Moothart.
First-year Melissa head coach Chris Oestreich led the 2019 Lady Cards to an 8-2 district mark, including a final-game win at previously unbeaten district champ Aubrey’s house. Then in the playoffs, second-seed Melissa rolled past Dallas Carter, Carrollton Ranchview and Dallas Pinkston to reach the regional tournament for the first time in school history.
Oestreich had plenty of good things to say about his post-season awardees.
“Mia receiving the Newcomer of the Year award really has me pumped,” he said. “She worked hard to create a role for herself this year and the hard work paid off for her and us. She was a key down the stretch hitting big shots for us in almost every game. Early in the year I am not sure anyone, including Mia, would have imagined her doing what she did but the hard work and vision paid off for her.” Mia Ellis logged 43 steals with 105 rebounds while shooting 32-percent from the field this season.
“Sally was huge for us this year,” Oestreich said. “She led us in scoring, assists and steals, and was our second-leading rebounder. She was the catalyst for our offense and many times made big defensive plays that turned into scores for us.” Clemmons collected 13.9 points per game and logged 175 rebounds on the season. Her steal and assist totals were 98 and 119, respectively.
“Ashley was our most consistent kid,” Oestreich said. “Her effort was a huge factor in our success this year. She was our second-leading scorer and our leader in rebounds. I’m not sure you can put a value on the way she created offense for us by running the floor and being in the right place at the right time. I am excited she is back and she will be a big key to our success next season.” Gideon shot 57-percent from the field and pulled down 260 rebounds with 47 blocks and 64 steals.
“Charley coming over from an outstanding volleyball season gave us a stabilizing player who could play multiple positions for us. She hit key 3s in several of our big wins down the stretch and made key plays that only a coach’s kid would know to make. Without her we wouldn’t have finished as strongly as we did.” (Lane is the daughter of former Melissa head coach Heather Lane.) Lane nabbed 62 steals and 130 boards while recording 83 assists on the season.
Regarding Mya Ellis’ defensive award, Oestreich said, “Mya being on the All-Defensive Team was a no-brainer in my mind. Her energy and effort wore on teams as the game went on. Her defensive pressure and tenacity created turnovers and disrupted opposing teams’ offense. I’m excited that she is back for another year.” Mya Ellis collected 103 rebounds and 73 steals this season.
For Honorable Mention selectees Bullard and Graham, Oestreich noted, “Jaydyn and Allie played key roles for us off the bench, giving us needed scoring and defense. As a senior, Allie was a great leader and an example for our younger kids. Jaydyn has such a huge upside and with the graduation of key seniors I really expect her to blossom next year.”
2019 DISTRICT 11-4A SUPERLATIVES
MVP Chloe Malone, Sanger
Offensive MVP Kaia Saylor, Aubrey
Co-Defensive MVPs Bre Traylor, Anna
Miranda Nowak, Aubrey
Co-Newcomers Mia Ellis, Melissa
Rhianna Stevenson, Aubrey
Coaching Staff Aubrey