Girls earn basketball all-state honors
REED CITY — Four local girls basketball players have been named to the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan All-State team.
Reed City’s Emma Lockhart and Kalee Hensel earned special mention in Class B. Pine River’s Jamie Justin was a Class C All-State honoree while teammate Kassy Nelson earned special mention.
Reed City coach Brian Koopman said both Lockhart and Hensel played a big role in his team’s 17-4 season.
Lockhart averaged 12.3 points, 2.7 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 5.2 steals per game in leading the Coyote offense.
Emma put in a tremendous amount of time during the offseason in playing basketball across the country,” Koopman said. “I think she’s one of the premiere point guards in the area. She finds people and she’s able to shoot the ball well.”
Hensel’s role expanded in her senior season, averaging 11.3 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists for the Coyotes.
“She improved a lot in her ball handling and shooting,” Koopman said of Hensel. “Her ball handling and defense helped her become a better player this season.”
Justin averaged 17.1 points per game to lead Pine River to a Highland Conference and Class C district title this season, adding 5.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists to her resume.
“I thought Jamie was the best player in our area,” said Pine River coach Shawn Ruppert. “I thought she was the most consistent.”
Ruppert added that because Pine River defeated many teams by decisive margins, Justin’s playing time was frequently limited in the second half and her overall numbers weren’t higher than they could have been.
Nelson improved in her sophomore season for the Bucks, averaging 12 points. 4.9 rebounds and three steals per game.
”I thought Kassy improved a lot from last year,” Ruppert said. “She was one of the better rebounders we had.”