The Enquirer’s All-Area Girls Basketball Team: Hartselle’s Marchbanks and Priceville’s Walker named co-Players of the Year
They arrived on the Morgan County high school basketball scene earlier than most players. Their varsity careers have mirrored each other.
Big things were predicted for Hartselle’s Masyn Marchbanks and Priceville’s Jenna Walker when they first donned their respective varsity jerseys as eighth-graders.
They had to step up and fill the shoes of some highly decorated players who graduated last year. They met the expectations of their coaches and teammates in filling their new roles as the primary scorer and leader of their teams.
For their efforts this season, Marchbanks and Walker have been chosen as the Enquirer’s co-Players of the Year.
Marchbanks is a 5’8 sophomore guard for the Hartselle Lady Tigers. She has been part of the Lady Tigers’ program for three seasons and was named to the 6A honorable mention team this season.
Marchbanks was asked to fill the shoes of Moriah Taylor, a three-time first-team all-state selection who signed with Georgia State.
“This year I knew my role on the team would become a lot bigger now that Moriah had graduated,” said Marchbanks. “It wasn’t so much about having to change my game, it was more of getting myself mentally prepared for the role I was about to take on both on and off the court.”
Marchbanks season came to an early end due to an injury suffered in the first round of the Morgan County Tournament.
Up until her injury, she was averaging 16.4 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 3.5 steals per game. Her 16.4 points and 3.5 steals per game were tops in the Enquirer’s coverage area. She eclipsed the 1,000 career point mark in a victory at #2 Athens early in January.
Marchbanks was called on to be a leader on the court for her team this year. She didn’t let her season-ending injury diminish her role. She could be seen cheering on her teammates during the game and giving them words of advice and encouragement on the bench.
“As a leader, you look forward to the day that your teammates rise to the occasion and do what they’ve been capable of doing,” Marchbanks said. “Seeing my teammates give all they had in our Morgan County Championship victory over Priceville was the highlight of my season.”
Marchbanks has received scholarship offers from several Division I schools including UAB, Western Carolina, and Southern Miss.
Walker is a 5’8 point guard for the Priceville Lady Bulldogs. She has been a member of the Lady Bulldogs program for four seasons and was named to the 4A All-State First Team this season.
She was asked to step into the role of primary scorer that was previously held by Kathleen Wheeler, who signed with Samford. Wheeler, a two-time first-team all-state selection, including two first-team selections, left the Lady Bulldogs as their all-time leading scorer with 2,044 points.
“I knew with our team losing three starters from last season, I’d need to play a little differently when our team needed more experience and scoring,” said Walker. “I have always spent time training to improve ballhandling skills and scoring. This year I was able to rely on that training to help our team when they needed my scoring abilities as much as my passing and ball handling.”
Walker led her team with 14.1 points, 3.2 rebounds, 5.4 assists, and 2.5 steals per game this season. She led her team in all categories except for rebounding.
She went over the 1,000 point mark and the 700 assist mark during the season.
Walker led her team back to Wallace State for the Northwest Regional for the third consecutive season.
“Returning to Wallace was so special because we know we aren’t guaranteed postseason runs from year to year, and we are always thankful to get the chance to play in the regionals, “said Walker. “We fell just short against Deshler, who went on to play in the State Championship. We are using that as motivation to help make an even better run at it next year!”
Walker has committed to Western Kentucky University to continue her playing career following her graduation in 2021.
Masyn Marchbanks, Guard, Sophomore, Hartselle
Marchbanks averaged 16.4 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 3.5 steals per game to lead the Lady Tigers.
She was named 6A Honorable Mention All-State. She has received scholarship offers from several Division I schools including UAB, Western Carolina, and Southern Miss.
Jenna Walker, Point Guard, Junior, Priceville
Walker averaged 14.1 points, 3.2 rebounds, 5.4 assists, and 2.5 steals per game to lead the Lady Bulldogs.
She was named to 4A First Team All-State. She has committed to Western Kentucky University.
Lillyanna Cartee, Forward, Junior, Hartselle
Cartee averaged 10.1 points, 8 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 2.4 steals per game for the Lady Tigers.
Evaiah Burrows, Forward, Senior, Brewer
Burrows averaged 11.7 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 2.4 steals per game to lead the Lady Patriots.
She has signed with Faulkner University.
Emma Broadfoot, Guard, Senior, Danville
Broadfoot averaged 14.1 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 1.5 steals per game to lead the Lady Hawks.
She scored her 1,000th career point late in the season She has signed with UNA to play softball.
Brewer: Jacie Andrews, Leisha Steger, and Hope West
Falkville: Makenzie Veal and Sydnee Fitzgerald
Hartselle: Hailey Holshouser
Priceville: Zoey Benson and Abigail Garrison