Cardinal seniors finish with all-conference honors
|Newton senior Kaylie Rhoads fights her way toward the basket during the Cardinals' 51-39 Senior Night victory over Knoxville on Feb. 7. Rhoads, who has led Newton in scoring for the past three seasons, received first team all-conference honors. (Shane Lucas/Daily News)|
Newton girls basketball coach Brandon Sharp has made a point of trying to rebuild the program in his two years at the helm, and it’s hard to find a group more important to that goal than this year’s senior class.
Because of their dedication to the Cardinals on and off the floor, three Newton seniors received all-Little Hawkeye Conference honors. To no one’s surprise, Kaylie Rhoads was selected to the first team, while Kristin Samson and Michelle Marquis were both given honorable mention.
Completing her third season in a row in which she led the Cards in scoring, Rhoads averaged 11.8 points for tops on the team and fifth in the conference behind some of the premier scorers in the state. She also led the team and finished fourth in the conference with 57 assists.
Rhoads was able to score from just about anywhere on the floor and usually led the Cards on any given night. On top of a team-high 27 made 3-pointers and 35.4 field goal percentage, Rhoads also took 104 trips to the free-throw line, making 64 of her shots there. Those numbers are good for fourth and fifth in the conference, respectively.
Her game wasn’t limited to just the offensive end, however. Rhoads also led the team with 62 total steals and 113 rebounds for an average of 5.1 per game. Her steal total placed her third in the conference, while her rebounds put her in 10th overall.
Finishing just behind Rhoads in most of those categories was Samson, who finished second on the team with 5.7 points per game. Known primarily for her love of defense, Samson finished second on the team with 28 steals and fourth in rebounds with 87 total (4.0 average).
Samson finished second on the team and seventh overall in the conference with 57 total assists, a bulk of which came from leading fast breaks. She also finished second in both free throws attempted and made, going 45-for-84 for a 53.6 percentage.
Always a threat to knock down a jumper if left open, Marquis wrapped up her Newton career with 4.8 points per game, which was good for third on the team. Her 14 made 3-pointers placed her second on the team, and constantly put her on notice to opposing defenses.
Marquis usually spread her game throughout the stat book on any given night. She finished fifth on the team in assists with 18, tied for fifth with 13 steals and pulled down 48 total rebounds for an average of 2.5 per game. The ball was usually safe in her presence as well, as she gave up the third-fewest turnovers among the Newton starters.
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