Girls' Basketball: Rockets duo earns pair of all-RVC honors
By BRANDON HURLEY
A top-tier finish deserves its rightful acknowledgement, and the Paton-Churdan girls’ basketball team received just that.
A pair of Rocket mainstays have claimed their place among the elite, and the Rolling Valley Conference took notice.
Rocket seniors Danielle Hoyle (first team) and Tessa Steimel (second) were honored with all-conference distinctions after their impressive 2020-21 season, leading P-C to a second-place finish in the league standings.
Hoyle’s most recent honor places her in the upper-echelon in RVC history. The senior secured a first team honor for the third consecutive season, leading the league in three different categories this winter. Hoyle and Steimel, one of the RVC’s most lethal three-point shooters, helped power the
Rockets to an impressive runner-up finish in league play, securing a 12-3 record. The second-place finish was P-C’s highest placement in the league standings since the RVC’s inception during the 2013-14 season.
The Rockets joined conference champion and 2021 state qualifier Exira-EHK (16-0) and CAM (12-4) as the only three league members to crack the double-digit win mark this winter.
Hoyle led the league in scoring at 23.1 points per game while she also was atop the league in blocks per game (3.9), total blocks (85) and shooting percentage (70.3 percent). Hoyle’s 85 blocks were 20 more than second-place Gretchen Wallace of Glidden-Ralston, who swatted 65 of her opponents’ shots.
Hoyle was second in the RVC in rebounding (11.2 per game) while she was third in free throws made per game at 3.5.
Steimel was fourth in the RVC with 42 three-pointers made, padding her 7.2 points per game scoring average. Her 3.4 assists per game were the fifth-best average in the league while she also secured 1.3 steals per contest.
West Harrison’s Emily McIntosh led the league in rebounding (13.2 rpg) while Exira-EHK’s Shay Burmeister was tops in passing with 4.3 assist per game. CAM’s Zoey Baylor secured a league-leading 3.7 steals per contest. Additionally, Exira-EHK’s Macy Emgarten was first in the RVC with 56 three-pointers.
As a team, the Rockets led the RVC in shooting percentage at while they were second in three-pointers made (150), behind only Exira-EHK, having drilled 180 long balls. The Rockets were third in scoring (52.4 points per game), while Exira-EHK was first (60 points per game). The Rockets were second in passing at 14.7 assists per game (CAM was first with 15) while their 4.3 blocks per game were also second to CAM (4.5).
Two of P-C’s three conference losses came at the hands of the Exira-EHK Spartans. Their third loss came in the regular season-finale against CAM, Feb. 8. The Rockets defeated all but one of their RVC foes (Exira-EHK) at least once this winter, securing their highest conference win total since joining the league (12). Their 16 victories in total (16-6 overall) were the most by a P-C girls basketball squad in more than 14 years.
TWO RVC BOYS EARN HONORABLE MENTION
Despite a frustrating season, the Paton-Churdan boys’ basketball team still spawned a pair of worthy all-conference candidates. Rocket play-makers Bradyn Smith and Shaydon Thurman each earned Rolling Valley Conference honorable mention distinctions following the conclusion of the 2020-21 season. The Rockets struggled to a 1-14 RVC record (last out of nine teams) while producing a 3-17 run overall.
Bradyn Smith’s 6.2 rebounds per game were the 10th-most in the league while the junior also averaged 6.2 points per game to go with 2.3 assists and 1.6 steals per contest.
Shaydon Thurman, a P-C sophomore, was third on the team in scoring at 7.4 points per contest. He chipped in 3.5 rebounds per game to go with 1.1 assists.
The Rockets were knocked from the first round of Class 1A regional play Feb. 12, losing 52-32 to Glidden-Ralston. The Rockets defeated the Wildcats Dec. 4 (75-50) for their only conference win of the year. P-C finished the season on an 11-game losing streak.