Tahlequah Daily Press

High School Sports

March 12, 2013

Metro Lakes’ best

O’Donnell, other Tahlequah basketball players pick up Metro Lakes Conference honors.

Randee O’Donnell and Shelbie Kirby both led their teams in scoring. Both also navigated their respective teams to the Class 5A tournament.

Both were arguably the best two players in the Metro Lakes Conference this year.

But who ended up with Most Valuable Player honors when it was all said and done?

It goes without saying, Chad Walker’s vote goes to O’Donnell — his 5-foot-7 junior shooting guard.

“I think Randee O’Donnell is head and shoulders above Shelbie Kirby as the total package,” said Walker, who is in his fourth season as Tahlequah’s coach. “Randee can shoot and penetrate, and Shelbie struggles to create her own shot inside the paint.”

Unfortunately for O’Donnell, other coaches in the Metro Lakes Conference didn’t concur with Walker. They sided with Kirby, a 5-foot-4 senior guard from Collinsville who averaged 17 points a game.

Working in Kirby’s favor was her 20-point performance compared to O’Donnell’s four-point showing in Collinsville’s 58-55 victory in early February. Kirby also led the Lady Cardinals to a conference crown.

However, with Kirby possessing the most prestigious award in the league, Walker has already made his prediction for next season.

“I think Randee will be the league’s player of the year next year,” said Walker, whose team finished 17-10 and made the state tournament for the first time since 2001.

As for this season, joining O’Donnell — who was labeled the league’s Offensive Player of the Year — on the Metro Lakes Conference honor roll is Casey Beaston, Marisa Girdner and Whitney Wright.

“If you did it by teams,” Walker said, “it would have been Casey on the first team and Marisa and Whitney made the second squad.”

Tahlequah’s Maegan Blevins, Alissa Hadley and Lindsay Wade all picked up honorable mention accolades.

Nabbing the league’s top defensive honors was Claremore’s Ashlyn Glenn. Collinsville’s Kelly Clarke and Claremore’s Stephanie Shaw were named the league’s co-Coaches of the Year.

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