Ally Disterhoft has won the highest honors a girls’ basketball player in Iowa can earn.
Miss Iowa Basketball, by the Iowa Newspaper Association. Gatorade Player of the Year.
Maybe this one pales by comparison. But this one, she earned twice.
Disterhoft, who led Iowa City West to its third consecutive state tournament, is honored for the second consecutive year as The Gazette/KCRG player of the year.
It was a relatively easy selection. The 6-foot senior guard, bound for the University of Iowa, led the state in scoring at 26.3 points per game.
“Ally did everything she’s done (this season) with most teams focusing on her,” said West Coach B.J. Mayer.
Disterhoft led West to the Class 4A state championship in 2012, then — after the team graduated most of its lineup — led the Women of Troy back to state this season.
They got there by upsetting No. 1 Iowa City High in the regional final, then fell to Mason City in the state quarterfinals.
“I always thought we’d have a lot of potential. On paper, we weren’t expected to do as well,” Disterhoft said. We were getting better, but it was at a slower rate than we wanted. But it paid off at the end.”
Tom Lilly is the area coach of the year after leading Cedar Rapids Xavier to its fourth state championship.
“The neat thing is that each team was a different group of kids,” Lilly said. “The kids seemed to buy into what we wanted to do, and they got better each day.”
Xavier used the same formula for a title run that it used in 2003, 2005 and 2007. The Saints were battle-tested by the Mississippi Valley Conference, then flourished against Class 4A competition in the postseason.
They concluded their run with a thrilling 53-52 victory over Harlan in the championship game.
Kayla Armstrong was named the 4A all-tournament captain, and her brilliance in Des Moines earned her a spot on the all-area team, even though she earned no all-state honors by INA.
Disterhoft is one of three players to repeat on this team. Benton Community’s Madison Weekly and City High’s Mickey Hansche are the others.
A UNI signee, Weekly led Benton to three state tournaments. She averaged 18.5 points, 3.4 assists and 4.5 steals per game.
Hansche and junior Haley Lorenzen led City High to a 20-3 season. Hansche averaged 14.9 points per game while Lorenzen — a University of Florida commitment — led the Little Hawks at 18.7 points and 9.2 rebounds per game.
Other all-area selections are:
* Cedar Rapids Washington’s Dani Franklin, who averaged 17 points and led the Warriors to the state tournament.
* Waukon’s Daneshia Snitker, the leading scorer in Class 3A at 25.5 points per game.
* Drake recruit Paige Greiner of Williamsburg, who led the state in free throw shooting at 89.9 percent. She averaged 15.1 points a game.
* North Linn’s Nicole Miller, the youngster of the group as a sophomore. She averaged 20.8 points and led North Linn to the Tri-Rivers title.
* And Waterloo West’s Blaire Thomas, who posted 15.1 points and 8.0 rebounds per game.
2013 GAZETTE/KCRG ALL-AREA GIRLS BASKETBALL TEAM
|Kayla Armstrong||Cedar Rapids Xavier||5-7||Sr.|
|Ally Disterhoft||Iowa City West||6-0||Sr.|
|Dani Franklin||Cedar Rapids Washington||6-1||Jr.|
|Mickey Hansche||Iowa City High||5-7||Sr.|
|Haley Lorenzen||Iowa City High||6-3||Jr.|
|Nicole Miller||North Linn||5-8||So.|
|Blaire Thomas||Waterloo West||5-11||Jr.|
|Madison Weekly||Benton Community||5-7||Sr.|
Player of the year – Disterhoft
Coach of the year – Tom Lilly, Cedar Rapids Xavier