As the 2011 South East Australian Basketball League season enters its final week, the All-Star teams have been named for the men’s and women’s competitions.
Coaches and captains determine the sides by selecting players in their playing position from a list that received Most Valuable Player votes throughout the regular season.
In the East Conference, the All-Star team members are CJ Massingale, Luke Meyer, Tim Lang, Ivan McFarlin and Lester Strong. For the South Conference, Mitch Chapman, Shane McDonald, Shawntes Gary, John Pichon and Haminn Quaintance were named. And in the women’s competition, Micaela Cocks, Natalie Taylor, Deanna Smith, Alice Kunek and Amy Denson were the top selections.
The East Conference All-Star team consists of two players from the Bendigo Braves, in Meyer and McFarlin. Meyer adds this accolade to his Defensive Player of the Year title and has been named to the All-Star team for the second consecutive year in a row. It is also McFarlin’s second straight selection. McFarlin led the league for rebounds in 2010 and 2011, averaging 15.9 a game this year. He was the only player to receive twelve votes out of a possible twelve.
Massingale and Strong both represent the Knox Raiders who finished second in the Conference behind Bendigo during the regular season. In his seventh year at SEABL level, Massingale has recorded his fifth selection, after being named in 2006, ’08, ’09 and 2010. He was the league’s leading scorer for an amazing fourth time in a row and received ten votes. It is Strong’s first inclusion in the team, but with 19.6 points and 10.1 rebounds game, it will most likely not be his last. In his fourth year in the competition, the forward received 8 votes.
Representing Kilsyth, Tim Lang has received his first selection to the East All-Star five. With an average of 14.5 points and 8.7 rebounds, he was an integral part in the Cobras resurgence over the second half of the season.
The Frankston Blues were most heavily represented in the All-Star South Men Team, with Chapman and Quaintance both being named from the third placed club. It is Chapman’s first selection after nine seasons. Averaging 16 points at 45% from the field, the Blues point guard was a consistent performer all year, with ten games over 20 points. Quaintance received nine votes from a possible 14 in his first year at SEABL level. With a double-double average of 18.5 points and 10.9 rebounds, he has been an outstanding pickup for Frankston this year.
McDonald is the sole representative from the ladder leading Nunawading Spectres. It is his second inclusion after being named in the 2007 side. Impressively, McDonald sits second in the league for average assists (5.5 per game) to go along with 14.1 points.
In his second year at SEABL level, Shawntes Gary had an outstanding season for North West Tasmania, averaging 26 points, almost three more than other player. He received ten votes and is also a strong contender for the MVP award.
John Pichon from the Geelong Supercats has been selected in his first year of SEABL competition. Sitting third in the league for average rebounds, he also had 19.6 points a game to help take his side to the South Conference Championship game.
The women’s All-Star five is spread across five clubs. Despite a horror season in which Sandringham only won one game, they have unearthed a star in Micaela Cocks. In her first year with the league, she averaged 18.9 points a match was a rare highlight for the Sabres in 2011.
Another Olympic New Zealander in the All-Star team is Natalie Taylor of the Ballarat Rush, who received 15 votes out of a possible 24. She averaged 18.8 points, 9 rebounds and recorded seven double-doubles with a personal best of 30 points and 13 rebounds.
Deanna Smith led the league for most points (20.6 per game) and most assists (4.6 per game) in her sixth year in the league. It is her third inclusion in the All SEABL five.
Falling just short of Smith on average points was Denson from the Knox Raiders, who managed 20.4 points a match. Denson was also solid on the boards with 9.7 rebounds per game, and this is her third All-Star selection, taking 22 votes of a possible 24.
In her second year, Alice Kunek from the Nunawading Spectres makes up the All-Star five. Kunek was her team’s highest scorer with 18.6 points a game to go along with an average of 6 rebounds. This inclusion coincides with her also being honoured with the 2011 Women’s Youth Player of the Year award.
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