Chenango County girls’ basketball takes a back seat to no one. The best players on The Chenango Sports Review’s all-star teams would stand out on any team or league in Central New York
Among our collection are all-state players, all-league players, and league MVPs. Below we have 10 all-star picks that were chosen based on recommendations of area basketball coaches. Those considered for selection were players from Bainbridge-Guilford, Greene, Norwich, Oxford, Sherburne-Earlville, and Unadilla Valley.
Shelby Benjamin, sr, Norwich
A four-year varsity player for Norwich, Benjamin brought next-level athleticism to the Tornado. That uncoachable asset was demonstrated on both ends of the floor “She plays hard and she anticipates really well on the defensive end,” said Norwich coach Josh Bennett. “She’s very quick, and I was happy to see that she added a little more of a perimeter game.”
An all-state pick last year, Benjamin averaged eight points and 5.2 rebounds per game, and was typically at her best against the best competition Norwich faced.
Meg Komendarek, jr., Norwich.
A first-team all-state selection last year, Komendarek was Norwich’s leader in scoring, rebounding, and field goal percentage. She was a double-double machine night in and night out finishing with 14.3 points and 11.2 rebounds a tilt.
“She is relentless, and far and away our best rebounder,” Bennett said. “A lot of rebounding comes down to who wants it most, and Meghan wanted it the most.”
Makenzie Maynard, jr., Norwich
Maynard was Norwich’s second leading scorer averaging 11.4 points a game, nearly identical to her production a season ago when she was named an all-state player.
“She probably had our most double figures scoring games this year,” Bennett said. “You could count on her getting 12 to 16 points just about every game. She was really consistent.”
Maynard was also an underrated rebounder averaging 5.2 rebounds a game – among the top three on the Tornado.
Abi Selfridge, fr., Bainbridge-Guilford
Just a freshman, Selfridge made the big leap forward from sixth man to one of the Midstate Athletic Conference’s most dynamic players.
“She really improved her all-around game, and she did whatever I asked of her,” said B-G coach Bob Conway.
Selfridge led the Bobcats with 14.6 points and 9.6 rebounds a game, and she hit 72 percent of her foul shots averaging nearly seven trips to the line each game. “She elevates well and she is very physically strong,” Conway said. “She also has a really nice touch around the basket.”
Megan Palmatier, so., Bainbridge-Guilford
Another member of the B-G movement, Palmatier was the Bobcats’ primary – if not only – inside post presence. That she was so successful at only 5-foot-7 speaks to her variety of moves and toughness.
“She has great touch around the rim, and she can drop step left or right,” Conway said. “If she was 5-10, she would dominate.”
Palmatier averaged just under 13 points a game – second for B-G – was a tad shy of eight rebounds per game, and raked in better than two steals a game.
Katie Carey, sr., Greene
A fifth-year varsity player, Carey was the Trojans’ unquestioned team leader topping her club in scoring and rebounding, and was second on the team in blocked shots and assists.
“She was a great all-around player and a great leader for us,” said Greene coach Dave Gorton. “She could play all five positions on the floor, and she was really good working with younger players.”
Carey was adept at scoring inside, facing up and driving to the basket or hitting threes. “I’m going to miss her as a player and as a teammate. She was someone I could count on as a coach,” Gorton said.
Lilly Berg, sr., Sherburne-Earlville
The first 1,000-point girls’ basketball scorer in Marauders history, Berg finished with over 1,300 career points placing her among the top players all-time in Chenango County girls’ basketball history, and she also pulled down over 900 rebounds for her career.
The 6-foot-2 center averaged a double-double for her career finishing as an all-star in the Center State Conference her final three seasons.
“You obviously can’t coach size,” said S-E coach Karen Mulligan “But she made that size a huge advantage for us on offense and defense.”
Savannah Irwin, sr., Sherburne-Earlville
Berg’s running mate the past season, Irwin was the perfect complement to Berg’s inside game becoming Sherburne-Earlville’s most prolific three-point shooter in school history. She finished her career with 211 trifectas, a number that is likely among the best in Chenango County history.
During her four-year career, she scored over 1,100 points, second all-time to Berg, all while running the point guard position.
She has those basketball instincts that you can’t coach,” Mulligan said of Irwin. “Some kids have it, and some kids don’t.”
Sierra Badger, sr., Unadilla Valley
The Storm’s top scorer at 10 points a game, Badger was a lightning-quick ballhandler and defender who did her best work in offensive transition.
“She definitely shined this year and helped all of the younger kids coming up,” said UV coach Brandi Whitbeck.
Badger led the Storm’s opportunistic defense with 84 steals – around four per game – and was in double figures scoring in better than half of the Storm’s games this season.
“She was our primary ballhandler, and when she wasn’t on the floor, we definitely struggled,” Whitbeck said of Badger.
Honorable mention: Kori Thornton, fr., B-G; Alyssa Sands, so., Greene; Bridget Murphy, sr., Norwich; Kassidy Seary, sr., Norwich; Rachel Seiler, sr., Oxford; Lexi Elderkin, jr., Sherburne-Earlville; Julia Oglesby, so., Unadilla Valley.