When Madison Nelson began her high school basketball career, Kingston’s women’s program had never had a winning season.
But after amassing 2.432 points in four years and gaining versatility as a defender, passer and driver, the Lady Cougars have since finished above the .500 mark twice in a row.
Nelson officially became the first Kingston player to gain all-state recognition on Wednesday, as the MCBA selected six total athletes from the MAAA.
Only two players in conference history have more college points than Nelson, who opened his senior campaign by breaking his own school record in a single game of 50 against Valley.
She averaged 29.2 points, 8.0 rebounds, 4.6 steals, 3.6 assists and 2.4 blocks per game this winter, often accounting for at least 60-70% of her team’s goal production. team.
Other league all-state winners had their own unprecedented milestones, including center star and two-time Class 4 boys selection Jobe Bryant.
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Bryant also went all out in helping the Rebels win the MAAA Large-School title and repeat as Class 4, District 2 champions in record fashion.
Already an all-state football player last fall, Bryant became the first sophomore in conference history on a men’s basketball team to surpass 1,000 career points with multiple games. to loose.
The elusive and explosive point guard has averaged 23.3 points, 5.3 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 3.0 steals this season for a central team that plans to keep seven of its current top eight players.
The West County girls relied heavily on defense and discipline to secure their deepest postseason run ever, but were nearly derailed four games before the end.
Junior guard Alivia Simily spent much of her time on the court looking for open teammates, but delivered the signature shot of her career when the Lady Bulldogs needed it most.
His contact driving layup with 2.8 seconds left capped a 30–29 district championship win over Grandview, and West County quickly earned two playoff wins and fourth overall.
Simily joins Nelson as a Class 3 all-state pick after averaging 10 points, five rebounds, three steals and six assists. She maintained a 3:1 assist to rotation ratio and shot 43% from the field.
Central shared two physical battles with West County during the regular season and clinched a fourth straight district title while reaching the Class 4 quarterfinals for a second straight year.
The Lady Rebels entered their ninth consecutive 20-win season with only one returning starter, but found increased scoring contributions from numerous sources.
Sophomore Khloe Dischbein paced the offense at 14.6 points per game and earned a berth in Class 4 All States. She also averaged about four rebounds and two steals while shooting 65 percent from the line.
Perhaps no MAAA player on the Girls’ side has presented a tougher game for opponents than North County senior center and Class 5 selection Kamryn Winch.
His size advantage in the paint caught the constant attention of several defenders, resulting in a regular and expected dose of lethal contact.
Winch shone as an effective offensive threat, shooting 61.4%, and dominated the glass with multiple outings of 20 or more rebounds.
She had 16.3 points and 14.8 rebounds per game and became the last all-state member of the Lady Raiders since her sister Kayleigh Winch in 2020.
Leading forward Aiden Heberlie helped the Valle Catholic Boys celebrate their third Class 2, District 4 boys title in four years, and cemented his legacy among his storied school’s all-time elite athletes.
Heberlie has now achieved all-state distinction in three separate sports – already established several times in baseball and football – after posting 19 points and 10.5 rebounds per contest in only his second year of college basketball. .
Academic awards from all states were also announced this week, and include Valle Catholic guards Mia Weiler and Sam Loida as well as Fredericktown forward Matthew Starkey.
Four MAAA women’s teams were represented in the final state standings, highlighted by the West County Girls at No. 6 in Class 3.
Farmington settled at No. 8 in Class 5 as the district runner-up, with North County receiving votes. Central took the No. 10 position for Class 4.