Player of the year

Perhaps no girls’ basketball player in the state improved her game over the past four years quite like Scott County’s Malea Williams, who adds News-Graphic county player of the year to her long list of senior-year accolades.

From a tall project as a freshman to a phenomenal, five-tool player and Miss Basketball finalist as a senior, Malea Williams’ development was a common denominator in Scott County’s four consecutive 42nd District championships and back-to-back 11th Region titles.

Her senior-year production and consistency across all offensive and defensive categories makes the 6-foot-4 Williams our News-Graphic girls’ player of the year and leader of our first all-county team in this new-two school area.

Scott County teammates Morgan DeFoor and Kenady Tompkins and Great Crossing’s one-two punch of Braylee McMath and Timothi Williams join Malea Williams in that party of five.

Williams, who did not crack the starting lineup until her junior season, averaged 19.5 points and 13.8 rebounds per game for the Lady Cards, shooting a team-best 55.2 percent from the field.

Although 3-pointers are considered shooting guards’ territory, Williams nailed 33 of those shots this season. She also blocked 2.6 shots per game, and her 60 steals ranked second on the team.

Despite playing minimal minutes as a freshman and sophomore, Williams closed her career with 1,347 points and 1,102 rebounds.

DeFoor, who joined the Scott County varsity program as a sixth-grader, departs as the No. 3 all-time leading scorer with 2,443 points, trailing only Rebecca Gray Dyer and Ukari Figgs.

The fiery point guard paced SC with 22.2 points and 6.8 assists per game. DeFoor was one of the most prolific long-range shooters in the state with 105 threes this season. She also hauled down 2.9 rebounds per contest and 2.1 steals each night.

She is signed with Morehead State University.

The other three players in the county’s star quintet will return for the 2020-21 season.

Tompkins nearly joined Williams in averaging a double-double, checking in at 12.1 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. The six-foot junior swatted 48 shots and made 46 steals to show the development of  her all-around game.

McMath, a junior, and Timothi Williams, a sophomore, were instrumental in Great Crossing’s 16 wins, runner-up finish in the 41st District, and 11th Region semifinalist status in its first season as a program.

A relentless competitor standing little more than five feet tall McMath blossomed in her first year as a high school starter with averages of 17.9 points, 4.7 assists, 3.6 steals and 3.4 rebounds per game.

Ranked as the top free throw shooter in the state for a lengthy stretch of the winter, McMath finished at 80 percent. 

She was one of three Lady Warhawks to sink 50 or more 3-pointers, leading the group with 58.

Williams produced 13.8 points and five rebounds per game for GC, including 54 3-pointers.

Scott County defeated Great Crossing three times this season, but the last one was toughest: a 74-63 verdict that wasn’t decided until the final minute of the region semifinals.

Kal Oakes can be reached via email at sports@news-graphic.com.

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