Jeff Griffith (@Jeff_Griffith21)
With the college basketball offseason well underway, it’s time to look back to the season that was among the area’s Division II and III programs. Throughout southeastern Pennsylvania, both levels of small-college ball produced a number of successful programs, several impressive individual seasons from upperclassmen and newcomers alike, and multiple NCAA Tournament appearances.
Here are our selections for the 2021-22 CoBL women’s small-college awards and honorees at the Division II level:
(Read more: D-II men)
Jess Huber (above) had a dominant showing in UScience's final season. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
Jess Huber, G/Sr., USciences
It’s hard not to pick the best player on — arguably — the area’s best team, but Huber’s numbers could be argued up against those of any area player. She already owns honors for 2021-22 CACC Player of the Year, Division II CCA All-East Region First Team and CACC Tournament MVP. She led the Devils to a conference title with an average of about 19 points and seven rebounds over the course of three CACC Tournament wins, while adding 16 ppg in the team’s two NCAA Tournament games.
On the season, Huber pretty much did it all for USciences, averaging 17.7 points — including a two-game early-February stretch with 75 points and nine made three-pointers — and 4.9 rebounds, both of which were drastic improvements from her 10.6 ppg and 2.6 rpg as a junior. Huber added 2.1 apg and 1.8 spg, while shooting over 42 percent from the field and 37 percent from beyond the arc.
Anyssa Fields (G/So., Georgian Court)
A First Team All-CACC selection, Fields was a force all season for Georgian Court; she only scored fewer than 10 points twice, and cracked 20 points on six occasions. On the season, Fields averaged 16.4 points and 7.7 rebounds, good for third and 10th respectively among all CACC players. Fields also logged five double-doubles as a sophomore, and came one or two boards away from several more, including arguably her most impressive showing of 29 points and eight rebounds at St. Thomas Aquinas on Nov. 23.
Emma Saxton (G/R-Sr., Bloomsburg)
Saxton, also a strong defender, earned Defensive Player of the Year honors in the PSAC East, as well as a spot on the All-PSAC East First Team. Saxon had strong scoring and rebounding numbers with 13.4 ppg and 6.2 rpg, but arguably her most impressive stat was her average of 4.4 assists, which was fourth in the PSAC. Saxton picked up three double-doubles as a graduate student, including a 20-point, 11-rebound showing against West Chester, which she immediately followed with 24 points two nights later against Clarion.
Destiny Jefferson (G/Sr., Shippensburg)
Jefferson, a First Team All-CACC selection, finished fifth in the league with 16.9 ppg, which also led all Shippensburg scorers. The senior was also an effective rebounder and distributor for the Raiders this season, averaging 5.1 boards and 3.4 assists, the latter of which ranked 12th in the PSAC. Shippensburg’s top scorer, Jefferson made the most of her senior season down the stretch, breaking 18 points in six of the Raiders’ last seven regular season games, including a 24-point, 10-rebound afternoon at Bloomsburg.
Leah Johnson (G/So., West Chester)
The Rams’ leading contributor in points (16.1 ppg), rebounds (8.2 rpg) and assists (4.9 apg), Johnson did it all as a sophomore at West Chester. The First Team All-PSAC East selection finished among the league’s top eight in all three aforementioned categories, with her assists numbers being good for third in the conference. While Johnson logged nine double-doubles, arguably her most impressive night came just one rebound shy of double-double status; Johnson contributed 31 points and nine rebounds to a Feb. 7 win over Mansfield. She also came up just two assists short of a triple-double a week later against Shippensburg.
Bri Hewlett (F/Sr., Chestnut Hill)
A key piece in Chestnut Hill’s run to the NCAA Tournament, Hewlett contributed in a variety of ways for the Griffins. The senior forward earned All-CACC Third Team status and Defensive Player of the Year honors, but beyond her defensive abilities, she contributed averages of 9.5 points and 6.1 rebounds while shooting an impressive 89.5 percent from the free throw line. Hewlett logged five double-doubles, all in the latter half of her senior season, and contributed 15 points and seven rebounds in Chestnut Hill’s NCAA Tournament contest against Pace.
Haley Meinel (above) had a hot start to her sophomore season en route to All-CACC Second Team honors. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
Cassie Sebold (G/Sr., Chestnut Hill)
An All-CACC Second Team honoree, Sebold averaged 11.5 points on Chestnut Hill’s road to the NCAA Tournament. The Archbishop Wood product added 3.9 rebounds, but her most impressive stat was her assists; the 5-foot-5 guard averaged 5.4, which was good for second in the CACC. Sebold’s highlight came in a points-assists double-double at Goldey-Beacom, Feb. 2, in which she logged 22 points and 10 assists.
Rylee Derr (G/Sr.), Kutztown
Representing Kutztown on the All-PSAC East First Team, Derr finished among the league’s top 20 in scoring (13.3 ppg) and rebounding (6.5 rpg). Most notably, though, Derr was the PSAC’s top 3-point shooter percentage-wise, connecting on just shy of 40 percent of her 201 attempts. While Derr’s scoring numbers varied a decent bit, her highs were quite impressive, including a 31-point, 11-rebound night in early December against Seton Hill in which Derr knocked down six of her 10 3-point attempts.
Lauren Lister (G/R-Sr.), Millersville
Beyond averaging a team-high 13.9 points for the Marauders, Lister sprinkled in 3.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists on her way to a First Team All-PSAC East selection. Lister was up-and-down out of the gates in terms of scoring but found consistency near the halfway point of the season and logged just two single-digit scoring games after Jan. 15. Lister averaged 16.4 points in the month of February.
Meghan Corridoni (F/R-Sr., Bloomsburg)
While Coriddoni was just a couple of rebounds shy of averaging a double-double, she picked up 10 of them in total on the season. The All-PSAC East First-Teamer finished with averages of 13.3 points and 8.1 rebounds, the latter of which led the way for the Huskies and was good for ninth in the PSAC. Corridoni had a streak of three double-doubles in early February, including her peak scoring output of 20 points at Mansfield.
Haley Meinel (F/So., Jefferson)
Meinel came out guns ablazing in her sophomore campaign, logging 26, 18 and 21 points respectively in her first three contests. The 5-10 Central Bucks South product cooled off a bit from there, but still managed to average 14.0 points and 3.1 rebounds on the year, while shooting an efficient 45.3 percent from the field. Meinel averaged 16.5 points in the Rams’ pair of NCAA Tournament games. She finished seventh in scoring in the CACC and was named to the league’s Second Team.
Ahnera Parker (F/R-Sr., Lock Haven)
Parker was Lock Haven’s second-leading scorer and rebounder with 14.1 ppg and 8.4 rpg, both of which were among the PSAC’s top 15. She had arguably her strongest performance of the year in Lock Haven’s season finale against Kutztown, logging 16 points and 18 rebounds. Parker logged 11 double-doubles on the season, and earned All-PSAC East second-team marks.
Kendall Keyes (above) was the second-leading scorer in the Red Devil's final season. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
Kendall Keyes (Sr./G, USciences)
The second-leading scorer on USciences’ NCAA Tournament team, Keyes averaged 10.4 points in her senior year on 34 percent 3-point shooting while also shooting 82.5 percent on free throws. Keyes opened the Red Devils’ Tournament run with a strong output of 14 points in a win over Le Moyne.
Moe Moore (G/Jr., Holy Family)
A productive contributor in several categories and All-CACC Third Teamer, Moore averaged 11.2 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.1 steals for Holy Family. She logged four double-doubles, including a 23-point, 16-rebound showing against Georgian Court.
Morgan Robinson (G/So., Jefferson)
Robinson was about as do-it-all as it gets for the Rams, tallying greater than six points (8.6), rebounds (7.2) and assists (6.0) per game. Robinson's assists numbers were her most impressive stat—she led the CACC by a decent margin in the category.
Jasmine Hilton (F/Jr., Mansfield)
The 5-10 forward and Second Team All-PSAC East selection was close to double-double-average status with 12.6 ppg and 8.6 rpg. She led Mansfield in both categories, and finished among the league’s top five on the glass.
Emily Chmiel (F/Fr., Chestnut Hill)
Chmiel, winner of CACC and CoBL Rookie of the Year honors, was a key pieces in Chestnut Hill’s run to the NCAA Tournament, averaging 11.3 points and 8.3 rebounds in just over 20 mpg. The freshman finished among the CACC’s top five in shooting percentage at 50.9 percent.
Lauren Pettis (F/Jr., Shippensburg)
Pettis logged her most productive season to date with 10.6 ppg and 7.2 rpg while shooting 57.6 percent from the field. She finished 15th in the PSAC in rebounding and earned Second Team All-PSAC East honors.
Jaynelle Robinson (C/Sr., Lock Haven)
Robinson was one of just a few area players to average a double-double this season, with 10.5 ppg and 10.9 rpg. She shot 49.8 percent from the field and led her team in rebounds, en route to a Second Team selection in All-PSAC East honors. Her rebounding numbers were second in the PSAC.
Emily Chmiel (above) scored double figures in over half of her games this past season. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
Emily Chmiel, F/Fr., Chestnut Hill
One of three local programs to make the NCAA Division II Women’s Tournament, Chestnut Hill got impressive production from one of its newcomers. Chmiel was about as consistent as could be, scoring in double figures in 18 of her 31 appearances. A strong rebounder as well, Chmiel recorded double-doubles in 14 of those 18 games.
Chmiel never started a game this year, but saw starter-level minutes — her 22.8 mpg were fifth among all Griffins — on a Chestnut Hill team that had eight players average 15 minutes or more. She made the most of those minutes, generating 11.3 ppg and 8.3 rpg. Chmiel was quite efficient as a freshman, too, shooting just over 50 percent from the field on the year.
Alexa Abbonizio (G/Fr., West Chester)
Abbonizio, a Cardinal O’Hara product, started in all but one contest for the Rams this season and averaged just shy of 10 points to go with 3.3 rebounds. The guard shot 77.1 from the free throw line, and had arguably her most impressive stat line with 15 points, five assists and six rebounds in a late-November contest at Jefferson.
Brooke Lawyer (G/Fr., Lock Haven)
Lock Haven’s third-highest scorer, Lawyer averaged 11.9 points in her freshman season to go with 4.6 rebounds. The Hanover native logged 18 starts, averaged the third-most minutes among all Bald Eagles and finished second on the team in assists with 2.3 per game, good for 25th in the PSAC. Lawyer contributed solid scoring from the get-go, averaging 16 points over her first three games. The guard finished her regular season on a high note, logging 24 points in a dominant win over Shippensburg.
Abbey Hearn (F/So., Kutztown)
The PSAC East’s Rookie of the Year, Hearn averaged 9.8 points, 4.6 boards and 1.7 blocks. Hearn’s scoring and rebounding numbers were both third among all Kutztown players. She also shot a blistering 92.2 percent from the free throw line, and hit her season’s peak with 23 points against Lock Haven in early January.
Cassie Murphy (C/Fr., Jefferson)
Murphy received All-CACC Second Team honors for her performance as a freshman; the 6-2 center put up 13.4 ppg and 5.3 rpg while shooting 52.4 percent from the field. Murphy’s field-goal percentage was good for fourth among all CACC players. Her scoring abilities were on display a few times this season, including her 30-point performance at Chestnut Hill on Jan. 13; Murphy also logged 24 points on just 12 shots in a win at Holy Family.
Lindsay Tretter (G/So., Holy Family)
In her first year receiving playing time for Holy Family, Tretter led the Tigers in scoring with 11.5 ppg. She added 3.4 rpg and shot an impressive 39.8 percent from 3-point range, good for third in the CACC. Tretter finished her season on a shooting tear, making 11 of her last 18 (61.1 percent) 3-pointers and averaging 17.0 points in the last three contests of her freshman campaign.
Jackie Hartzell (above) led USciences to a strong final season. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
Jackie Hartzell, USciences
In what will go down as the final season of USciences women’s basketball — a perennially-formidable program that hasn’t recorded fewer than 24 wins since 2015-16 — the Devils made the most of their last opportunity. In 2021-22, USciences went 24-5 on the year with a 15-3 record in conference play, and won 14 of 15 contests entering its season-ending NCAA Tournament Round of 32 loss to Pace.
For all intents and purposes, USciences went out on as high a note as could be; they didn’t cut down any national nets, but the program earned its first CACC tournament title since going back-to-back in 2017 and 2018, and won an NCAA Tournament game for a fourth-straight year, making quick work of sixth-seeded Le Moyne, 64-38, in the tournament’s opening round.
Circumstances like USciences’ could have resulted in an array of different outcomes, but Hartzell was able to band her players together to create a more-than-memorable final season for the Devils’ women’s basketball program.