CoBL Staff (@hooplove215)
The 2022-23 season was one to remember for the City 6 women.
There was as much talent in the City of Philadelphia — extending the boundary down Lancaster Ave. a few miles for these purposes — as there has been just about ever, with two of the nation’s top scorers both in the City 6, along with so many other high-level ballplayers. Though Villanova was the only team to make it to the NCAA Tournament, WNIT appearances by St. Joe’s, Penn and Drexel was a sign of how the season generally went well for everybody around.
Here are the CoBL staff’s picks for our All-City 6 women’s honors for the 2022-23 season:
Villanova senior Maddy Siegrist is CoBL's 2022-23 WBB Player of the Year. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
Maddy Siegrist (Sr. | Villanova)
Siegrist just finished up one of the greatest seasons not just in the city’s illustrious hoops history but all of college basketball’s, the 6-foot-1 senior from Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) leading Villanova (30-7) to its first Sweet 16 appearance in 20 years in the process. Siegrist became just the fifth player in NCAA Division I women’s history to score 1,000 points in a season, averaging a nation-best 29.2 ppg on .510/.361/.858 splits, plus 9.2 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.2 spg and 1.2 bpg.
Any pass that Siegrist got in the mid-range became a knockdown jumper; her post touches were instant layups. A poster for ‘keep the ball high,’ Siegrist seemingly never lowered her arms, establishing position and going to work without a thing any defender could do about it.
In Siegrist’s “worst” games this season, she scored 21 points, becoming the first player to score 20+ in 37 consecutive games to start a season. She topped out with a 50-point game against Seton Hall, hitting the 30-point mark 16 other times, with 18 double-doubles.
Siegrist had one more year of eligibility left but chose to forgo it and enter the WNBA Draft, but there’s no blaming her for doing so; she’s already cemented herself as one of the Big 5’s greatest of all time, a true legend on the city’s hoops scene, and a tremendous ambassador for the impact and power that one ballplayer can make on a generation of young girls in the region.
City 6 First Team
Talya Brugler (Soph. | St. Joe’s)
The 2021-22 Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year built on an impressive first campaign, becoming the first Hawk to earn First Team All-A10 honors in eight years with a stellar sophomore season. The 6-1 forward bumped her scoring average up six points (16.7 ppg), shooting 52.6% from the floor and 34.4% from the foul line, with 5.1 rpg and 1.9 apg as well. She also saw significant improvement in her individual analytics number, more effective on both the offensive and defensive ends. Through two seasons, Brugler’s seventh in SJU history in career scoring average (13.7 ppg) and sixth in shooting percentage (.518)
Maura Hendrixson (Sr. | Drexel )
Hendrixson made her return from an ACL tear for the 2021-22 season, playing in 28 games with three starts, but wasn’t quite herself, as to be expected from someone less than a year off major knee surgery. But the fifth-year senior and O’Hara grad proved herself to be one of the nation’s top point guards, ranking third in the country in assists per game (7.8), behind only Iowa’s Caitlin Clark and UConn’s Nika Muhl — impressive company, indeed. The 5-9 guard was never called upon to score (4.4 career ppg), but finished her career fifth in Drexel scoring in assists (459).
Aleah Nelson (Sr. | Temple)
Nelson followed new Temple head coach Diane Richardson up from Towson after two standout years there, and though her numbers fell just a little short of her averages in the CAA, it was clear why Richardson was so eager to bring Nelson along. The 5-6 guard immediately became one of the Owls’ leaders on and off the court, averaging 15.4 ppg, 4.4 apg and 3.3 rpg, shooting 34.8% from the floor and 30.9% from 3-point range, often called upon to create something out of nothing with a shot clock running down. With 1,281 points to her name through four collegiate seasons, she has one more year of eligibility remaining if she wants to use it.
Kayla Padilla (Sr. | Penn)
Padilla didn’t quite get the ending she wanted to her senior year at Penn, the Quakers losing in the Ivy League semifinals to fall short of making the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2017. But individually, the 5-9 guard from California continued doing what she’d been doing all three years in a Quaker uniform — score the ball at a high clip, while doing just about everything else. Padilla averaged 17.7 ppg on .4138/.386/.855 splits, with 3.5 apg and a career-high 4.7 rpg, finishing with 1,355 points, 7th in program history despite getting just three seasons to do it in; as she didn’t take a year off school in 2020-21, and the Ivy League doesn’t permit graduate students to play, she has to find another college to finish out her collegiate eligibility.
Keishana Washington (Sr. | Drexel)
In many other years, Washington would have been a no-doubt pick for City 6 Player of the Year, putting up an insane 27.7 ppg, plus 3.7 apg and 3.4 rpg, on .433/.318/.849 splits, but she happened to do it in the same year as Maddy Siegrist’s record-setting season. Her scoring average was second-best in the country, her 858 points the most in a season in Drexel history and second-most in CAA history, and her 2,363 points are the most ever by a Canadian in Division I WBB, plus the sixth-most in City 6 history.
Temple's Tiarra East, left, goes up for a shot on Penn's Kayla Padilla. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
City 6 Second Team
Tiarra East (Soph. | Temple)
East certainly built on the solid minutes she saw as a freshman, moving into the starting lineup full-time in her second year on campus and averaging 12.0 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.4 apg and 1.6 spg; while her 34.8% shooting clip could use improvement, it was still a step up from 28.6% her freshman year, and she’s an 82% foul shooter. The 5-10 had three double-doubles, though her best game was likely a 25-point, nine-rebound, five-steal, four-assist outing against La Salle.
Jordan Obi (Jr. | Penn)
Her freshman year gone due to COVID, Obi’s scoring number actually dropped slightly from her first (sophomore) season on the court to her junior year (14.0 ppg to 12.6), but her shooting percentage both from inside and out of the arc rose fairly significantly to .441/.355/.741 splits, the 6-0 forward averaging 7.6 rpg and 2.0 apg as well. She’ll enter her senior season as one of the Quakers’ leaders, with nearly 1,800 collegiate minutes (32.5/game) already under her belt.
Lucy Olsen (Soph. | Villanova) — 34g/32s, 12.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 4.4 apg, .402 FG%, .353 3PT%
Olsen got better and better as her sophomore year went on, the 5-9 Spring-Ford product building off an All-Rookie campaign to become the No. 2 offensive option for a Wildcats squad that had one of its best seasons in program history. Olsen averaged 12.4 ppg, 4.4 apg and 4.1 rpg on .411/.356/.763 splits, with a 2.81 assist-to-turnover ratio; her best game came arguably in the NCAA Touranment’s second round, when she had a career-high 23 points with 10 rebounds plus seven assists in a big win over FGCU. With Siegrist gone, she’s in line to be the Wildcats’ star next year.
Mackenzie Smith (Soph. | St. Joe’s)
Smith had an interesting sophomore season. On the one hand, the thing she was known best for, 3-point shooting, dropped from 38.6% (34-of-88) to 31.6% (31-of-98). But her overall shooting went from 38.2% to 46.0%, and her scoring, rebounding and assist numbers all went up as she averaged 13.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg and 1.5 apg. Most importantly, the analytics say the 5-10 wing was much more valuable on both ends of the court, adding 5.2 points per 100 possessions compared to -0.6 last year, according to Sports-Reference.com.
Kayla Spruill (Sr. | La Salle)
Spruill capped her La Salle career with 1,629 points in an Explorers uniform, though her numbers weren’t quite as high as they had been the previous couple years: 12.3 ppg and 5.1 rpg, down from 15.9 ppg and 7.1 rpg the year before. The 6-1 forward did have fewer opportunities with more depth in the La Salle rotation, but she also saw a bit of a drop-off in her shooting numbers. Still, her five-year career has her all over the La Salle record books.
Laura Ziegler (Fr. | St. Joe’s)
For the second year in a row, the Hawks had a young forward debut with an impressive season. Strong from the start, the 6-2 Denmark native averaged 11.8 ppg and 8.7 rpg, shooting 41.6% from the floor and 32% from 3-point range. An eight-time A-10 Rookie of the Week selection, she had eight double-doubles — which matches the number of double-doubles compiled by all Hawks freshmen in the last 15 years. Her 271 rebounds were the most by a freshman in school history.
Villanova's Maddie Burke is a third team All-CoBL selection. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
City 6 Third Team
Maddie Burke (Jr. | Villanova)
Burke really bounced back from a sub-par sophomore season with a terrific first year at Villanova, the former CB West standout coming to the Main Line after two years in the Penn State rotation. Starting all 37 games for the Wildcats, she averaged 7.2 ppg and 2.5 rpg, taking 191 of her 228 shots from beyond the 3-point arc, shooting 36.1% from deep. Her points added per 100 possessions went from 3.6 as a freshman to -3.6 last year, but went all the way up to 8.4 this season.
Christina Dalce (Soph. | Villanova)
The Wildcats took a huge step forward defensively this season and Dalce was a major reason why, the 6-2 post going from playing a total of 71 minutes to starting every game and playing 26.3 mpg, averaging 7.1 ppg, 7.9 rpg and 2.3 bpg, the latter number tops in the Big East. She’ll be a huge part of their plans moving forward, especially if he she can develop a little more of an offensive game after hitting just over 40% of her shots this season.
Claire Jacobs (Sr. | La Salle)
Jacobs finished her fourth year at La Salle with 1,496 points, in seventh place in La Salle’s history, a couple spots behind Spruill. The 6-0 guard from Australia, who along with her twin sister Amy have one more year of eligibility remaining, averaged 12.5 ppg and 3.9 rpg, though her 28.9% mark from 3-point territory was a decent drop from her first three years (34.0%).
Molly Masciantonio (Sr. | La Salle)
A Holy Family transfer, Masciantonio has proven herself to be one of the best pure point guards around, leading the country in assist-to-turnover ratio (4.71:1), with 4.5 apg and 1.0 tpg along with 6.0 ppg and 2.6 rpg. She’s only turned it over 109 times in 2,194 minutes at the Division I level, or a little less than one every 20 minutes. A terrific on-ball defender, she also averaged more than 2.1 steals per game for the second straight season.
Kylie Lavelle (Fr. | Drexel)
Lavelle got off to a red-hot start to her college career, scoring 84 points in her first four games, but a late-November injury kept her out until January, and though she was certainly good after that, she wasn’t quite as dominant as she’d been off the bat. For the season, the 6-2 forward averaged 11.1 ppg and 3.7 rpg, shooting 45.8% overall and 32.5% from the floor; it was a surprise when, after the season, she announced her intention to enter the transfer portal and continue her career elsewhere.
Grace O’Neill (Fr. | Drexel)
Like Lavelle, O’Neill got put right into the starting lineup as a freshman, and the former Archbishop Carroll standout continued to find her footing over the year, averaging 7.0 ppg, 5.1 rpg and 1.8 apg, shooting 42.3% overall and 35.1% from the 3-point arc. The 5-8 point guard will have the ball in her hands a lot more next year with Hendrixson and Washington moving on.
St. Joe's freshman Laura Ziegler is the CoBL WBB RoTY. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
Laura Ziegler (St. Joe’s)
Ziegler played like an upperclassman all season long, her FIBA and international experience paying off in her first year in college. Her first game saw her go for 16 points and seven rebounds; she had her first double-double by December. A strong offensive post, she’s got good court vision (1.9 apg), with great hands and touch around the rim, plus a reliable face-up game. Her best games included a 22-point, 16-rebound outing against VCU and a 13-point, 14-rebound, six-assist effort against Richmond. She and Brugler have a chance to form a special frontcourt over the next couple years.
City 6 All-Rookie Team
Mia Jacobs (La Salle)
Kylie Lavelle (Drexel)
Grace O’Neill (Drexel)
Megan Olbrys (Villanova)
Simone Sawyer (Penn)
WBB Most Improved
Christina Dalce (Soph. | Villanova)
The potential was there for Dalce as a freshman, the lanky Rutgers Prep product clearly bringing a different element to the floor with her height and length, but she looked tentative at times in her limited minutes, fouling more than once every four minutes she was on the court. The biggest area in which she changed this year was just her comfort at the Division I level, and while there’s certainly still room for improvement — another similar jump to her junior year would be scary — she’s already a more-than-capable high-major post, her box-score plus-minus going from -8.7 points per possession a year ago to +4.2 ppp this year.
Denise Dillon (Villanova)
This wasn’t maybe quite as much of a slam-dunk as Siegrist’s pick — St. Joe’s Cindy Griffin and Drexel’s Amy Mallon both oversaw teams that had strong years — but Dillon has taken all the momentum Harry Perreta built up at Villanova and ran with it, increasing the team’s win total from 17 to 24 to 30 in her three years. Of course it helped having one of the best players in the country, but there’s no doubt that the Wildcats were also a fantastic defensive team and knew how to play to their strengths, and never got out of any game, making a couple of big comebacks for wins (or close losses) in games where other teams would have folded.
Tag(s): Home Contributors Josh Verlin College Division I Women's Temple Drexel La Salle Penn St. Joe's Villanova