College careers got off to impressive starts and reached award-winning conclusions for JB Hoops Alumni in women’s basketball during the 2019-20 season.
Below, we take one final look at the season for the alumni of the AAU program out of Backcourt Hoops in Scranton:
MADDIE MARTIN, New Jersey Institute of Technology, NCAA Division I
Martin came back from two years away from active basketball to land a prominent role at NJIT before having her season cut short when she reinjured her surgically reconstructed knee.
The 5-foot-7 point guard has already had two redshirt years, making her a junior academically but a freshman during the 2019-20 season. The Dunmore graduate has since had more surgery on the same knee that was fully reconstructed twice because of earlier anterior cruciate ligament tears.
Martin immediately took over running the offense and started in the team’s first 18 games before suffering the injury in the second half of a Jan. 20 game against Lipscomb.
With NJIT working through other injury issues, Martin took on a heavy burden as the primary ballhandler who put in 33.5 minutes per game for the struggling team.
Martin averaged 6.4 points, 2.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 0.9 steals and 0.2 blocked shots. She shot 43.9 percent from the floor, 43.2 percent on 3-point attempts and 77.1 percent from the line.
The best game for Martin came with 19 points and 7 assists against Wagner to start a stretch in which she averaged 12 points over 4 games.
NJIT went 1-15 in the Atlantic Sun Conference and 4-25 overall. It was 3-15 with Martin and won just once in 11 games after her season ended with the injury.
VICTORIA TOOMEY, Rider, NCAA Division I
Rider was in contention for a National Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament berth when the season was halted early as part of efforts to control the spread of the coronavirus.
The Broncos had already won the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular-season title and advanced to the MAAC semifinals as the top seed when the conference tournament was interrupted. They were in position to represent the conference if the NCAA Tournament, but not the conference tournaments, proceeded. They also could have advanced with two more MAAC tourney wins.
Toomey, a 6-2 center, played in 23 games for the 26-4 team, averaging 5.7 minutes. She also averaged 1.4 points and 0.9 rebounds while shooting 13-for-27 (48.1 percent) from the floor.
The freshman from Dunmore was part of a special season at the Lawrenceville, N.J. school, which posted its most wins since moving to Division I in time for the 1981-82 season. Rider went 18-2 in the MAAC and swept the conference’s major awards with WNBA Draft pick Stella Johnson repeating as Player of the Year, Amari Johnson earning Defensive Player of the Year and Lynn Milligan Coach of the Year.
Toomey’s best game came in her second college game when she had 5 points in 4 rebounds in 14 minutes in a 78-70 November win at Penn State. She also had 5 points in 14 minutes Jan. 4 against Iona.
CASSIE KSIAZEK, East Stroudsburg, NCAA Division II
Ksiazek also made a delayed debut after recovering from a repeat of a serious knee injury.
The 6-foot redshirt freshman forward/center from Abington Heights came off the game for East Stroudsburg University in every game of a 20-10 season. The Warriors finished tied for second in the Eastern Division with a 15-7 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference record.
Ksiazek averaged 1.6 points and 1.1 rebounds in 11.1 minutes per game. She had 12 assists, 11 steals and 8 blocked shots.
Following the season, Ksiazek became East Stroudsburg’s first recipient of the PSAC Champion Scholar Award in women’s basketball. She has a 3.980 grade point average in two years as an early education major.
The Warriors beat Bloomsburg, 53-42, in the PSAC quarterfinals, then lost 67-54 to Indiana University of Pennsylvania, the nation’s seventh-ranked Division II team, in their final game.
EMILY SHEEHAN, Scranton, NCAA Division III
Sheehan wrapped up a stellar career with the Lady Royals by repeating her Landmark Conference Player of the Year honors and helping the team win a conference title in all four years of her college career.
The 5-6 senior guard from Dunmore also earned first-team, all-star honors for the first time after being a second-team choice last season.
Sheehan had 40 steals to lead a Scranton defense that led the Landmark and ranked 18th in the country in points allowed at 53.0 per game. She ranked fourth in the conference in 3-point percentage at 37.6 and was the team’s second-leading scorer, averaging 10.8 points.
Sheehan started all but one game in a 24-4 season, averaging 3.0 rebounds and 1.6 assists while shooting 73.0 percent from the floor.
In her four-year career, Sheehan’s played 110 games, including 100 as a starter. She finished with 131 made 3-pointers, 872 points, 300 rebounds, 179 assists and 120 steals.
ERIN WORZEL, Scranton, NCAA Division III
Worzel, a 5-11 sophomore forward, appeared in 13 games for the Landmark Conference champions.
The Wallenpaupack graduate scored 12 points, grabbed 8 rebounds and made 3 steals in 60 minutes.
LAUREN FRANKLIN, Elmira College, NCAA Division III
Franklin led Elmira College (4-21) in most statistical categories as a senior.
The 5-9 guard/forward from Holy Cross led the team in points (10.2 per game), assists (2.3), steals (1.6) and field goal percentage (38.9). She was second in rebounds (6.1 per game) and blocked shots (13 total).
Franklin started 86 of her 92 career games and scored 712 points. She averaged 7.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists over her career.
ERICA HAEFELE, Misericordia, NCAA Division III
Erica Haefele led Misericordia in 3-pointers made with 54, an average of 2 per game.
The 5-4 junior guard from Mid Valley started every game for the Cougars (20-7) and was the program’s representative on the Middle Atlantic Conference Sportsmanship Team.
Haefele averaged 9.6 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.3 steals. She was second on the team in assists.
GIANNA DELFINO, Misericordia, NCAA Division III
Dunmore graduate Delfino made an immediate impact as a freshman at Misericordia where she started 20 games.
The 5-11 guard/forward led the team with 3.3 assists and 1.7 steals per game. She also averaged 7.5 points, 7.2 rebounds and 0.8 blocked shots.
MORGAN HAEFELE, Misericordia, NCAA Division III
Morgan Haefele made 7 starts and appeared in every game as a freshman on the 20-win team.
The 5-4 guard from Mid Valley joined her older sister on the team and led the Cougars in 3-point percentage at 44.7 by making 17 of 38 attempts.
Haefele averaged 3.4 points.
BETHANY MABY, Marywood, NCAA Division III
Maby made one start in her 13 appearances as a freshman for the Pacers (9-16).
The 5-5 guard from Susquehanna averaged 1.3 points and 1.2 rebounds.
GRACIE GUARINO, Marywood, NCAA Division III
Guarino, a 5-5 freshman guard from Western Wayne, had 11 points and 8 rebounds while 53 minutes in 8 games.
KIANA WILLIAMS, Lackawanna, NJCAA Division II
Williams, a 6-1 center, ranked 13th in the country among National Junior College Athletic Association Division II teams with 2.6 blocked shots per game.
The freshman from Mid Valley helped the Lady Falcons to a 25-6 record while playing in every game and starting in all but two.
Williams averaged 6.0 points and 8.0 rebounds while shooting 44.9 percent from the floor.