Seven area girls earn all-state honors

DES MOINES – Seven Messenger-area girls basketball players were named to the Iowa Newspaper Association all-state teams this week, including a pair of St. Edmond standouts.

Alli Huss and Anna Yung landed on the Class 2A second squad for the Gaels, which also included South Central Calhoun’s Haley Birks.

In 1A, runner-up Newell-Fonda had two first team selections in seniors Claudia Larsen and Renee Maneman, while Ellie Herzberg of Manson Northwest Webster and Elle Ruffridge from Pocahontas Area were each first team picks in 2A.

Huss, who finished her career four points shy of 1,000 and third on the school’s all-time scoring charts, averaged 19.3 per game and shot 55-percent from the field.

She also was a 46 percent shooter from the three-point line and led St. Edmond with 10.3 rebounds.

“Alli had a great senior year,” SEHS head coach Scott Messerly said. “She improved in every aspect of her game this year.”

Yung, just a junior, averaged 18.7 points and was a 55-percent shooter from the floor. She also was 72 of 98 at the free throw line, grabbed four boards a night and added 100 assists and 52 steals.

“The great thing about Anna is that we get her back for one more year and I’m thrilled for that,” Messerly said. “I just really wish we were getting Alli and Maddie (McCarville) for another season to see how much more they could improve.”

Both Huss and Yung were also unanimous first team all-North Central Conference picks and made the Iowa Basketball Coaches Association all-Region 6 squad.

“It’s just great to see two all-staters from our team,” Messerly said. “And the all-region honor was great too because there were a lot of good players that could have been selected.”

Messerly, who has guided St. Edmond to at least a share of three straight conference titles, was also honored as district coach of the year.

Maneman, who is headed to Northwestern College in the fall alongside Larsen, also earned the IBCA 1A player of the year award. She averaged 15 points and had 139 assists and 112 steals in helping the Mustangs secure another second place finish.

Larsen posted 335 points, 86 assists, 45 steals and 67 blocks, while also leading Newell-Fonda in rebounds with 224.

Herzberg was injured eight games into her senior season, but the University of Northern Iowa signee was scoring 25.6 points per night. The Cougars advanced to state, bowing out in the quarterfinals.

Ruffridge, just a ninth-grader for the Indians, helped turn Pocahontas Area around. They advanced to a regional final before falling to eventual 2A state champion Western Christian.

On the year, Ruffridge set a new freshman scoring record in Iowa with 612 points – a number that placed her fifth in the entire state. She also averaged just under seven assists and 4.4 steals a night, while hitting 133 of 149 free throw attempts.

Ruffridge’s 170 assists on the season were second-most in the state behind St. Edmond’s Jaci Stumpf.

Birks, a junior, averaged a team-high 14.8 points on 53-percent shooting as the Titans advanced to the state quarterfinals. She also led SCC in rebounds at seven a night and added 53 assists, 78 steals and 34 blocks.

Maneman was a first team pick last year and Herzberg second. Both Yung and Birks were third team selections as underclassmen.

Miss Basketball honors went to Alexis Conaway of MOC-Floyd Valley. The Iowa State University volleyball signee ended her career with 1,902 points, 776 rebounds, 455 steals and 294 assists. She was a two-time player of the year in volleyball for 3A and is a two-tiem Drake Relays high jump champion, along with three state titles in the event.

The Iowa Girls Coaches Association also released all-district teams, in which Maneman, Larsen, Johanna Vaske of Bishop Garrigan and Jossie Ferrari from Southeast Webster-Grand were honored in 1A.

Huss, Yung, Herzberg and Ruffridge were 2A picks, while Makayla Ernst from East Sac County (3A) and Tangy Wiseman of Algona (4A) were named.

Maneman, Larsen, Ruffridge, Herzberg, Birks and Wiseman were all picked for the all-region team, along with Pocahontas Area’s Hannah Stafford, Manson NW’s Faith Troshynski, Humboldt’s Lauren Friesth and Kayla Mobley of Greene County.