By Bill Tamburrino
Ramona High’s girls basketball player Katherine Mauldin, a junior, was selected 2014 Valley League Player of the Year, and five of her teammates earned All Valley League recognition.
All three of Ramona’s captains were selected to the first team: Mauldin, Kailey Hill and Christina Barrameda.
Chiara Mattern made the second team. Kylee Scheib and Hannah Farhat received honorable mention.
“I nominated two players for the Player of the Year, Katherine Mauldin and Kailey Hill, thinking that they might share the honor,” said coach Dan Marshall “The coaches chose Katherine. However, they did say that they all wished that they could have the same problem of having two candidates for Player of the Year,” he added with a chuckle.
Mauldin averaged a double double for the season. She scored a league-high 396 points and averaged 13.2 points a game. Maudlin led the team with 361 rebounds and averaged 12 boards a game. She also played defense and had 43 steals and 10 blocked shots.
“Katherine is the greatest rebounder I have ever coached,” said Marshall. “Her statistics are amazing. Katherine is a double double machine.
“'Tough’ is an over- and misused term to describe players. Being a tough player is often associated with players who act tough by bumping, shoving, tripping, fouling, scowling and trash talking. The true meaning of being tough is best exemplified by Katherine Mauldin. Our quiet captain is a true warrior princess. Toughness is being disciplined. Katherine bumps players on her way to getting double digit rebounds. Katherine gets shoved all of the time and never shoves back. When a player trips, Katherine reaches down and helps them up. Katherine rarely fouls, yet she looks like the other teams’ personal jungle gym with everyone hanging on her. Katherine never scowls, rather she has the look of a focused player. In an era of trash talking and attention- seeking, Katherine speaks with her actions and, in my assessment, she is the most competitive athlete on our campus. Katherine reminds us while winning is important, winning with true toughness and honor is more important.”
Hill also had impressive numbers. The senior power forward scored 326 points and averaged 10.9 points per game, and hauled down 6.5 boards a game. She led the team in steals (73) and blocked shots (43) and had 56 assists. She could score in the paint, drive and she hit 14 3-point shots.
“Kailey Hill is one of the most athletic players I have ever coached.," said Marshall. "It would be her or Bridget Files. Both were multi-sport athletes and both are Division I scholarship athletes. I feel blessed to have coached Kailey. Through the season, teams tried to find someone to stop Kailey. Against smaller, quicker players, Kailey was too strong and explosive. Against bigger players, Kailey was too quick and explosive. And, if want to play off of her, Kailey will stick a 3-pointer. Kailey is a game-changer. Like all great players, Kailey would take over when the team needed her to lead us to victory.”
Barrameda was the straw that stirred the drink. The senior point guard averaged 9.6 points a game and 6.8 boards a game. When teams loaded the paint to stop Mauldin and Hill, she hit 31 3-point shots. When teams pressed, Barrameda took the ball and beat the press. She led the team in assists with 67 and had 69 steals with 13 blocked shots.
“Christina is a coach’s dream,” said Marshall. “Christina is one of my all-time favorite kids to coach. Last year people told me how athletic Christina is on the floor. This year people are talking about how great a basketball player she is. Being athletic is God-given, being a great basketball player comes from being smart, coachable, driven, focused, fearless, tough and out-working everyone, every time you step in the gym. How many players can say they had a perfect game: 22 points, 5/5 in 2-pointers, 4/4 in 3-pointers and none of the shots were inside 10 feet. I look forward to watching her play college ball.”
Mattern made the team as a pure shooter. The freshman shooting guard averaged 9.1 points a game. She was a zone breaker as she hit 51 shots from beyond the arc. She had 26 assists and 44 steals.
Marshall had praise for Mattern: “Chiara is likely the best pure shooter I have ever coached. Of course, Amanda Gray finished her career, as a Bulldog, as our greatest shooter. Chiara could be just as great. The comparison is the ultimate compliment I could give Chiara. Not only is Chiara an amazing shooter, like Amanda, Chiara competes and she is driven to work hard to be successful.”
Scheib averaged 3.3 points a game and grabbed 3.6 boards a game. She dished off 29 assists. Her specialty was defense. She had 51 steals and 10 blocked shots.
”Kylee is one of the best defenders I have ever coached. Her stats do not reflect her true value to our team. In that regard she should be first team all league. During our 19 game-winning streak, Kylee made the big defensive plays to keep the streak alive,” Marshall said.
Hannah Farhat was the sixth teammate. Her specialty was to come off the bench and ignite a spark or shore up the defense. Despite limited playing time, she averaged 3.3 points a game. She had 45 rebounds with 34 assists and 29 steals.
“Hannah is an extremely quick defender with the ability to knock down the 3-point shot. Hannah’s on-the-ball defense drives the opposing point guards nuts,” said the coach.