Buffington, Belcher garner all-league basketball honors
Louisburg junior Carson Buffington led the Frontier League in rebounding for the third consecutive season as she averaged 11.6 rebounds to go along with 9.2 points per game. That effort earned her a second-team all-Frontier League selection.
The Frontier League has always been considered one of the tougher leagues in the state when it comes to girls basketball and this year was no exception.
The league had two teams advance to their respective state tournaments in Baldwin (4A-DII) and Paola (4A-DI), and Baldwin won a state title. It was a competitive league all season and Louisburg was a part of it.
Louisburg finished its season with an 8-13 record, but the league coaches awarded the Lady Cats with two selections on the all-league team that was released Monday.
Junior Carson Buffington and senior Bailey Belcher garnered all-league honors as both finished with strong seasons. Buffington was selected to the second team and Belcher earned a spot on the honorable mention squad.
Buffington earned her third consecutive all-league honor as she led the Frontier League in rebounding for third straight season. She averaged 11.6 rebounds a game to go along with 9.2 points and 2.7 steals a contest.
“It’s hard to express just how good Carson was this year for us,” Louisburg coach Shawn Lowry said. “She led the Frontier league for a third consecutive year in rebounding and finished in the top of the state rankings for all classes. What’s most impressive about her rebounding this year is that she played positions away from the basket. She does all of those things I ask of players when it comes to effort, hustle, character, being unselfish and she does it all with great pride. Carson was voted team captain by her teammates and was a great leader for us.”
Belcher, who is in her first year with the program, made strides as the season went along and became one the Lady Cats’ leading scorers. She ended her season with 7.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.0 steals a game from the guard spot.
“With this being Bailey’s first year playing basketball in high school there was a learning curve for her most of the season,” Lowry said. “However, Bailey made up for that with how coachable she was, what a great teammate she was and in how determined she was to compete. She was definitely one of the girls that set the tone for us in the way she battled for everything in practices and games. She was named a team captain that she earned through her hard work, leadership and unselfishness throughout the season.”
The Frontier League provided the Lady Cats with a lot of competition throughout the season, and although they would have liked to have more selections, they also realize the league is full of talent.
“I think like most coaches, I would like to have had more of our players recognized and for higher positions,” Lowry said. “I thought we had some kids that deserved recognition based on the scope of their work and all the intangible things they did for our team, but I also understand that there are a lot of really good players in our league.”
Baldwin, the league and state champion, led the way with four all-league selections and two on the first team, while Spring Hill finished with three overall.
ALL-FRONTIER LEAGUE GIRLS BASKETBALL
Abby Ogle, Baldwin, senior
Lauren Delker, Spring Hill, junior
Kayla Kurtz, Baldwin, junior
Mackenzie Shupe, De Soto, sophomore
Skyler Williams, Paola, senior
Kamryn Shaffer, Ottawa, senior
Meghan Goff, Spring Hill, junior
Ady Edwards, Paola, senior
Catherine Grosdidier, Eudora, senior
Carson Buffington, Louisburg, junior
Hailey Lovetinsky, Spring Hill, senior
Reilly Stewart, Baldwin, senior
Bailey Belcher, Louisburg, senior
Carly Lindenmeyer, Baldwin, junior