The selections of Oneonta High’s Mariah Ruff and Franklin’s Jordan Beers as Section Four’s Class B and D players of the year by the Basketball Coaches Association of New York had to fall into the absolutely expected category.
BCANY recently announced its Section Four girls basketball awards, which included OHS’ Matt Miller and Franklin’s Mike Dutcher earning Class B and D coach of the year honors.
Also honored on the all-Section Four team were Oneonta High senior center Natalie Vanderlaan-Meyering and OHS senior forward Kelsey Baker.
Ruff, a junior point guard, brought the Yellowjackets to the brink of a state championship a little over two weeks ago. The fifth-year varsity player had game highs of 26 points and eight assists to go along with seven rebounds in Oneonta’ 55-53 loss to Irvington in a Class B state semifinal March 15 at Hudson Valley Community College.
Irvington went on to win its fourth straight Class B state title the following day with a 38-point drubbing of Waterloo. The Bulldogs also won their third Class B Federation title in four seasons the following weekend.
For Ruff and third-year coach Miller, it marks the second straight year they’ve named Class B’s top player and coach. Ruff averaged 17.6 points in helping the Yellowjackets to a 20-2 season that included a Southern Tier Athletic Conference title and OHS’ sixth straight Section Four Class B championship.
OHS beat Horseheads, 57-56, in the STAC final. Horseheads’ Tess Wicks and Amanda Schiefen were named co-Class AA players of the year, and Blue Raiders coach Andy Scott was named coach of the year.
The Yellowjackets also defeated Maine-Endwell, 50-34, in a STAC semifinal. M-E went on to lose to Troy, 46-30, in the Class A state title game. Troy twice lost this past season to OHS by double digits.
M-E’s Julie Yacovani was named the Class A player of the year and the Spartans’ Sonny Spera was named coach of the year.
Vanderlaan-Meyering and Baker averaged around nine and seven points, respectively, this season.
Beers, like Ruff a junior point guard who started playing varsity basketball as a seventh-grader, averaged an area-best 26.7 points this season. She led Franklin to Tri-Valley League and Section Four Class D titles. She’ll bring 1,914 points into next season and barring injury, will become the area’s all-time leading scorer.
Franklin’s 20-1 season ended with a 51-46 loss to Oriskany in a state quarterfinal. Oriskany went on to advance to the state final.
Dutcher is in his third season as Franklin’s coach.
Harpursville junior standout Miranda Drummond was named Section Four’s Class C player of the year. She guided the Hornets to the Class C state final. Harpursville edged a Unadilla Valley squad it lost to during the regular season in a sectional quarterfinal, then avenged two losses to Unatego in the sectional final before beating Cooperstown by two points in a state quarterfinal. Hornets coach Kurt Ehrensbeck earned Class C coach of the year honors.
Coaches must belong to the BCANY to be eligible for its coach of the year awards and for his or her players to be eligible for player of the year honors.