Small-school girls basketball player of year: Whitney Edens, Cloverdale

In her last two years at Cloverdale High, Whitney Edens was the leading scorer on teams that went undefeated in the North Central I -South League.

Cloverdale coach Rick Berry says defense is what sets Whitney Edens apart. Photo by Crista Jeremiason / The Press Democrat

However, it wasn’t her prowess in putting points on the board that clinched her selection as small-school basketball All-Empire Player of the Year.

“Her defense was what set her apart,” coach Rick Berry said of the 5-foot-7 point guard. “In my opinion, she was the best defender in the Empire. She always drew the other team’s leading scorer and made them work for every point.”

This past season, with Edens taking the toughest assignment on defense and averaging 22 points per game, Cloverdale finished 22-6. In 2010, the Eagles were 28-3. Both years they went 8-0 in conference.

In the opening round of the 2011 North Coast Section Division 4 playoffs, Cloverdale defeated Ursuline, 60-59. Edens held Jordan Henry, the North Bay League’s most valuable player, to 14 points. St. Mary’s, the team that went on to win NCS, knocked the Eagles out of the tournament in the second round.

ALL-EMPIRE TEAM
FIRST TEAM
Claire Bailey, Rincon Valley Christian, senior
Kate Bayes, Sonoma Academy, junior
Madelyn Densberger, St. Helena, senior
Hannah Dolan, Rincon Valley Christian, senior
Arianna Hanson, Rincon Valley Christian, senior
SECOND TEAM
Morgan Carlson, Cloverdale, sophomore
Nicole Hupke, St. Vincent, senior
Brenna Jessup, Willits, senior
Arika Martinoni, Tomales, senior
Veronica Wilder, Lower Lake, senior
HONORABLE MENTION
Seraphie Allen, Rio Lindo Adventist, senior
Jonesha Beasley, Lower Lake, senior
Amber Hart, Middletown, junior
Mia Blundell, Potter Valley, senior
Jaylen Wilson, Round Valley, senior

— Howard Senzell, for The Press Democrat