All-Empire Large School Girls Basketball: Daly’s patience pays off

Junior Katie Daly of Santa Rosa High. (Conner Jay / The Press Democrat)

Junior Katie Daly of Santa Rosa High. (Conner Jay / The Press Democrat)

By PHIL BARBER
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Junior Katie Daly was a phenom from the time she got to Santa Rosa High. And yet she had to wait for her moment in the spotlight.

Daly started as a freshman two years ago, but that team was loaded. It was senior leaders like Shawnee Phillips and McKennan Bertsch who directed the action and pushed the Panthers into the CIF state championship playoffs. Daly was content to be a role player — which frequently translated to being a defensive stopper.

Daly took over at point guard as a sophomore last year and wound up as a second-team All-Empire pick. But it was senior center Hannah Sourek who got most of the points and accolades.

This season, Santa Rosa coach Steve Chisholm asked Daly to carry the load, and she responded just as he believed she would. Daly averaged 10.8 points, 5.2 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 3.4 steals per game, led the Panthers to the North Bay League championship and a 23-7 overall record, and emerged as our Large School Player of the Year.

“You watch Katie play, and what Katie brings to our team, and to her travel team, is the ability to make everyone around her better,” Chisholm said. “You know she’s going to give you 120 percent on the floor. Her points-per-game won’t jump out — though she’ll have those games where she’ll score 16 or 18. But it’s the way she gets offensive rebounds and maintains possessions. She’ll come out of nowhere and snag an offensive rebound and give you an additional 30 seconds.”

And that says nothing of Daly’s defense. Throughout her high school playing time, she has most often guarded the opponent’s best scorer.

Most of all, Daly is a classic point guard, a true distributor who wants the ball in her hands when the tension is mounting.

“It all starts with the point guard, and Katie is the real deal,” said Windsor coach Jeff Paul, who has coached Daly in club basketball. “With ease she keeps them flowing and gets everyone involved, so that at the end of the game everyone has contributed and feels a part of the team.”

In 2012-13, those teammates included Morgan Bertsch (McKennan’s kid sister), Devin Murray and Kylie Oden. And here’s the scary thing: All of them will be back with the Panthers next year. So will Daly, ready to write another chapter in her stellar high school career.

 

ALL-EMPIRE TEAM

LARGE SCHOOL GIRLS BASKETBALL

PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Katie Daly, Santa Rosa, Jr.

FIRST TEAM
Katy Bisges, Petaluma, Soph.
Claire Donnelly, Montgomery, Sr.
Chantal Evett, Montgomery, Sr.
Kerianne Noonan, Windsor, Jr.
Brooke Santander, Casa Grande, Jr.

SECOND TEAM
Mackenzie Albrecht, Sonoma Valley, Soph.
Morgan Bertsch, Santa Rosa, Jr.
Mikaela Francis, Maria Carrillo, Sr.
Kylie Kiech, Cardinal Newman, Soph.
Lyndsey Murnin, Casa Grande, Sr.

THIRD TEAM
HelenAnn Haun, Healdsburg, Sr.
Devin Murray, Santa Rosa, Soph.
Jenna Petray, Analy, Soph.
Allison Scranton, Petaluma, Soph.
Ashlee Wilson, Montgomery, Sr.

COACH OF THE YEAR
Steve Bell, Montgomery

 

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