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Times-News Elite girls hoops team announced

April 7th, 2007 8:00 pm by Pat Kenney

KINGSPORT - Terms like "indispensable" and "unique" come to mind.

So do phrases such as "difference maker" and "team player."

Now, you can add "Elite" to that list.

The players that comprise the inaugural Kingsport Times-News Elite girls basketball team evoke all the above verbiage and more.

Announced today, the team includes a pair of Southwest Virginians - senior jack-of-all-trades Haley Odle of Gate City and athletic post Lauren Mullins of J.J. Kelly.

On the other side of the border, Dobyns-Bennett's imposing interior duo of Sabra Lawson and Blaine Frohlich claim slots.

So does Tennessee High's undeniable leader - and defensive spark - Danielle Montgomery.

Rounding out the roster is Sullivan South's Samantha Williams, a juggernaut on both ends of the floor.

Coaches spanning an eight- county region nominated players. The team was then selected by members of the Times-News sports staff.

Here's a look at the squad:

Haley Odle, Gate City

On a team built around depth, Odle carved her way into the spotlight.

Transferring to Gate City as a junior, Odle became an immediate contributor during the Lady Blue Devils' run to the VHSL Group A championship a year ago.

This season, she developed into the go-to player on a roster laden with talent. In 22 games, Odle averaged 13.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.3 steals per contest.

The senior's stellar play resulted in a return trip to the VHSL Final Four for the Lady Blue Devils and, later, a selection to the Virginia High School Coaches Association's Group A all-state team for Odle.

Lauren Mullins, J.J. Kelly

The 5-foot-9 Mullins transferred to her father's alma mater during her junior season and has made her mark at J.J. Kelly in volleyball, basketball and softball.

A terrific athlete, Mullins averaged 11 points and 7.5 assists for the Lady Indians. She also swatted away 29 shots over the course of the season, helping lead Kelly to a 21-8 finish, including an appearance in the state quarterfinals.

Gifted with speed and leaping ability, Mullins is an extremely smooth jump shooter with the ability to release her shot over the top of most opponents.

She has been recruited by the University of Virginia's College at Wise to play volleyball, but at present is undecided about her collegiate athletic plans.

Danielle MontgomeryTennessee High

Good off the dribble with a lightning-quick first step, this 5-6 sophomore point guard helped lead the Lady Vikings to 28 wins, the second most in school history.

Montgomery averaged 16 points, five boards, two assists and three steals a game.

Athletic and highly competitive, she spearheaded Tennessee High's vaunted pressure defense that led to multiple turnovers and many easy layups.

Respected around the Big 9 Conference, Montgomery was named Most Valuable Player for both the regular season and the District 1-AAA tournament. She also garnered All-Region 1 honors.

Samantha Williams Sullivan South

A 5-10 junior wing, Williams was consistent for the Lady Rebels night in and night out. Averaging 16.9 points and 8.7 rebounds a game, she surpassed the 1,000-point mark for her career this past season and is on track to finish with more than a thousand rebounds by the end of her playing time at South.

An above-average shooter from the perimeter, Williams also scored with ease off the dribble.

Her versatility allowed her to take the point guard spot when called upon.

In her three years with the Lady Rebels, Williams has never been shut out in a game.

Sabra Lawson, Dobyns-Bennett

A prolific scorer, Lawson, a 5-9 senior, slashed her way through defenses to average 15.2 points a game this past season. Her uncanny knack for finding the basket proved instrumental in the Lady Indians' rise to a third-place finish in the Big 9 Conference during the regular season.

Additionally, Lawson showed her court sense by dishing out almost four assists and hauling down eight rebounds per contest.

A steady free throw shooter, she averaged 73 percent at the charity stripe for her career and had multiple games this past season in which she hit double digits in free throws.

During her four-year high school career, Lawson became the all-time leading scorer among players who played their entire career at D-B in five-a-side basketball. She finished with an amazing 1,542 points.

She will continue her basketball career at Hiwassee College.

Blaine Frohlich, Dobyns-Bennett

Only a freshman, the 6-foot Frohlich made an immediate impact. Her offensive and defensive stats alone show why D-B not only moved up in the Big 9 standings, but became a force to be reckoned with.

Frohlich averaged a double- double for the season, scoring 12 points and pulling down 11.1 rebounds per outing for the Lady Indians.

Even more impressive were the 90 blocked shots Frohlich had during the season; the previous single-season record was 67. Her aggressiveness and ability to alter opponents' shots went a long way to establishing her as one of the preeminent centers in the Big 9.

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