SPRING MILLS — Freshmen have made their mark in Class AAAA women’s basketball this season.
Spring Mills’ Kilah Dandridge was one of those freshmen who made an impact as one of three ninth-graders to win all-state honors.
Dandridge, who led the state tournament qualifying Cardinals in scoring, rebounding and assisting, earned second-team all-state honors.
All Zone Women’s Basketball
|Women’s All Zone Basketball Team|
|First TeamKilah Dandridge, Spring MillsJustus Lee, JeffersonOlivia Mayer, MartimsburgKelly Ours, HedgesvilleMary Rivera, WashingtonSecond TeamOlivia Bolduc, Spring MillsMackenzie Brezovec, JeffersonCorin Edsell, Spring MillsKaila Fitzpatrick, MusselmanMichaela Settles WashingtonGeorge Gosk, Spring Mills, Coach of the Year|
Following her success for the Cardinals, she was named Women’s Basketball Player of the Year by The Journal.
“I think things went pretty well for me,” Dandridge said. “I have to pay tribute to my teammates. They pushed me and set me up for some good shots.
And she also set them up.
In addition to scoring 14.7 points per game on 53% shooting, she averaged 3.7 assists. She also had a team-high 5.4 rebounds for the Cardinals 15-9.
She thinks her passing is the best part of her game.
“I think I can move the ball pretty well, and I can open up my teammates to take wide-open shots at them,” Dandridge said. “My other strength is driving to the basket. I think I can do that very well.
She likes to imitate LeBron James.
“I feel like I can play like LeBron,” Dandridge said. “Just the way he goes to the basket and the way he does his pull-ups and strength.”
The Cardinals have gotten stronger as the season progressed.
A team full of young players and just two seniors, Spring Mills has won just one of the Cardinals’ first seven games. Then they went on a 10-game winning streak.
“We didn’t have good team chemistry at the start of the season,” Dandridge said.
The team connected in time, she added.
“I’m proud of our team,” Dandridge said. “We have come a long way. We worked hard and came together.
They even scared off state runner-up Morgantown in the first round of the state tournament.
The Cardinals trailed 19-15 at halftime before losing 49-25. Dandridge’s 10 points paced Spring Mills.
“I think we surprised them in the first half,” Dandridge said. “In the second half they just started stopping us, and it got easier for them.”
She thinks the future is bright for Spring Mills.
“I think we’ll have another good season and come back to the United States,” Dandridge said. “Hopefully we get through the first round.”
Dandridge will certainly do his part to move the Cardinals forward in state play in a bid for Spring Mills to make history by winning their first game in Charleston.