A pair of returning first-teamers and three newcomers headline The Daily Gazette All-Area girls’ basketball honors for the 2022-23 season.
Schalmont’s Karissa Antoine and Saratoga Springs’ Tash Chudy, two of the area’s top returning players, earned first-team spots for the second season in a row. The other three first-teamers — Catskill’s Janay Brantley, Duanesburg’s Allison O’Hanlon and Averill Park’s Taylor Holohan — made the leap into the top spots this season after earning second-team, third-team and honorable mention spots, respectively, a season ago. O’Hanlon and Holohan led their respective teams to Section II championships, while Chudy, Antoine and Brantley put up eye-popping and often historic numbers.
Here’s a look at what the first-teamers did this season.
KARISSA ANTOINE, SCHALMONT
Asked to do more as the top returning player from a 2022 state championship team, Karissa Antoine did just that in leading Schalmont to another success season while boosting her own standing as one of Section II’s premier hardwood performers..
All of the 6-foot-0 junior’s numbers increased including her scoring and rebounding averages, and her role as a team leader went to a higher level, too.
“She did an excellent job of stepping into the role as team captain, acting as an extension of the coaching staff and representing our school,” Schalmont coach Jeff Van Hoesen said of the Daily Gazette All-Area first-team repeat selection.
Antoine was tasked with leading a Schalmont team that graduated three standout starters, and the Sabres began the campaign at 1-4 before coming on for a 15-8 finish which included a Section II semifinal berth.
“That goes back to Karissa’s leadership,” Van Hoesen said. “She kept the girls focused. She lifted the kids up to give them confidence. She put it in their minds that they could be successful.”
Antoine showed the way on the court by averaging 21.8 points, 12.4 rebounds and 4.1 blocks per game, topping the 18.1, 10.3 and 3.1 numbers she delivered for last season’s New York champs when she made the all-state Class B third team.
“She’s just a tenacious kid. She has a nose for the ball,” Van Hoesen said of Antoine’s defensive prowess. “As she’s gotten taller and more athletic, it has just made her more effective.”
The Colonial Council first-team all-star was a better ball handler and perimeter shooter this year which helped her climb further up the Schalmont career scoring chart, to No. 2 (1,398) behind 2022 grad Payton Graber (2,023).
“She is a versatile kid. She drops to the post. She sets up outside. At times we had her playing the point,” Van Hoesen said. “She can play one to five, and she’s open to that.”
Antoine tied her career best this season with 36 points in a win over Voorheesville and had other games with 34, 31 and 30 points. The 31 points came in a 53-48 win over Ichabod Crane, with Antoine scoring her team’s final 15 points. She also sank a season-high three 3s in that January comeback win.
“Ichabod Crane was No. 6 in the state and had lost only to Albany Academy. We were down 12 at the half, and Karissa took over the game,” Van Hoesen said. “She was scoring in the paint and hitting from outside. Every play we called for, she executed.”
A four-year varsity performer, Antoine has received Division I offers from Toledo, Drexel and Canisius among other schools.
“She works so hard and loves the game,” Van Hoesen said. “She’ll improve something before you see her next year. She’ll come back with more tools in her box, and with the idea of helping us reach our goals.”
JANAY BRANTLEY, CATSKILL
Janay Brantley climbed to No. 5 on the all-time Section II scoring list in her six varsity seasons at Catskill, yet there is so much more to the 6-foot senior guard’s game.
The Stony Brook commit piled up 18 assists this season to pass her school one-game record by one, and averaged 6.3 helpers per outing for the 23-1 Section II Class B runner-up Cats. Brantley averaged 10.6 rebounds and 7.3 steals per game, as well, to go with her 28.7 points per contest.
“She scored over 2,000 points, but she is a pass-first guard,” Catskill coach Chris Quinn said of the four-time Patroon Conference MVP and five-year team captain. “If she sees you, you’re getting the rock.”
It didn’t take long for opposing teams to realize that Brantley held the key to Catskill’s offense, and though she saw every defense imaginable in her career, she still produced on a grand scale with her assists and points.
“In her first game, as a seventh-grader, she controlled the flow and people took notice. In her second game, she saw her first box-and-one,” Quinn said.
When a teammate wasn’t available, Brantley knew just what to do as a premier shooting and driving threat that produced 2,433 points. Her high this season was 40 points and twice she netted 37, and as a junior she set a school record with 51.
In four playoff games this winter, the Class B all-tourney pick averaged 27.5 poinst with a high of 34 in a 60-45 semifinal win over Ichabod Crane and 24 in a 64-36 title-game loss to Albany Academy.
Brantley scored over 20 points 22 times as a 12th-grader, including 27 capped by a buzzer-beating floater to lift the Cats past Ichabod Crane 48-46 in late January. In her game with 18 assists earlier in January, in a 97-23 win over Albany Leadership, Brantley also had 25 points and 11 rebounds in two and a half quarters.
“The Ichabod Crane games were two of our toughest, and I asked her to do so much on offense and defense. She carried the load,” Quinn said. “When the games got tougher, she was at her best.”
Brantley’s defensive gems included a 10-steal effort (to go with 25 points, 12 rebounds) when the Cats topped Greenville 42-25 in the Patroon Conference title game.
“She can play five [offensive] positions and defend five positions,” Quinn said. “I went over our six most important games and she averaged almost seven steals. She is so long and so smart.”
Brantley helped Catskill go 19-3 in her junior season when she was named to the all-state second team.
“Stony Brook is getting a great basketball player, but more than that, they’re getting a super kid,” Quinn said. “They’re getting an Honor Society kid. They’re getting a classy kid who is friendly to everybody and puts in time with the younger kids. They’re getting a humble super star.”
TASH CHUDY, SARATOGA SPRINGS
Over the past several years, it’s been no secret who Saratoga’s biggest scoring threat is.
As a senior, Tash Chudy took strides in developing her game beyond just scoring the basketball, becoming one of the most reliable rebounders and passers in Section II.
“Watching her over her career, she’s really improved every facet of her game,” said Saratoga coach Robin Chudy, Tash’s mother. “She came up as a skinny eighth grader and worked on her strength, her running, and by the time she became a senior she was in great shape and had developed all of her skills.”
Tash Chudy averaged a double-double for the season, with 18.6 points per game and 13.2 rebounds per game. She also averaged 6.1 assists per game.
“I don’t always give her the credit during the season because you’re always looking for more, more, more, but boy she was terrific,” said Robin Chudy. “Looking back on her career, I’m really proud of how she continued to push herself and put in the work.”
The 6-foot-2 forward will continue her basketball career in the Division I Patriot League next year at Lafayette College.
“She wants it,” Robin Chudy said of Tash’s desire to play at the next level. “I think she’s looking forward to going out and figuring things out for herself. She doesn’t need me yelling at her anymore, so it’s going to be really nice to sit on the sidelines and watch.”
Tash Chudy concludes her time at Saratoga Springs as the program’s all-time leading rebounder (805), second in assists (371) and third in points (1471).
“I’m not sure she would even know of all of her accolades or the awards she’s been given because her goal has always just been to work hard and to be on a team where the team succeeds,” said Robin Chudy, who also recalled what her favorite memory has been on the court with her daughter.
“When she scored her 1,000th point, I can picture her smile in my head,” Robin Chudy said of the milestone point, which came during a tournament game against Bishop Kearney at Cicero-North Syracuse on Jan. 16, 2022.
“I don’t think I’ll ever forget that moment. She knew it was coming, but we never really talked about it. To see her face when she did it, it was awesome.”
TAYLOR HOLOHAN, AVERILL PARK
You can give Taylor Holohan every award imaginable, but there’s only one thing that’s going to make her satisfied — her team winning the final game of its season.
Averill Park fell just shy of that mark this year, falling in the NYSPHSAA Class A semifinals.
Still, Holohan dominated her junior season by averaging a double-double, with 18 points and 10 rebounds per game. The 6-foot-1 forward also averaged a whopping six blocks per game.
“She’s one of the few players in the area that really plays both sides of the basketball,” Averill Park coach Sean Organ said of Holohan. “Defense is really important to her and she’s absolutely bought into what [assistant coach] Scott [Keegan] and I have asked her to do.”
A year after being snubbed from the Suburban Council all-star selections during a strong sophomore campaign, Holohan returned as a junior to be named the league’s most valuable player.
During Averill Park’s state semifinal game against Walter Panas, Holohan picked up two early fouls, leading to Organ pulling her off the court. When she eventually returned, the Warriors faced a significant deficit, but the junior nearly led Averill Park to an improbable comeback with a huge surge in the fourth quarter.
“She stabilized our offense when she came back in, in the second quarter,” Organ said. “She hit some big shots to keep us in it, in the third, but it wasn’t really until the fourth that we got going.”
“Taylor did what Taylor has done all season long,” Organ added. “She competed, she found a way to plug the hole inside and stop them from getting clean looks. She was either attacking and finishing in the middle of their zone or setting her teammates up so that they had a really good look.”
When the Warriors showed up for tryouts in November, two staples of the program, Ameila Wood and Michelina Lombardi, were noticeably absent, due to graduation.
“That conversation started last year after we had won the state championship,” Organ said of his conversation with Holohan on moving forward without Wood or Lombardi. “I asked her to come into my classroom and I told her I wanted her to start thinking about what it would be like next year.”
“I wanted her to know that we needed her to step up and kind of laid out the blueprint of the things she needed to do,” he continued. “She was all business. She just said ‘OK, I’m going to get going.’”
Organ expects next season, Holohan’s fifth on the varsity team, to be a special one.
“When you work with a kid for five seasons, and next year will be her fifth year, it’s very special,” he said. “It’s special to watch them grow and see off of their accomplishments. We’ve very proud of Taylor and excited to see how things turn out for her.”
ALLISON O’HANLON, DUANESBURG
Following the graduation of all-area point guard Madison Meyer from last year’s Class C state semifinalist squad, Allison O’Hanlon became the unquestioned leader of coach Chris Herron’s Duanesburg team.
She, and the Eagles, didn’t miss a beat.
“On the court, she definitely took over and elevated her play,” Herron said. “There’s always a big jump between sophomore and junior year, and she definitely showed it and it was definitely a big reason why we were successful.”
A year after capturing the program’s first Section II title, Duanesburg repeated this past season with a Class C championship before being denied a return to the state playoffs with a loss to Greenwich in the Section II Class C/CC playoff.
Herron said that O’Hanlon’s basketball IQ, already impressive, took a quantum leap forward this season.
“She saw things that I didn’t see,” Herron said. “Even when you question it, you’d go back and look and it’s ‘alright, she was right on that.’”
The 5-foot-8 junior guard is on constant mission to improve her game. Having verbally committed to Siena College before the start of her junior season, O’Hanlon spent her 2022-23 campaign rewriting Duanesburg’s record book.
Her 555 points this season — an average of 23.1 points per game — were a school record for a single season, and in mid-January she surpassed Meyer’s career scoring record of 1,572 points. O’Hanlon ended the season with 1,819 points, already putting her in the top-25 in Section II girls’ basketball history.
“We lost eight, nine, 10 games because of COVID [in 2020-21],” Herron said. “She did that as a junior with missing almost half a season. That’s pretty crazy, pretty unreal.”
O’Hanlon scored at a torrid pace in 2022-23, reaching double figures in all 24 games. She had four games with at least 30 points, including a pair of 38-point performances — one of which, on Jan. 11 against Canajoharie, saw O’Hanlon make 10 3-pointers, making her one of just three players in Section II history to hit that many 3s in a game. O’Hanlon’s 87 made 3-pointers this season — on 36% shooting — is tied for the second-most prolific season from beyond the arc in area history.
The milestones should continue to come next season. O’Hanlon is 181 points away from becoming the 12th Section II girls’ basketball player ever to score 2,000 career points, and she could push her way into the all-time top five. She already ranks second in Section II history with 273 made 3s, just 11 shy of the record held by Gloversville’s Harmony Philo.
“She showed that she belongs in the conversation with all those girls, not just around the Capital Region, but across the state,” Herron said. “She’s a player, and she’s very good.”
Karissa Antoine, Schalmont, 11; Janay Brantley, Catskill, 12; Tash Chudy, Saratoga Springs, 12; Taylor Holohan, Averill Park, 11; Allison O’Hanlon, Duanesburg, 11
Bri Carey, Shenendehowa, 12; Saige Randolph, Albany Academy, 12; Shonyae Edmonds, Albany, 12; Jayla Tyler, Colonie, 12; Carly Wise, Saratoga Springs, 11
Brooke Kuzmich, Greenwich, 9; Shea Canavan, Queensbury, 10; Mia’Rose Wylie, Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons, 11; Ellie Cerf, Bethlehem, 11; Carolina Williams, Ichabod Crane, 10
SUBURBAN COUNCIL: Azera Gates, Albany, 10; MK Lescault, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, 12; Bella Franchi, Colonie, 12; Kaleigh Montanez, Shenendehowa, 12; Arianna Verardi, Averill Park, 10
COLONIAL COUNCIL: Tanavia Turpin, Catholic Central, 10; El’Dior Dobere, Catholic Central, 8; Bella Vincent, Albany Academy, 11; Sophia Bologna, Holy Names, 10; Hannah VanDerzee, Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk, 12
FOOTHILLS COUNCIL: Macey Koval, Schuylerville, 12; Kaitlin McDonough, South Glens Falls, 12; Kendra Ballard, Queensbury, 12; Seneca Williamson, Hudson Falls, 11; Molly Russom, Broadalbin-Perth, 10
WASAREN LEAGUE: Norah Niesz, Greenwich, 12; Adrianna Rojas, Greenwich, 11; Audrey Shields, Emma Willard, 11; Kayla Beaudoin, Tamarac, 10; Schulyer Nolan, Cambridge, 12
WESTERN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE: Hailey Monroe, Northville, 10; Angelina Deitz, Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons, 11; Alex Moses, Duanesburg, 11; Cloey Dopp, Mayfield, 11; Hannah Mulhern, Duanesburg, 11
OTHER: Jayla Hughley, Albany Leadership; 11; Baileigh Briski, Coxsackie-Athens, 8; Emily Dingmon, Corinth, 11; Madi Gould, Whitehall, 12; Samantha Howland, Whitehall, 12
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Categories: High School Sports, Sports