The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

March 3, 2013

Bates selected women's MVP

By Bruce Campbell, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Northern Oklahoma College Enid’s Chelsea Bates, who led the Lady Jets to a second-straight Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference championship, was selected as the most valuable player in both the conference and Region 2 Sunday.

Dalen Qualls of the Jets was a first-team men’s selection while teammate Jeremy Espinoza was a second-team choice.

Marisha Wallace was a second-team women’s selection while Christa Beasler was named to the all-conference third team.

NOC Enid’s Scott Morris, who directed an injury-ridden Lady Jets to 23-7 record, was the tri-women’s coach of the year along with Jay Niehues of Redlands and Amber Taylor of Eastern.

Bates, a sophomore, averaged 11.4 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3 assists and 1.8 steals a game. She shot 47.9 percent from the field, 54.5 percent from 3-point range and 78.2 from the line.

“I’m real proud of the girls, especially Chelsea,’’ Morris said. “She has come a long way. To earn that kind of respect in this region is really something.’’

Qualls was the Jets’ leading scorer with a 17.2 average. He shot 41.2 percent from the field, 37.8 percent from three-point range and 85.8 percent from the foul line.

He averaged 3 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 0.4 steals per game.

Espinoza averaged 15.4 points a game, hitting 48 percent from the field, 34.9 percent from 3-point range and 77.2 percent from the line.

“Those guys deserved it,’’ said Jets coach Greg Shamburg. “They are not only good basketball players, but good students, too. We’re going to have a hard time replacing them next year. They both improved a lot this season.

Wallace, despite missing eight games for various reasons, averaged a team-high 17.6 points with 7.1 rebounds, 0.8 blocks, and 1.5 steals. She shot 58 percent from the field and 76.9 percent from the line.

Beasler, coming off an ACL injury, averaged 11.3 points per game. She averaged 3.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 0.9 steals per game.

Beasler shot 36.9 percent from the field, 35.6 from three-point range and 73.8 percent from the line.

“For Marisha to battle injuries and illness like she did and still get second team is something to be proud of,’’ Morris said. “For Christa to go from not playing much as a freshman to missing last year to third team all-conference is really something.’’

Morris said all the honors were a tribute to the team.

“It’s always an honor to win something like that,’’ he said. “I’ve always told the girls, though, individual honors are nice, but they only go to individuals on good teams. I think it’s the ultimate respect for us as a team.’’