New Castle News

Sports

July 2, 2013

Athletes of the Year Nominees: Today, meet the female standouts from Lawrence County

NEW CASTLE — Lawrence County wasn’t without its fair share of girls superstars this season.

Whether it was on the track and field, softball diamond, basketball court or even the gridiron, 15 separated themselves from the rest.

However, only one will conquer the field when the New Castle News announces its Female Athlete of the Year on Thursday.

Individuals who participate in one sport qualify, but special consideration is given to multi-sport athletes.

Following are the candidates in alphabetical order:

LAUREN BARBER

Barber made waves in the pool for Wilmington this year.

She earned the first state gold medal in school history at the PIAA Class AA Swimming Championships in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:02.63, just .08 off the PIAA record. She also grabbed a silver in the 200 freestyle.

Perhaps one of the more impressive aspects of the sophomores accomplishment was that she took down 15-year-old phenom and participant in the latest Olympic trials, Allie Szekely.

Barber is no stranger to success, grabbing a second-place medal in the breaststroke and a third-place finish in the freestyle last year.

SHELBY BROWN

Brown emerged as a superstar in two sports for Mohawk — softball and basketball.   

On the court, the offense went through the 5-7 guard, as the all-star compiled a county-high 17 points a game, finished second with 122 of 154 free-throw shooting (79.2 percent) and was runner-up in 3-pointers with 41, earning first-team section and MVP honors.

Brown was too much for Wilmington in an early-season contest, earning a season-high 31 points and draining six 3-pointers.

She led her team on a wild ride in the playoffs, as the Lady Warriors won their first state postseason game since 1983.

As the games got more important, Brown only got better. In her team’s final three state playoff games, Brown upped her point per game average to 22.3, including a 27-point effort against Everett in the PIAA opening round.

Brown, who also doubled as a softball all-star, led her team to the postseason on the diamond as well. She paced Mohawk with 27 hits, a .415 average, 23 RBIs and a home run.

As a senior, her leadership at shortstop helped the Lady Warriors to the WPIAL Class AA quarterfinals, an 8-4 defeat to Chartiers-Houston.  

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