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Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Southwest Louisiana ,
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Fairview's Maghan Cooley has been named Small Schools MVP on the
All-Southwest Louisiana Basketball Teams. (Rick Hickman / American
Press)

Fairview's Maghan Cooley has been named Small Schools MVP on the All-Southwest Louisiana Basketball Teams. (Rick Hickman / American Press)

Cool Hand Cooley nets MVP honor

Last Modified: Monday, March 24, 2014 1:17 PM

By Troy LaFleur / American Press

Maghan Cooley’s bag of awards has managed to get even heavier.

Joining her seven state championships, three all-state selections, and most recently her title as Class B state MVP, is the American Press All-Southwest Louisiana Small Schools Player of the Year.

The girls Big Schools Player of the Year is Sulphur senior point guard Becca Brooks.

The 5-foot-7 Cooley obviously has the hardware to show for her accomplishments, capping off a successful high school career by leading the Fairview Lady Panthers to their eighth consecutive Class B state championship and ninth in 10 years.

In her final season at Fairview, Cooley finished with season averages of 19 points, 6.6 rebounds, 10 assists and 6.0 steals per game. What made her stand out, her coach said, was her defensive and leadership abilities.

“Maghan sets our pace and gets us going. She is our energy,” Fairview head coach Kyle Jinks said during the state Top 28 tournament. “She can beat you in a lot of ways, but she is always pushing the pace.”

Brooks (5-6) was a three-year starter at Sulphur where she helped lead the Lady Tors to the Class 5A state semifinals in 2013 and the quarterfinals in 2014. In her senior campaign she averaged 16.3 point per game.

“Becca is just a competitor. She plays hard every time she is on the floor,” said Sulphur head coach Helen LeFevre. “Becca always looks to score, but she does a very good job running our offense. I like having the ball in Becca’s hands late in a game.

“Defensively, if you tell Becca she is going to have a hard time stopping a particular player, she is going to go out there and prove you wrong.”

It was that defensive prowess that made Brooks one of the best one-on-one defenders in Southwest Louisiana and led the Lady Tors to a 30-4 record.

Joining Brooks on the big schools first team are DeRidder’s Breannah Bretches, South Beauregard’s Sissy Saucier, St. Louis’ Frances Thompson and Washington-Marion’s Ashley Cherry.

Bretches (5-7) played a key part in sending the Lady Dragons to the state semifinals this year, averaging 16.2 points and 4.5 steals per game.

Saucier (5-8) is the youngest member of the team, making it as a freshman. Averaging 14.7 points per game she helped lead the Lady K’s to the Class 3A state quarterfinals.

Thompson and Cherry led all are big schools players in scoring average with 19.9 and 25 ppg, respectively. They each carried their teams to the first round of the state playoffs.

The second team is rounded out by Sam Houston’s Sam Logan, Sulphur’s Cierra Wilson, Iota’s Jillian Bone and DeRidder duo Tia Youngblood and Briane Miller.

Joining Cooley on the small schools first team are Merryville’s Andrea Cournoyer, Lake Arthur’s Elizabeth Guidry, Pickering’s Sami Thomas and Hackberry’s DJ Simon.

Cournoyer made the team despite being an eighth-grader after averaging an area-high 28.9 ppg and leading Merryville to the Class 1A state semifinals.

Guidry is a McNeese State signee who also led her team to the 2A state semifinals, averaging 20.3 ppg along the way.

Rounding out the semifinalists is Thomas, who reached the mark all four years of her career. She averaged 20.5 ppg.

Simon, like Cooley, finished her career with a state championship, averaging 21.6 points per game along the way.

The second team includes Callie Maddox and Katie Lemieux of Fairview, Madyson Brasseaux and Abbie Melanson of Lacassine and Gabby Guidry of Lake Arthur.

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