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Mendota junior Ally Bromenschenkel grew from 5 foot, 4 inches as a freshman to 6-1 this year. Her game grew with her height as she developed the skills of a guard and post player. That versatility made Bromenschenkel the only area player to finish in the top 10 in every statistical category. NewsTribune photo/Scott Anderson
MENDOTA — Ally Bromenschenkel likes a little variety.
This season, the junior on the Mendota girls basketball team got plenty of it. Listed as a forward on the roster, Bromenschenkel played all over the court and did a little bit of everything for the Lady Trojans.
Depending on the opponent, matchups at certain points in a game and teammates on the floor, Bromenschenkel could play anywhere from the point guard to the post.
And she loved every moment of it.
“I didn’t mind it, and I really liked doing it,” Bromenschenkel said. “It really worked well with the team and, when I switch positions that often, I play against different girls and everyone on the other team.”
Bromenschenkel’s versatility showed in her stats.
She finished in the top 10 in the area in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocked shots and was the only player this season to be in the top 10 in five different categories.
Not bad for someone on a well-balanced team that finished the year 25-4 and won a Class 3A regional title.
For all she did this season — regardless of her position — Bromenschenkel is the 2013-14 NewsTribune Girls Basketball Player of the Year.
“We’ve been saying for awhile that she is our most versatile player,” MHS coach Kevin Geldon said. “Offensively, she plays multiple positions. Defensively, she guards pretty much everybody. She can guard the (other team’s) best guard or guard the best post player. It is real easy for her to fit in because she does so much.”
Bromenschenkel is the second Mendota player in four years to win the award, the 10th Lady Trojan overall to receive the honor and the first junior to earn the title since Hall’s Kailey Klein in 2005.
“I think I like playing a four, which is a post player, the best,” Bromenschenkel said. “But I don’t really mind playing any of them. I just like basketball so I like playing everywhere.”
She showed that this season when she averaged 13.6 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 2.5 steals and 1.2 blocks per game. Not bad considering junior teammate Amy Devitt averaged 14.9 points and 8.8 rebounds per game and twin sister Abby Bromenschenkel averaged 9 points and 4 assists.
“We had to tell her several times this year, ‘You need to be more aggressive. We need you to score more,’” Geldon said. “It’s very easy for all of them to defer and let other people step up, but she is special and we needed for her to take over in games.
“If you put her on a different team at a different time with a different cast around her, her numbers are maybe twice as good as what they are right now, or at least they could be scoring-wise. I think that speaks to not only her but the rest of the girls and how unselfish they are.”
Bromenschenkel gained her wide-array of talents as she grew over the years — literally.
During junior high, she was the team’s point guard and entered high school at only 5 foot, 4 inches.
However, Bromenschenkel grew between freshman and sophomore year and then again between sophomore and junior year and currently stands at 6-foot-1, which caused her to see more action in the post.
“(During practices), Amy and (Brooke) Stallings work on the post drills and Abby and Brooke (Carroll) work on guard skills, but with Ally we expect her to be able to post up and be able to bring the ball up the court,” Geldon said. “She probably has the most on her shoulders in terms of what we expect from her, but I definitely think she is OK with handling that load.”
This season, thanks in part to Bromenschenkel, the Lady Trojans were on top of their game from the start.
After MHS finished second in the Oregon Tip-Off Tournament, it gained even more momentum as the season progressed.
The Lady Trojans won the Lady Bruins Christmas Classic for a second consecutive year, finished second in the Big Northern Conference West Division behind state-ranked Byron and won the program’s first regional in 12 years.
“The highlight of the season was definitely winning regionals,” Bromenschenkel said. “Cutting down the net was amazing. It just felt so great. We did what we had wanted to do all season, and we finally got what we were working for so we just celebrated.”
The regional title was the culmination of years of work, which included playing AAU summer basketball with her twin Abby, who was the starting point guard for Mendota.
“Abby and I are very competitive in practice,” Bromenschenkel admitted. “Coach almost never wants us to be on opposite teams because we’ll go after each other. But that mindset works great for when we’re on the same team during games. We’ve been playing with each other since we started playing basketball when we were five, so we love playing with each other because we work so well together.” The competitive nature is just one of the many factors that have helped Bromenschenkel become the NewsTribune Girls Basketball Player of Year.
“I think I am the player that I am because of my team and my coaches,” Bromenschenkel said. “They support me, they help me and they teach me. I am what I am because of them.”
Jared Bell can be reached at 220-6938, or at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsJared.
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