Former Shawnee standout Tramble named GAC Women's Player of the Year
RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. – On Tuesday, the Great American Conference announced its 2021 Women’s Basketball superlative awards and released the All-GAC teams.
Southwestern Oklahoma State’s Makyra Tramble, a Shawnee High School product, continued the Lady Bulldogs’ legacy of producing conference Players of the Year as she won the league’s top individual honor.
Tramble joined former SWOSU All-Americans Darcie Dick, Hailey Tucker and Hayden Priddy in becoming the program’s fourth Player of the Year. In leading the Lady Bulldogs to the Western Division title, she paced the league in scoring, rebounding, made 3-point field goals and double-doubles. She leads the nation in steals.
Arkansas Tech’s Ashlei Lopez collected Newcomer of the Year and her coach, Dave Wilbers, claimed the first Coach of the Year honor of his career. The Golden Suns won their fifth GAC regular-season title in nine years. Lopez ranked third in the league in scoring, at 17.1 points per game, shot 50.8 percent from the floor, and collected 2.2 steals per game.
Southern Nazarene’s Abby Niehues, the GAC preeminent shot blocker, captured Defensive Player of the Year. For the third-straight year, she led the league in blocked shots, a feat matched only by former Crimson Storm great Aminata Fall. She broke Fall’s GAC record for blocked shots in a career. She ranks second in Division II in total blocked shots. Harding’s Sage Hawley earned Freshman of the Year, the fourth Lady Bison to win that accolade in nine years. She ranked in the top 10 in the conference in scoring, rebounding and blocks.
Tramble and Lopez also made the All-GAC First-Team as unanimous selections. Southeastern Oklahoma State’s duo of Kamryn Cantwell and Briley Moon plus Arkansas Tech’s Jayana Sanders and Henderson State’s Maci Mains made the First Team by unanimous consent.
Cantwell led the team in scoring and rebounding and shot both 48.6 percent from floor and from the 3-point arc. Moon averaged 15.8 points per game, shot 39.8 percent from the 3-point stripe and a league-leading 90.0 percent from the line. Sanders’ 5.1 assists led the GAC and Mains’ 4.5 per game placed second. Mains owns the two top single-game scoring outputs of the regular season with 38 against Harding on Thursday and 35 against Southern Arkansas on opening night, January 7.
Niehues and Harding’s Carissa Caples rounded out the First Team. Caples and Cantwell each became two-time First-Team honorees. She finished the season as the Lady Bison’s second-leading scorer.
Hawley headlined the All-GAC Second Team. The rest of the team featured Northwestern Oklahoma State’s Bailey Brown and Scout Frame, Ouachita’s Eden Crow and Makayla Miller, East Central’s Kendall Schulte, Southern Arkansas’ Kisi Young and SWOSU’s Karly Gore.
The All-GAC Honorable Mention Team comprised of Tech’s Kaley Shipman, East Central’s Madison Rehl, Harding’s Kennedy Cooper, SAU’s Ariana Guinn, Southern Nazarene’s Kennedy Gillette and SWOSU’s Bethany Franks.