Albany has made a habit of placing players on the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s Class 3A All-State team the past few years.
Add the Lady Hornets’ Haley Meyers to the list.
Meyers, a junior, made the girls second team, which was released Tuesday.
“It’s such a testament to the program and the work that the girls put in year after year that you just substitute the names in the All-State spot,” Albany coach Stacy Darouse said. “I say all the time I have gym rats. I cannot keep them out of the gym, and it’s just a testament to their hard work.”
Meyers follows in the footsteps of Camryn Woods, Natalie Kelly and Mahogany Williams, who were All-State selections in previous years, and maybe that’s fitting given Meyers worked behind those payers before becoming a leader for the Lady Hornets this season.
“I grew stronger and I felt more confident in myself this year than what I was my freshman and sophomore year,” Meyers said. “I feel like those girls that were before, they had a big part on our team and they led us in great spots in our seasons. I felt like when they left, I needed to step like they did. I looked up to them a lot, and I saw what did, and so … I figured out what I needed to do for our team when they left.”
“I realized I needed to step up and I needed to put in more work and go into the gym more and shoot more and figure things out and become a better point guard than I was last year because Camryn was leaving,” Meyers continued. “I felt that I needed to step up, not just for myself but for my team and help and try and lead them. I know I had my teammates right behind me and on my back, but I just felt like I needed to do more and try harder and it worked in the end.”
For Meyers, that meant putting extra work in over the summer after practice shooting 3-pointers, working on ballhandling and working out and shooting with her father.
“I didn’t think it would pay off, but I was hoping that it would. It feels great,” Meyers said of making the All-State team. “It’s amazing.”
“There’s nothing that can explain how it feels,” Meyers continued. “It’s like you got a reward from doing what you love doing the most, and it feels great.”
Darouse said Meyers’ effort in practice carried over into games and was a key to her success this season.
“For me, as her coach, she took what she would do in practice and translated that into the games a lot more often,” Darouse said. “In previous years, she wouldn’t do that. She would give that ball to the older players or the more experienced players. So for her to realize that she was the experienced player and to step into that role and be OK with stepping into it, really says a lot about her.”
Meyers, who averaged 15.6 points per game, embraced her increased role, with Darouse pointing to Meyers’ game-tying 3-pointer with 20 seconds remaining in the Lady Hornets’ 43-41 win over Walker in the Livingston Parish Tournament. Meyers also hit the game-winning free throws in that game with 1.4 seconds left.
“I really think that boosted her confidence to the point where she no longer was afraid to be that go-to girl and kind of took on that role during the year,” Darouse said, adding Meyers hit the game-winning shot in the Lady Hornets’ 47-45 road win over Loranger and made some key plays down the stretch in helping Albany to a 55-53 win over the Lady Wolves in the second game between the teams. “She really kind of molded herself into that role and became comfortable with it, and that was a great thing for us.
“She doesn’t know how to not do something for us, and it helps the majority of the time she’s playing the point guard position, so she has the ball in her hands already,” Darouse continued. “She just plays with so much heart and guts, and that translates to good things an awful lot of the time.”
Darouse said that heart was on display after Meyers broke her nose in the Lady Hornets’ regional playoff win over Green Oaks.
“The doctor wanted her to have surgery, and it just wasn’t even a question she was going to play in the third round,” Darouse said.
The catch was that in order to play in quarterfinals – a game Albany lost to eventual state champion Booker T. Washington – Meyers was going to have to wear a mask to protect her nose.
“I didn’t want to wear it,” Meyers said. “It made my eyes go cross-eyed when I put it on, so I couldn’t dribble a basketball or see the goal if wanted to shoot with it … so I just said ‘no’”.
Darouse couldn’t argue with Meyers, who had surgery on her nose the morning after the loss to Booker T. Washington.
“Being the point guard that I am, I wouldn’t play with it, either,” Darouse. “Do what you’ve gotta do, and that’s what she did.”
Darouse is hoping this season was just the first in Meyers’ growth as a player.
“In the past, she’s always had Camryn or Mahogany or Natalie to kind of take the brunt of a lot of the pressure,” Darouse said. “Once she realized, ‘OK, they’re not here any more and I’ve still got the ball in my hands. It’s time for me to step up and be that leader out on the floor,’ and I think she did a good job of that. Hopefully it’s a stepping stone into next year.”
The boys first team includes Nick Traylor of Wossman, Cody Deen of Bossier, Dante Bell of Bossier, Kyron Ratliff of Booker T. Washington and Percy Daniels of Madison Prep. Traylor was selected the Outstanding Player, while Nick Bohanan of Bossier was Coach of the Year.
The second team includes Khi Schexnayder of Patterson, Jordan Boston of Sophie B. Wright, John Kelly of De La Salle, Elijah Tate of Madison Prep and Nick Penell of Brusly.
The girls first team includes Sha’Kahia Warmsley of Mansfield, Katlyn Manuel of Northwest, Myca Trail of St. Louis, Kiersten Nelson of Ursuline and Kassie Dolliole of Booker T. Washington. Warmsley was the Outstanding Player, while Lakenya Reed of Booker T. Washington was Coach of the Year.
Meyers was joined on the second team by Angel Bradford of Brusly, Sahvani Sancho of University, Alaysia Washington of Madison Prep and Avery Young of Iota.
LSWA CLASS 3A ALL-STATE BASKETBALL TEAMS
Name Player Ht Cl Avg
Nick Traylor Wossman 6-4 Sr. 20.2
Cody Deen Bossier 5-10 Sr. 15.3
Dante Bell Bossier 6-8 Sr. 17.7
Kyron Ratliff B.T. Washington 6-7 So. 18.6
Percy Daniels Madison Prep 6-8 So. 14.1
Name Player Ht Cl Avg
Khi Schexnayder Patterson 6-0 Sr. 22.0
Jordan Boston Sophie B. Wright 6-1 Jr. 16.5
John Kelly De La Salle 5-10 Sr. 12.5
Elijah Tate Madison Prep 6-3 Sr. 15.4
Nick Penell Brusly 6-4 Sr. 14.0
OUTSTANDING PLAYER: NICK TRAYLOR, WOSSMAN
COACH OF THE YEAR: NICK BOHANAN, BOSSIER
Braeden Board, Crowley; Sai’vion Jones, St. James; Tyrone Tillman, Patterson; Mason Lawless, E.D. White Catholic; Curtis Deville, Iowa; Keshaun Lazard, Northwest; Terrikiris Smith, Wossman; Wesley Williams, Richwood; Milan Mejia, University; Jason Perry, Madison Prep; Devonte Austin, Wossman; Brandon Dennis, Wossman; DeVante’ Jack, Jena; Gavin LaCroix, Jena; Ty’Drick Harrell, Marksville; Jalen Mitchell, St. Martinville; Tim King, Bossier; Elijah Williams, Patterson; Quinn Strander, E.D. White; Nic Ughovwa, St. Louis; John McCall, Sophie B. Wright;
Name Player Ht Cl Avg
Sha’Kahia Warmsley Mansfield 5-8 Sr. 18.0
Katlyn Manuel Northwest 6-0 Jr. 13.5
Myca Trail St. Louis 5-10 So. 21.1
Kiersten Nelson Ursuline 6-1 Sr. 18.0
Kassie Dolliole B.T. Washington 5-8 Sr. 11.0
Name Player Ht Cl Avg
Angel Bradford Brusly 5-8 Sr. 22.0
Sahvani Sancho University 5-7 Fr. 21.3
Alaysia Washington Madison Prep 5-8 So. 18.0
Haley Meyers Albany 5-7 Jr. 15.6
Avery Young Iota 5-6 So. 16.0
OUTSTANDING PLAYER: SHA’KAHIA WARMSLEY, MANSFIELD
COACH OF THE YEAR: LAKENYA REED, BOOKER T. WASHINGTON
Na’Kevia Coleman, Carroll; Akyra Briggs, Carroll; Zaria Singleton, Wossman; Danasia Andrews, Caldwell Parish; Gracelyn Adams, Buckeye; Anaiya Turner, St. Louis; Peyton Peoples, Mansfield; Charneshia Collins, Green Oaks; Malaysia Bertrand, Berwick; Elizabeth Ayers, E.D. White Catholic; Caroline Adams, E.D. White Catholic, Chaylynn Saul, St. James; Raveon Fletcher, St. James; Bran’Terrica Johnson, Carroll; Roniesha Walker, Wossman; Jordan Campbell, Buckeye; Brooke Kendrick, Buckeye; Mary Leday, Northwest; Kendall Miller, Iota; Alyia Broussard, Kaplan; Ja’Learriea Solely, Abbeville; Jada Gasaway, Westlake; Ray’Onna Sterling, St. James; Dalyn Belvin, M.L. King.