By Kristi Nixon
DES MOINES — Finishing two fantastic seasons, Riceville’s Joy Beran and St. Ansgar’s Madison Hillman each received girls’ all-state basketball honors from the Iowa Print Sports Writers Association, announced Tuesday morning.
Beran, who helped lead the Wildcats to a 21-1 regular season and a third straight Iowa Star North conference title, was a second team all-state honoree.
Hillman, who highlighted a Saints’ team that finished 17-7 and a third-place finish in a tough Top of Iowa East Conference, was a third team all-state selection.
Beran shot 42 percent from the field while averaging 13 points per game for a 23-2 Riceville team that set the school record for wins in the five-on-five era. She also rebounded at 6.1 per game as well as an average of 4.4 assists and 3.6 steals for the Wildcats.
Hillman averaged a double-double for coach Scott Cakerice’s Saints at 15.5 points and 12.3 rebounds per game. She also was one of the state’s leading shot-blockers, regardless of class, with 100 overall and at a 4.2 per game clip. Hillman averaged 2.4 assists and 4.2 steals per game as well. She will take her talents to the University of Nebraska, Kearney.
Both athletes had the distinction of playing eventual two-time state champion Algona Garrigan in the post-season, each coming up just shy of career records and milestones. Beran was just three points short of the career 1,000-point milestone while Hillman finished second all-time in Saint career rebounding with 830, only to Lisa Kreiner, who finished with 831.
The two will be playing on the same team in the annual Larry Niemeyer senior all-star game in Cedar Rapids on April 2.