A breakdown of what to know about the process behind the 2019 North Jersey Sports Awards.
Greg Tartaglia, Staff Writer, @NJTags13
With the high school Winter sports season in the books, it’s time to honor North Jersey’s premier athletes.
The Record and NorthJersey.com announce the following Player-of-the-Year nominees from various sports from the Winter season. A Player of the Year from each of the following sports will be announced at the NorthJersey.com Sports Awards presented by Englewood Health, which will be held June 13, 2019 at Bergen Performing Arts Center in Englewood.
Here are the nominees for boys and girls basketball:
Rachel Bussanich, Westwood: This senior powered the Cardinals to their sixth straight league title and first sectional crown since 2015, averaging 12.9 points and 10.8 rebounds per game. She finished her career with 1,151 points and 900 rebounds.
Deziah Gonzalez, DePaul: In guiding the Spartans to their first Passaic title since 2013, the senior averaged 20 points in four county games and shot 83 percent at the foul line in the semis and final. She scored 15.3 per game overall.
Colleen McQuillen, Cresskill: Only a sophomore, she has netted 1,330 points and led the Cougars to two straight sectional titles. This winter, she averaged 23.1 points, sank 65 three-pointers and made a North Jersey-best 134 free throws.
Anna Morris, Immaculate Heart: This 6-foot-3 forward helped IHA to its eighth straight North Non-Public A title. She led the team in points (14.9 per game), rebounds (9.5), assists (3.0) and blocks (2.0) and has committed to Northwestern.
Jaida Patrick, Saddle River Day: Patrick averaged a double-double with 14.9 points and 11.7 rebounds per game. She chipped in 5.8 steals, 3.5 assists and 2.7 blocks per contest for the two-time Non-Public B state champs and is headed to Duke.
Michelle Sidor, Saddle River Day: The No. 2 scorer in state history totaled 3,268 points, scoring double digits in all 121 career games. Sidor averaged 26.6 for the Tournament of Champions finalists as a senior and will play at Michigan.
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Brianna Smith, Pascack Valley: Even with opponents focusing on her, the senior guard averaged 15.4 points to propel the Indians to the North 1, Group 3 title. She tallied 1,497 career points and will play at Bloomsburg (Pa.).
Amanda Ulrich, Secaucus: The senior guard led her team to a fourth straight sectional final and the NJIC Tournament final. She averaged 21.9 points and will take a career total of 2,224 points to St. Leo’s University (Fla.).
Josiah Basket, West Milford: The 6-4 Basket is the sixth of seven brothers and averaged 25.0 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.5 steals and had 88 3-pointers this season for the Highlanders (19-8). He scored 1,491 career points.
Jake Belli, Wayne Hills: The 5-9 Belli was North Jersey’s headiest pure point guard – he’ll pursue a career as a doctor – and this lone returning starter averaged 16.7 points and 6.4 assists for the Patriots (19-7).
Doug Edert, Bergen Catholic: The 6-2 Edert helped his team win Bergen Jamboree and Non-Public A titles, and the St. Peter’s signee averaged 14.4 points, shot 93 percent from the line (68-for-73) and scored 1,017 career points.
Zach Freemantle, Bergen Catholic: The 6-8 Freemantle led the Crusaders (27-4) to the Tournament of Champions final, and the Xavier signee averaged 17.0 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.0 blocks and scored 1,152 career points.
Avant’e Gilbert, Kennedy: The 6-6 Gilbert averaged 14.0 points, 10.8 rebounds and 4.8 blocks while leading the Knights (17-9) to a third consecutive Passaic County final and record-setting 13th title.
KC Hunt Ramapo: The 6-3 Hunt is a multi-sport standout who led the program to its first state final while averaging 18.3 points and 8.4 rebounds and scoring 1,533 career points for the Green Raiders (26-4).
Victor Konopka, Don Bosco: The 6-7 Konopka was the lone returning starter for the two-time defending Non-Public A champion, and the Army signee averaged 16.0 points and 8.5 rebounds for the Ironmen (20-7).
Jordan McKoy, Dwight-Englewood: The 6-5 McKoy averaged 22.3 points and 6.7 rebounds for the Bulldogs (19-8), and the Merrimack signee cracked Bergen County’s top-20 all-time scoring list with 1,803 points.