Six local players make All-Conference Mountain Valley

First Posted: 2/28/2009

Like most of the regular season, the All-Mountain Valley Conference awards were dominated by North Surry.
Guards Morgan Midkiff and Emily Culler were named All-Conference, as was Kara Hodges, Courtney Campbell and Nicole Rumplasch. Brittany Tolbert, who could usually be found as the leading scorer in Surry Centrals game log, also made all-conference.
For North Surry, it was Midkiff, the point guard, who made everything go. A strong dribbler with either hand, Midkiff was able to break presses and finish or set up teammates at the offensive end.
(Midkiff) had some really explosive moments in games, North Surry coach Shane Slate said. I think you got glimpses of what she is capable of, in particular on the offensive end.
While her services at point guard were remarkable for a freshman, Slate also liked the tenacity Midkiff showed defensively.
I was really pleased how well she picked up on our defensive keys and that made it easy to keep her in the lineup because she did such a good job on the defensive end of the floor, Slate said.
Culler, a sophomore, also ran the Greyhounds point. She gave defenses fits with her ability to penetrate or score from the outside. Culler shot 80 percent from the free-throw line, but, like Midkiff, earned her keep on by stopping opponents from scoring.
(Culler is) another good defender, probably as good as you will find especially at that age on the perimeter, Slate said. On that end, she really did what we were looking for and was that reliable defender night in and night out on the perimeter.
Down low, Rumplasch could be found grabbing rebounds and keeping opponents out of the paint.
Shes been a terrific defender for us for two years, Slate said. You dont get anything easy when she is guarding you.
While not known as a dominant scorer, Rumplasch made the most of her touches, as she led the Greyhounds with a 54-percent shooting percentage. North Surry does not employ a true center, so the agile Rumplasch was able to get past her defenders on the break.
She always takes good shots which makes it easy for her to shoot a high percentage, Slate said. She outruns most of the folks that were guarding her. She was able to get some easy baskets that way.
Another post presence for the Greyhounds was Campbell.
She gives us a reliable post player both offensively and defensively, Slate said. I thought she had a good year rebounding, in particular. On the offensive end, she was capable of scoring in the post and stepping out and hitting jump shots for us as well.
In between the post and guards was Kara Hodges, a versatile player who could and did play any position. Hodges, an excellent passer, routinely set up her teammates. She also provided a spark.
She doesnt mind mixing it up in the post or scrambling for loose balls, Slate said. She can defend small or tall. She and Campbell both have been with me now for three years and they have a good idea of what I am looking for.
After placing second in the Mountain Valley and finishing the season at 21-5, the Greyhounds figure to be even better next year when most of their players return.
Theyve had good years and they have room to improve and I think they will based on how hard they have worked in the past, Slate said.

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