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A Conference-Record Four Spartans Earn All-CAC Honors
YORK, PA – The York College women's basketball set a new Capital Athletic Conference women's basketball record as four Spartans were recognized by the conference as the All-CAC teams were released on Tuesday. The Spartans had a pair of first team selections in senior April Sparkman and sophomore Aja Wallpher while sophomore forwards Kristen Haley and Brittany Hicks were second team picks.
Sparkman is now a three-time all-league selection while Haley is a two-year conference honoree.
The Spartans had one of their best seasons in school history as they enter their second straight NCAA Tournament game with a mark of 22-5.
Sparkman closes out her career as one of the greatest Spartans to ever wear the Green and White. She currently ranks fourth in career scoring at York with 1,569 points. She enters the NCAA Tournament 16 points behind former Spartan standout Kristen Daly.
Sparkman is averaging 16.3 points and 7.7 rebounds per game for the Green and White, a fine recovery after missing last season with a knee injury. She is shooting 40.4% from the floor, 31.1% from three and 72.5% from the free throw line. She has handed out 62 assists, blocked 27 shots, and notched 26 steals in her 26 games this season. She ranked second in the CAC in scoring, ninth in three point field goals made, sixth in free throws made, 11th in free throw percentage, and seventh in total rebounding.
Sparkman reached double figures in 22 of her 26 games this year including a career-high and school-record 36 points in the November 30 win over Wesley. She had seven double-doubles for the year and now has 27 for her career.
In addition to her career point total, Sparkman has accumulated 754 rebounds, 241 assists, 108 blocked shots, and 103 steals. She has also converted 141 three pointers. Sparkman was a first team selection in both the 2008-09 season and the 2009-10 campaign.
Wallpher makes her first appearance on an all-conference team after having a spectacular sophomore season. The Spartans' point guard leads the nation in assists at 7.1 helpers per game while she is also averaging 5.9 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 3.3 steals per game. She leads the CAC in not only assists but also in steals per game.
Wallpher reached double figures in scoring six times including a career-high 17 points in the big overtime win over Gettysburg on November 27. Wallpher had five double digit assist games during the year including a career-high 14 in the February 15 win over Wesley. She also had her only career double-double on January 25 when she had 12 assists and 13 rebounds in the win over Frostburg State. Wallpher also set a new career standard in steals on February 8 as she had 11 thefts against Stevenson.
Haley, who returns to the conference after being a second team selection last year, built on an impressive freshman year that earned her the CAC Rookie-of-the-Year award in 2011. The sophomore forward averaged 13.6 points and 8.0 rebounds per game. She shot 49.1% from the floor, 33.3% (17-for-51) from three and 74.4% from the free throw line.
Haley led the CAC in field goal percentage, was fourth in scoring, fourth in rebounding, third in blocked shots per game (1.8 bpg), second in total field goals made (143), eight in free throws made, and tenth in free throw percentage.
Haley had a team-best 10 double-doubles for the year and reached double figures in scoring in 24 games. She had three 20-plus point efforts including a season-high 23 in the December 7 win over St. Mary's. Haley registered a career-high 15 rebounds and seven blocked shots in the January 21 win at Marymount.
Haley has now amassed 685 points and 441 rebounds in her 56 career games. She is a career 45.7% shooter from the floor while she has already blocked 93 shots.
The All-CAC accolade for Hicks is her first and it was well earned. The sophomore forward averaged 12.8 points and a team-high 8.9 rebounds per game. She shot 43.3% from the floor and a blistering 79.5% from the free throw line. She added 46 assists, nine blocked shots and 35 steals. Her tenacious defense on the interior helped the Spartans hold their opponents to 51.6 points per game.
Hicks ranked second in the CAC in rebounds per game, seventh in scoring, second in free throws made, second in free throws attempted, and fourth in free throw percentage.
Hicks reached double figures in scoring in 19 of her games including two 20-plus point performances. She notched nine double-doubles while she had ten double figure rebounding games including a career-high 17 caroms in the February 15 win over Wesley.
In Hicks' 53 game career, she has tallied 605 points, 383 rebounds, 61 steals, and 82 assists. She is a career 44.0% shooter from the floor and a 72.2% free throw shooter.
The Spartans will face St. Vincent College in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday night at Juniata College. The berth in the NCAA Tournament is their second straight and their third in the last four years.