WORCESTER, Mass. – With the holidays officially in the book, we return to our weekly Worcester Area College Basketball Association (WACBA) honor roll, which includes highlights from the past few weeks.
Men’s Player of the Week: Paul Brooks (Worcester State, So.): Brooks averaged 11.7 points, 12.3 rebounds and 3.7 blocks in a 1-2 week for Worcester State, which included 12 points and 18 boards in a 70-62 setback against Hood, 12 points, 14 caroms and four blocks in a 64-52 victory over Otterbein before finishing week with 11 points, five rebounds and five blocks in a 67-55 loss against Gordon. He also earned a spot on the Christopher Newport Captains Shootout Tournament team for grabbing 32 boards (a record) over two contests.
Zach Karalis (WPI, Jr.): Karalis was tabbed Most Valuable Player as the Engineers won a pair of contests at the Salem State Classic. The junior drained a three-pointer with 5.8 seconds remaining in the second half to provide WPI with a dramatic 73-71 triumph over the 2014 NCAA Tournament finalist Williams College Ephs in the tournament’s opening game. Karalis finished with a team-best 21 points, including 5-of-9 shooting (triples) versus the Ephs, while pitching in with four points and four rebounds in limited action in the Crimson and Gray’s second game victory against FDU-Florham.
Women’s Player of the Week: Kelly Carey (Assumption, So.): In a 3-0 stretch for the No. 22 ranked Greyhounds, Carey averaged 16.7 points while shooting 64 percent from the field and a blistering 70 percent from three-point land (14-for-20). Adding 3.7 rebounds per game and shooting 1.000 from the free throw line, Carey’s performance was highlighted by a career-high 27 points in a road win at Bloomfield.
Women’s Rookie of the Week: Ama Biney (WPI, Fr.): Biney – the Tournament MVP – scored 11 of her 17 points in a decisive second half to lead WPI to a 72-48 win over host Westfield State in the championship game Tuesday. The rookie finished 6-10 from the floor, 3-3 from three point range, and garnered two steals and an assist without a turnover in just 18 minutes of play. Later in the week, Biney netted nine points in just 11 minutes of action in WPI’s 82-40 home victory over Simmons.
Karl Ziegler (Assumption, Jr.): In a 1-2 stretch for the Hounds, Ziegler averaged 14.7 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, while also shooting 51.4 percent from the field and 72.7 percent from the free throw line.
Trafficia Warburton (Anna Maria, Sr.): Warburton averaged 13.0 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 5.0 steals per game in a 1-2 week for the AMCATS. She had her best performance, a 16-point, 10-rebound, eight-steal game in Anna Maria’s 43-42 win against Regis on Dec. 31, and followed that up with 14 points, nine rebounds and seven steals in the AMCATS’ overtime defeat to Middlebury on Saturday. She opened the week with nine points and 10 boards against Keene State. The senior forward shot 34.1 percent from the floor on the week.
Rachel Pineda (WPI, Sr.): Pineda was a model of consistency as the Engineers went a perfect 3-0 over the break, including taking home the Westfield State Holiday Tournament. The senior point guard netted nine points each in victories over Southern Maine and host Westfield State in the tourney and then registered 10 points as the Crimson and Gray opened 2015 with a home triumph over Simmons. Pineda stuffed the stat sheets by pitching in with team highs of seven assists and six steals in the three games to go along with seven rebounds.
Bianca Langford (Worcester State, Jr.): Langford netted a season-best 25 points to go with 16 rebounds and three blocks in a 70-65 victory over Salem College.