Plum’s Kennedie Montue named Valley News Dispatch Girls Basketball Player of the Year

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Sunday, April 5, 2020 | 8:29 PM


Valley News Dispatch Girls Basketball Player of the Year

Kennedie Montue

Plum, 5-11, Jr., Forward

Kennedie Montue is one of the most dominant interior players in the WPIAL.

At 5-foot-11, the Plum junior also has the range to play around the perimeter and can defend all over the court.

Her talent and versatility have helped her develop into a Division I prospect.

But, most importantly, her coach said, is how she has elevated her teammates and the program during her tenure.

“Kennedie’s season was reflective of our season as a team in that we improved from Game 1 through the playoffs,” Plum coach Steve Elsier said of Montue, who has scholarship offers from Marshall, Mount St. Mary’s and Oakland. “She grew a lot with her abilities, her defense, scoring and leadership, as well.

“Her impact is more than just being an excellent player on the floor. Our young players look up to her as a role model and someone who represents our program well.”

Behind Montue’s leadership, Plum has gone from a 6-17 record in 2017-18 to an 11-12 finish last season to a 14-7 mark this year. The Mustangs finished second in Section 2-5A and returned to the postseason.

The all-section forward averaged 22.1 points and surpassed 1,000 career points in January.

As a sophomore, she averaged 18.4 points and was a Valley News Dispatch first-team all-star.

For her performance this season, Montue is the Valley News Dispatch Girls Basketball Player of the Year.

How do you think the season went as a team and personally?

Personally, I think I had a great season. Reaching 1,000 points was probably my biggest goal. I’m proud of myself for reaching that goal. As a team, I think we played amazing this season. We had our heads up this year. It was more of a confidence mentality that no matter who you’re playing, you know you can win if you work for it. This season, we worked very hard as a team. We played our butts off, honestly.

What did it take to surpass 1,000 career points as a junior?

I practiced a lot. I worked out a lot. I put the time and work into it in practice and outside of practice. I find ways to get open, and my teammates look to me to score. Me reaching my 1,000 points was mostly because of my teammates being there, counting on me to score and getting me the ball.

What can you build on from this season?

We can definitely win any game we put our minds to. That was really hard my freshman and sophomore year. We weren’t confident. We were just that team that didn’t win as many games, didn’t play as well, just made it to playoffs as the last seed. Our confidence this year was amazing, and we need to keep that every season.

How have you handled your leadership role?

You have to make sure you are keeping your teammates’ heads high. You have to make sure when they don’t run the play right, you tell them what to do. Being a leader is probably one of the toughest things you can do for your teammates because they come to you for everything and rely on you. But being a leader is also an amazing thing because people looking up to you is something great to have. Being a leader for my team makes me happy and proud.

What are your plans for the offseason?

I’m working out every day. I do dribbling workouts, my shooting workout and an actual workout. Hopefully, we can play AAU. I’m hoping (the coronavirus outbreak) will all pass over soon. Hopefully, they find a cure for this because this is bad. I do not like staying in the house like this. I really miss basketball and my teammates. It (stinks) shooting outside by myself with my mom (Laura) rebounding for me. I really need to get back on the court.

When do you expect to make a college decision?

I was going to do it at the end of AAU season. It depends if we play AAU or not. If we don’t play AAU, I’ll probably wait until the beginning of my senior year.

What are you looking for in a school?

Mostly I just want to feel like I’m at home. I just want to feel like it’s a family.

What do you want to major in?

Criminology and criminal justice.

What type of things do you like to do outside of basketball?

Watch Netflix.

What was the last movie you saw in a theater and how was it?

“Knives Out.” It was a good movie. It was kind of a criminology kind of thing.

If you could have dinner with any three celebrities, who would they be?

LeBron James, Michael Jordan and probably Kobe (Bryant) if he was still here.

What is your go-to junk food?

Hot Fries. They are so bad my mom stopped buying them for me. She just bought me a bag because I’m quarantined.

What are your favorite courses in school?

Advanced math, TV production and art.

What is something people might not know about you?

I can play the piano. I’ve been playing since I was 8.

First team all-stars

Madilyn Boyer

Knoch

5-7, So., Guard

Knoch tied for second in Section 1-4A thanks to several talented underclassmen, including Boyer, who earned all-section honors after averaging 13.8 points.

Maddie Clark

Freeport

5-6, Sr., Guard

A first-team Valley News Dispatch all-star selection last year, Clark averaged 8.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.7 steals. She shared the court with her twin sister, Samantha.

Reese Hasley

Deer Lakes

5-5, So., Guard

Hasley, an all-section guard, averaged 14 points for the Lancers, who finished third in Section 3-3A and reached the WPIAL playoffs. She was a second-team Valley News Dispatch all-star selection last season.

Ellie Schwartzman

Fox Chapel

5-11, Jr., Forward

A skilled player in the paint, Schwartzman averaged 12 points in helping the Foxes reach the WPIAL Class 6A postseason. She was an all-section selection a year after earning third-team Valley News Dispatch all-star honors last season.

Sidney Shemanski

Freeport

5-10, Sr., Guard/Forward

Last year’s Valley News Dispatch Player of the Year earned all-section honors this season after averaging 12.1 points and helping Freeport (17-8) reach the WPIAL quarterfinals and PIAA playoffs. She will continue her career at Seton Hill.

Second team

Samantha Clark, Freeport, Sr., 5-6, G

Nevaeh Ewing, Knoch, Jr., 5-10, G

Mackenzie Lake, Plum, Sr., 5-9, G

Francesca Lio, Riverview, Sr., 5-9, G/F

Trinity Lockwood-Morris, St. Joseph, So., 5-7, G

Third team

Makayla Blair, Deer Lakes, Sr., 5-7, G

Domenica Delaney, Fox Chapel, Jr., 5-10, G

Morgan Gamble, Apollo-Ridge, Jr., 5-8, G

Sydney McDonough, Riverview, Sr., 5-5, G

Sarah Sawhook, Highlands, Sr., 5-2, G

Bill Hartlep is the sports editor of the Tribune-Review. You can contact Bill at bhartlep@tribweb.com or via Twitter @TribHSInsider.

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