Williamson's Horton makes all-state in basketball
In order to be named to the basketball all-state team one of two things usually needs to occur.
Either you need to be one of the key players on a team that advances deep into states, or you have to put up numbers so eye-popping that they just can't be ignored.
When this year ended the numbers that Williamson's Lori Horton put up were impossible to ignore and it helped earn her a spot on the Pennsylvania Sports Writers All-State list.
Horton averaged 16.6 points a game in helping Williamson win the NTL West, but it was her other numbers that truly stood out.
The junior grabbed 16.4 rebounds a game this year and blocked six shots per contest, while averaging 2.7 rebounds a game.
Anytime you block over 100 shots and grab 378 rebounds in a season it's difficult to ignore.
"I'm very proud of her, she works very hard, it's a great accomplishment for her, and our program," Williamson coach Corey Mosher said.
Horton was proud of her defensive effort this year, she was the Daily & Sunday Review All-Region Defensive Player of the Year, and she saw a big rise in those numbers.
"I noticed a big increase in my rebounding and my blocks this year," Horton said.
While she knew her numbers were good, she never expected to make all-state in basketball.
"It's definitely not what I expected," she said. "We have a lot of seniors on the team and they are all good."
Horton knows next year will be different with the other four starters all graduating. However, she hopes that seeing this honor will make the younger players work harder.
"That's what I'm hoping to get a lot of players in the summer, get the motivation going and hopefully they will put in the time to."
Mosher believes that this will be something that those younger players can work toward.
"We have some young talent coming up, hopefully they realize they can get recognized at a small school," he said. "I think they see that if you put the time in they can have success. Now when they have a taste of being successful, it's something to strive for, to make it as far as they can."
And, Mosher thinks making all-state will just make Horton work even more.
"I think with this honor it will force and push her even harder," he said. "I know she will feel like she has an expectation to live up to. We are losing five seniors and we will be building around her. She realizes how important it will be to work in the offseason."
Horton plans to get back to work and prepare for another big year.
"It is a big thing, not only is it expected (to play at an all-state level), but we lost a lot of our team this year, it's definitely going to be something I have to work towards.
"Hopefully I can keep my stats up next year, help the team and hopefully get my 1,000 points."
The honor comes right after Horton helped lead the Williamson volleyball team to a state final. For the junior the success of both girls teams, along with other teams at the school, such at the wrestling team, is starting to put the school on the map.
"It's amazing, the past few years, no one knew what Williamson was," Horton said. "Not only making the state team, but our teams overall in all our sports. Even if it's not for the sport you are playing, people know Williamson.
"Between volleyball and basketball, we went really far compared to what our school has done before. We went to the state finals in volleyball and for the first time in 11 years we won the NTL for basketball."
Horton knows she will play a key role in helping Williamson continue the success next year.
"There is definitely pressure knowing both my starting lineups in both sports have graduated," she said. "I have played with the seniors since my freshman year in volleyball and in basketball since seventh grade. It will be a lot of adjusting, but it will be worth it."
Earning an honor like all-state is also something that could help Horton as she begins to look at colleges.
"I know she really wants to play sports in college and I am hoping this will start to draw attention from colleges," Mosher said. "She has already drawn some interest, but hopefully this gets her more looks."
Horton hopes it opens some coaches eyes to what she can do.
"I definitely think it will help," he said. "It's really hard being a junior, they can't talk to you, so you don't really know how much they are looking at you. All the rest of the starting lineup were seniors and they had coaches looking at them this year."
District 4 had one other Class AA third-team pick as Mt. Carmel's Christina Perles also made third team. In Class A Benton's Justine Seely and St. John Neumann's Meghan Trenholm were District 4 players making second team, while Bucktail's Maria Morgan made third team.