CLARION, Pa. – With the close of the decade of the teens, it is time to name the All American Awards & Engraving/D9Sports.com All-Decade District 9 Girls’ Basketball team.
(Photo: St. Marys’ Kayla Ho’ohuli takes a shot during the 2011 Kozel All-Star Game at Elk County Catholic High School. Photo by Paul Burdick. Check out more of Burdick’s work here)
The team includes three players who were named first-team D9Sports.com four times as well as a pair of multiple-time D9Sports.com Players of the Year and two 2,000-point scorers.
KAYLA HO’OHULI, ST. MARYS: 2008 to 2011
While Ho’ohuli, a guard, only played two of her four seasons in the decade, she is easily the best girls’ basketball player to take the court during the D9Sports.com era, which started with the 2000-01 season.
Finishing as the third-leading scorer in District 9 history with 2,604 career points, Ho’ohuli was named the D9Sports.com District 9 Player of the on three different occasions (2009, 2010, 2011) while being the first player to earn four first-team All-District 9 honors by D9Sports.com. She led the Lady Dutch to four straight District 9 Class 3A titles, and had one of the best games ever by a District 9 player in the opening round of the 2010 PIAA Class 3A playoffs when she scored 52 points in a win over Hampton (she added 10 rebounds, nine steals and five blocked shots in the game as well and scored 23 consecutive points for St. Marys at one point during the game).
Ho’ohuli went on to an outstanding college career at Canisius where she scored over 1,000 career points.
TORI OBENRADER, North Clarion: 2015-18
The best post player of the decade, Obenrader was twice named the D9Sports.com District 9 Player of the Year (2017 and 2018) and was a four-time All-District 9 player including earning first-team honors from her sophomore year onward after being named a second-team player as a freshman.
Obenrader led North Clarion to its first two District 9 titles – both in Class 1A – and finished her career as the fifth-leading scorer in District history with 2,115 career points while also adding 1,560 career rebounds.
Currently a sophomore at Gannon, Obenrader was the PSAC West Freshman of the Year last year and is currently the 10th-leading scorer in the PSAC at 17.5 points per game while ranking fourth in rebounding at 8.0 per contest.
BROOKE HINDERLITER, REDBANK VALLEY: 2013-16
One of just three players in District 9 history to earn D9Sports.com All-District 9 first-team honors in all four seasons, Hinderliter finished her career as the sixth-leading scorer (now seventh) in District 9 history with 1,997 career points.
As a junior, Hinderliter helped the Lady Bulldogs to a second-place finish in District 9 Class 2A and a PIAA playoff berth.
Currently a senior at Slippery Rock University, Hinderliter hit the 1,000-point mark for The Rock as a junior and currently is the sixth-leading scorer in the PSAC averaging 20.0 points per game.
EMILY MERRYMAN, CRANBERRY: 2011-14
The 2013 D9Sports.com District 9 Player of the Year as a junior, Merryman was just the second player to earn four D9Sports.com first-team All-District 9 honors. She finished her career with 1,914 career points and helped Cranberry to District 9 titles as a freshman and sophomore.
Merryman went on to play college basketball for a season at NCAA Division III Pitt-Greensburg.
ELLA MARCONI, KANE: 2016-19
The 2019 D9Sports.com District 9 Player of the Year, Marconi was a three-time D9Sports.com first-team All-District 9 selection earning the honors as a sophomore, junior and senior after garnering third-team honors as a freshman.
She led Kane to the school’s first-ever girls’ basketball title in 2019 and then proceeded to help Kane advance to the PIAA Class 2A quarterfinals.
Marconi finished her career as the all-time leading scorer at Kane with 1,723 career points and also topped 1,000 rebounds in her career.
After spending the fall semester as a student at Duquesne, Marconi decided that she wanted to continue her basketball career and recently joined the team at St. Vincent College.
Editor’s Note: Players were chosen for their high school accomplishments. Post-high-school stats were not taken into consideration. Keep in mind choosing five players from a list of hundreds if not thousands of players from the decade is never an easy undertaking, and with any such list can be left to the interpretation of those selecting the team. Debates are always welcome.