Pinewood senior is named
the Division V MVP,
all-state second team
Hailie Eackles did just about everything for the Pinewood girls' basketball team this season as she scored 23.5 points a game and averaged eight rebounds while leading the Panthers to a 28-5 record and the CIF Division V state championship -- the team's second straight.
The efforts by Eackles this season didn't go unnoticed as she was named the state Division V Most Valuable Player and named to the California All-State Girls Basketball second team by MaxPreps recently.
"Receiving the Division V state player of the year is a huge honor to me," Eackles said. "I am very grateful for getting it, and couldn't imagine ending my senior basketball season in any other way. It has truly been happily ever after for me at Pinewood.
"Receiving second team all-state is also very exciting and I am happy to have represented Pinewood as best I could."
Eackles will continue her career next season at University of Pacific in Stockton.
"I think it was well-deserved," Pinewood coach Doc Scheppler said of Eackles' honors. "Her last third of the season she put all the pieces together. She did a terrific job defending other teams' post players and that wasn't easy giving away six inches.
"Basically, we couldn't have won the state without the efforts of all of our girls. Let it be said that without her great teammates, this award couldn't have been possible. Yes, we were Hailie Eackles and the PIPS-queaks, but our pipsqueaks could play — really play."
Pinewood won its record fifth state title in March -- the most by a Division V team — with a 67-56 triumph over St. Bernard of Playa del Rey. Eackles scored 31 points while fellow senior Miranda Seto added 21.
"Hailie was able to take her game to the basket because teams knew we could really shoot well," Scheppler said. "If we didn't have our great shooters, teams would have been able to shut down her driving lanes."
Teams didn't, however, and Pinewood sailed to another highly successful season.
Joining Eackles on the Division V first team was Eastside Prep senior Ahjalee Harvey.
Making first-team all-state was 6-3 Bonnie Samuelson of Edison (Huntington Beach), who is headed to Stanford in the fall. She was also named to the Division I first team.