The Belleville News-Democrat recently released their Class 3A-4A All-Area girls basketball team.
In the round-ball rich metro-east, making the cut is always a difficult proposition—the 2014-15 campaign was no different. In voting dominated by Edwardsville and Belleville West, two OTHS players made the cut—confirming their outstanding seasons and giving fans of the Lady Panthers hope for better things on the basketball horizon, as both award-winners were sophomores.
The top O’Fallon vote-getter was perimeter player Marta Durk. The talented sophomore parlayed her aggressive play on the hardwoods with an improving skill set to crack the roster as a 2nd team All-Area player. Durk spearheaded O’Fallon’s offensive attack as its leading scorer and also was a force defensively, usually drawing the assignment of guarding the opposition’s top scorer.
Celeste Akoro, an offensive counterpart in the post to Durk’s perimeter game, provided O’Fallon’s most dangerous one-two offensive punch throughout the season. Akoro earned honorable mention honors on the BND roster. The 6-foot-2 Panther post player at times was dominant in the paint, improving both offensively and defensively as the season progressed.
“It was great to see both Durk and Akoro receiving the recognition that they deserve,” OTHS coach Ryan Massey said. “Durk was a game-changer for us and showed a lot of leadership—especially as a sophomore. For Akoro, we saw significant improvement in her overall play. She has the physical ability to become an even better player in her last two seasons.”