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ND's Tolbert, Morrill sweep SEMO basketball honors

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Notre Dame senior Jane Morrill and junior Jacob Tolbert were named the SEMO Conference players of the year during Wednesday's Poplar Bluff Letter Club Basketball Banquet in Poplar Bluff, Mo.
(BRIAN ROSENER ~ Daily American Republic)
POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- Notre Dame junior Jacob Tolbert had trouble carrying all of his trophies Wednesday night following the 52nd annual Poplar Bluff Letter Club Basketball Banquet.

Tolbert swept the individual awards, including the John Gibbs Award as the most outstanding player of the SEMO Conference, while senior Jane Morrill picked up her second Bob Gray Award.

"I'm honored definitely," Morrill said, "but it's definitely a team effort. I just can't get over that."

Morrill and the Bulldogs ran the table to win the program's third conference title since 2003 and finished second in the state in Class 4.

Tolbert, who also won the conference scoring and free throw awards, helped the Bulldogs finish in a three-way tie for the conference title.

"I'm just real excited to win," Tolbert said. "There's a whole lot of good players in this conference and for me to get the award, it's really exciting."

Sikeston, New Madrid County Central and Notre Dame made for an exciting conference race, marking the first time in 46 years three teams tied for the title. For the Bulldogs, it was just their second after winning in 2007.

Tolbert led Notre Dame with 18.7 points and 8.8 rebounds a game.

The 6-foot-7 junior shot 58 percent from the floor and knocked down 71 percent of his free throws on the season. In conference play, he averaged 20.5 points per game and scored 23 in a district final loss to Sikeston as Notre Dame finished 21-6.

He joined two-time winner Ryan Willen as the only Bulldogs to win the award, which has been handed out since 1984.

"It really motivates me to keep working hard and come back next year and improve, hopefully get even better," Tolbert said.

Morrill became the fifth female to earn the award twice after sharing it in 2008 as a sophomore with Dexter's Katelyn Heil, who also won it last year.

Morrill averaged 12.4 points, 6.7 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game while shooting 57 percent from the floor and 78 percent at the free-throw line. During the postseason, the 6-0 senior averaged 18.4 points a game, scoring 16 to go with eight rebounds in the state championship game, a 60-53 loss to Webb City.

"She was an impact player from her sophomore year on," Notre Dame coach Renee Peters said. "Unselfish player. This year she took the team on her shoulders at times and literally led the way up to Columbia for us."

Morrill, who has signed to play at Arkansas State, finished with 1,213 career points for sixth all-time at Notre Dame where she set the career blocks record and a season mark for free throws.

The things Morrill said she will remember the most about a 26-5 season, however, happened off the court.

"It's just a blast," Morrill said. "We're friends off and on the court. That's amazing.

"I'll remember that team. I'll remember each person and the year we had. That's what I'll think about."

Morrill and Tolbert headlined the All-SEMO Conference teams, which also were honored at the banquet at Poplar Bluff High School.

Central's Sadie Pittman earned the scoring award while Notre Dame's Allyson Bradshaw won the free throw award.

Peters, Sikeston's Gregg Hollifield and New Madrid Central's Travis Day were named coaches of the year.

Southeast Missouri State men's basketball coach Dickey Nutt was the guest speaker.

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ya know..if all schools could RECRUIT like ND does than we wouldn't have to read only stories about ND athletes.

-- Posted by PHS1980 on Thu, Mar 25, 2010, at 7:04 AM

Congrats to Jane she's the real deal. On the other hand you should have known, he would be Mr. Basketball, after all he did lead his team to a christmas tourny championship and a district championship, its so funny.

-- Posted by slammer108 on Thu, Mar 25, 2010, at 9:01 AM


-- Posted by 7plus1 on Thu, Mar 25, 2010, at 9:02 AM

Funny how people think Notre Dame is so good because they recruit all these great players. Unless my eyes are deceiving me, I only see one Notre Dame player on the All-Conference team.

-- Posted by teacher_guy11 on Thu, Mar 25, 2010, at 9:42 AM

Where are the all conference team listed? I can not finsd them anywhere!

-- Posted by Girls Basketball on Thu, Mar 25, 2010, at 3:34 PM

Being from ND we love it when people say we are recruited. I used to joke around and say you weren't picked for a reason but the truth is we aren't recruited. Too bad though I could of saved my parents some money :). Keep working hard ND they hate us like most people hate the Yankees. Success causes jealously but we don't mind it one bit.

-- Posted by whipperwheel_36 on Thu, Mar 25, 2010, at 6:36 PM

Jane Morrill's parents are both Notre Dame graduates. How can you say she was recruited? Many students attend Notre Dame because of a long family relationship with the school. Their parents know that these students are going to get a quality education. It's not all about sports!

-- Posted by jandb on Fri, Mar 26, 2010, at 1:34 PM

I agree that the players are not recruited but the thing that is unfair is that kids from anywhere can go to notre dame. So they don't just have to pull kids from a certain area they get them from all over, while other schools like cape are just getting kids who live in cape. And im pretty sure neither of these two live in cape but they are still allowed to go to notre dame,,which puts public schools at a disadvantage

-- Posted by cards101 on Fri, Mar 26, 2010, at 6:59 PM

Does the tax one pays go to fund private schools??

-- Posted by grandpa3 on Sat, Mar 27, 2010, at 10:24 AM

Gramps...private schools do not have the benefit of receiving tax dollars like public schools do. Students attending private schools pay tuition to attend. Those dollars along with donations and church support are the funding for the school. Well worth the investment for the youth attending.

As for the recruiting, that horse is dead, no need to continue to beat it. All schools have student athletes that are not from the city or town they live in. There are ways around that. ND just doesn't hide the fact that, if you want to attend ND, you simply must pay the tuition. Its the same in public schools as well, they just don't like anyone to know about it.

Here's just one example. Where was Will Bogan from???????? Maybe you should look at the media guide for when he played at SEMO....it's not Bell City.

-- Posted by biggiesmalls on Tue, Mar 30, 2010, at 1:31 PM

This is why ND is such a good school. This was sent to the paper by a host family in Columbia....

"Congratulations to the Notre Dame Regional High School Bulldogs. As team hosts for the Missouri State High School Basketball Championships in Columbia, we had the opportunity to spend time with the basketball players, coaches, cheerleaders and fans from the Cape Girardeau area. These people were distinguished representatives of their community, and everyone should be proud of the excellent impression they made in Columbia. We were most impressed with the young ladies and the positive manner in which they conducted themselves.

Congratulations to the community, the high school and, most importantly, the team. We hope to see the Bulldogs back again for future Show Me Showdowns.


source - Southeast Missourian

You naysayers should be thankful that there is a school in your area that can represent you in this fashion. Jealousy is an evil thing....

-- Posted by biggiesmalls on Tue, Mar 30, 2010, at 1:39 PM

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