Todd Askins admitted to being caught more than a tad off guard upon learning that he was named a state coach of the year.
Those who followed the Bermudian Springs’ girls’ basketball team were surely less surprised.
Askins was chosen as the Pennsylvania Sports Writers All-State Girls’ Basketball Coach of the Year in Class 4A after guiding the Eagles to 24 wins, the program’s first-ever YAIAA Tournament title, and a victory in the opening round of the PIAA Championships.
“It’s just shocking, but in a good way,” said Askins of receiving the award. “I was really surprised because that’s normally held for state winners or teams that make it deep into states. But it’s really not about me, it’s the kids.”
And speaking of the kids, Gettysburg senior Anne Bair was a repeat pick as first team all-state in Class 5A while Delone Catholic senior Giana Hoddinott was a first-team honoree in Class 4A. Hoddinott was a second-team selection last season after making the third team as a sophomore.
For Askins, the honor is simply another block in the building he has overseen since taking over the Bermudian Springs program four years ago. He came to York Springs intent on developing a culture of competition.
“Everything was a competition,” he said of his initial season leading the Eagles. “You had to have an urgency to win and play hard in a manner in which everything in practice had to be earned. As they got to know me, it didn’t seem as strict. First there was discipline, then you had to play to win. You had to find a way to change the mentality of the team, which was the hardest thing.”
The Eagles have hit the ground running under Askins’ up-tempo, attacking style of play. They went 18-9 and 20-7, respectively, during his first two seasons before posting a 13-7 mark during a 2020-21 campaign abbreviated due to the pandemic.
This season served as a culmination of sorts, as Askins’ first group of freshmen were completing their senior season. That class included Bailey Oehmig, Hannah Chenault and Lily Peters, who remarkably all reached the 1,000-point career scoring plateau during the season. Oehmig averaged 16.5 points per game last winter to finish as the program’s all-time leading scorer with 1,423 points.
Chenault, deadly from distance with an area-best 84 3-pointers, joined Oehmig in the 1,000-point club after posting 15.0 points per game.
Peters, a presence in the paint or on the perimeter, made it a trifecta of 1,000-point scorers when she reached the mark in the postseason after netting 14.1 points per game.
“The first thing I noticed wasn’t their ability, it was their effort in practice,” Askins said of the senior trio. “It was how hard they worked in practice, that’s what won me over right away.”
Bermudian averaged an area-high 62.3 points per game en route to winning the league tournament for the first time. Following a fourth-place finish in the District 3 Championships, the Eagles captured their first-ever state playoff victory.
Askins believes the foundation put in place and the example set by his graduating group has positioned the program well moving forward.
“There is a core group of girls competing and playing well, and they understand what it takes to win,” he said. “Every year the younger players compete against that and understand how hard you have to work to win.”
Bair and Hoddinott know plenty about working hard and winning. Bair has directed the Warriors to four straight appearances in the District 3 Class 5A title game, with Gettysburg claiming a pair of titles including the 2022 crown. The Warriors reached the state quarterfinals before bowing out with a 24-5 overall record.
The YAIAA-2 Player of the Year, Bair averaged 14.6 points, five assists and five steals per game. Her ability to penetrate the lane was unprecedented as she went to the foul line a whopping 160 times during the season, making good on 82 percent of her free throw attempts.
Bair, who will continue her basketball career on the NCAA Division I level next year at Manhattan College, finished with nearly 1,500 career points and a program-record 675 assists at Gettysburg.
Hoddinott finished second locally in scoring at 19.4 points per game. Comfortable behind the 3-point line – where she drained 61 attempts – or driving the lane, Hoddinott was a handful for opposing defenses. She hit better than 80 percent of her foul shots and led the Squirettes to a District 3 championship.
Delone (28-2) reached the PIAA 4A quarterfinals before a loss to eventual runner-up Lansdale Catholic brought an end to the season.
Hoddinott, like Bair, will continue her career on the Division I level next year when she suits up for Mount St. Mary’s.
“They should both have success on the next level,” said Askins, who coached against Hoddinott in nearly a dozen regular-season and postseason games combined over the last four years. “I saw quite a bit of Anne, who’s a great player. She’s fast and can get to the rim. Giana, you have to defend her outside and she really gets to the paint. They’re both great basketball players and I’m excited for them.”
Josh Martin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
2022 Pennsylvania Sports Writers All-State Girls’ Basketball Teams
The 2022 Pennsylvania Sports Writers All-State Girls’ Basketball teams, including each player’s school, height, class and scoring average.
Ashleigh Connor, Mount Lebanon, 5-10, Sr., 21.6
Kaitlyn Flanagan, Plymouth-Whitemarsh, 5-8, Sr., 7.7
Jillian Jekot, Cumberland Valley, 6-0, So., 17.3
Ava Sciolla, Pennsbury, 5-11, Sr., 16.3
Abby Sharpe, Plymouth-Whitemarsh, 5-11, Jr., 14.3
Caroline Shiery, Central Dauphin, 6-3, Sr., 14.3
Jasmine Timmerson, North Allegheny, 5-7, Jr., 14.0
Lainey Allen, Plymouth-Whitemarsh, 6-2, Sr., 12.5
Kailah Correa, Lebanon, 5-5, Fr., 20.8
Vatijah Davis, Pocono Mountain West, 5-10, Jr., 23.9
Olivia Jones, Cedar Cliff, 5-10, Fr., 13.6
Grace O’Neill, Archbishop Carroll, 5-4, Sr., 15.0
Anna Azzara, Spring-Ford, 5-7, So., 13.1
Erin Daley, Plymouth-Whitemarsh, 6-0, Jr., 9.5
Marissa Gingrich, Mifflin County, 5-7, Jr., 20.0
Journey Thompson, Peters Township, 6-2, Sr., 16.2
Nicole Timko, Methacton, 5-11, Sr., 18.8
Cire Worley, Abington, 6-0, Jr., 20.3
Player of the Year: Ava Sciolla, Pennsbury
Coach of the Year: Dan Dougherty, Plymouth-Whitemarsh
Anne Bair, Gettysburg, 5-6, Sr., 14.9
Maggie Doogan, Cardinal O’Hara, 6-2, Sr., 16.0
Alexis Hess, Fleetwood, 6-0, Jr., 19.0
Maddie Knier, Manheim Central, 5-10, Jr., 21.9
Aislin Malcolm, Chartiers Valley, 5-11, Sr., 16.5
Sydni Scott, Cardinal O’Hara, 5-8, Sr., 11.0
Marin Miller, Hollidaysburg, 5-1, Sr., 21.5
Perri Page, Chartiers Valley, 6-0, Sr., 15.8
Emma Ruhlman, Warren, 5-10, Sr., 15.6
Reilly Sunday, Moon, 5-9, Sr., 16.6
Emma Theodorson, Moon, 6-0, Sr., 18.4
Maddie Webber, South Fayette, 5-7, Jr., 18.2
Gianna Grassifulli, St. Hubert, 5-7, Sr., 18.3
Gracie Fairman, Thomas Jefferson, 5-5, Sr., 20.8
Molly Rullo, Cardinal O’Hara, 5-11, Fr., 10.5
Faith Walker, West York, 6-0, So., 9.7
Trinell Watson, Pottstown, 5-7, Sr. 23.1
Annie Welde, Cardinal O’Hara, 5-11, Sr., 8.0
Player of the Year: Maggie Doogan, Cardinal O’Hara
Coach of the Year: Jeff Gregory, Pittston
Ryanne Allen, Archbishop Wood, 6-1, Sr., 17.0
Gabby Casey, Lansdale Catholic, 5-9, Sr., 22.0
Gianna Hoddinott, Delone Catholic, 5-9, Sr., 19.4
Maeve McErlane, Notre Dame de Namur, 5-9, Sr., 17.8
Moriah Murray, Dunmore, 5-9, Sr., 17.3
Ciera Toomey, Dunmore, 6-4, Jr., 20.1
Kendall Bennett, Germantown Academy, 6-3, Jr., 13.0
Jayden McBride, Erie Villa Maria, 5-11, So., 13.9
Carissa Dunham, Erie Villa Maria, 5-7, Sr., 14.3
Payton List, Beaver, 6-0, Sr., 22.6
Skyler Searfoss, Jim Thorpe, 5-9, Sr., 14.1
Bri Bowen, Archbishop Wood, 5-10, Sr., 8.2
Bianca Coleman, Gwynedd Mercy, 5-11, Sr., 9.8
Sofia Coleman, Gwynedd Mercy, 5-11, Sr., 13.8
Jaida Parker, Tyrone, 5-9, Sr., 13.9
Deja Evans, Archbishop Wood, 6-2, Jr., 8.1
Hannah Griffin, Gwynnedd Mercy, 5-7, Jr., 9.0
Olivia Smelas, Jim Thorpe, 6-1, Sr., 11.2
Player of the Year: Ryanne Allen, Archbishop Wood
Coach of the Year: Todd Askins, Bermudian Springs
Shaye Bailey, Freedom, 5-5, So., 16.4
Mihjae Hayes, Neumann-Goretti, 5-3, Sr., 24.3
Kylie Lavelle, Riverside, 6-2, Sr., 25.1
Dacia Lewandowski, North Catholic, 5-11, Jr., 15.9
Renae Morbacher, Freedom, 5-6, Sr., 15.7
Janai Smith, Imhotep, 5-9, Sr., 16.5
Aleah Snead, Penn Charter, 5-9, Jr., 15.3
Maddie Evans, Bloomsburg, 5-11, Jr., 16.7
Hope Garrity, Fairview, 5-8, Jr., 20.6
Allyia Kennedy, Loyalsock, 6-0, Sr., 17.0
Kaeli Romanowski, Western Wayne, 5-6, Sr., 20.1
Alayna Rocco, North Catholic, 5-11, So., 17.9
D’Ayzha Atkinson, Neumann-Goretti, 5-7, Sr., 12.2
Belle Bosch, Chestnut Ridge, 6-0, Jr., 19.4
Reese Gadsby, Lakeview, 5-8, Sr., 18.7
Brianna Moore, Palmerton, 5-8, Sr., 14.9
Remi Smith, Forest Hills, 5-7, Sr., 14.4
Xola Wade, New Church, 5-4, So., 13.9
Player of the Year: Mihjae Hayes, Neumann-Goretti
Coach of the Year: Kristi Britten, Trinity (District 3)
Mairan Haggerty, Neshannock, 6-1, Jr., 17.1
Kaci Kranson, Holy Cross, 5-11, Sr., 27.0
Clare Meyer, Germantown Friends, 6-3, Sr., 17.9
Neleh Nogay, Neshannock, 5-6, Sr., 12.4
Kaylene Smikle, Westtown, 6-1, Sr., 23.0
Taliyah Carter, Parkway Northwest, 6-1, Sr., 28.0
Brie Droege, Columbia, 5-9, So., 22.1
Alli Griscavage, Southern Columbia, 6-1, Jr., 15.9
Zahra King, Westtown, 5-10, So., 9.6
Genesis Meadows, Lancaster Country Day, 5-5, Jr., 20.5
Selena Buttery, Brockway, 5-10, Sr., 16.5
Grace Sundback, Westtown, 5-10, Jr., 11.7
Emily Anthony, West Middlesex, 5-3, Sr., 15.5
Carlie Beatty, West Middlesex, 6-0, Sr., 20.0
Mallory Daly, Seton LaSalle, 5-8, So., 23.9
Salote Franklin, Penn Treaty, 5-9, Sr., 26.4
Nadia Moore, Winchester Thurston, 5-10, Jr., 25.2
Summer Tillett, Southern Columbia, 5-10, Sr., 11.5
Alicia Young, Sto-Rox, 5-11, Sr., 21.1
Player of the Year: Kayla Smikle, Westtown
Coach of the Year: Luann Grybowski, Neshannock
Bellah DiNardo, Kennedy Catholic, 5-9, Sr., 10.9
Emily Garvin, Northumberland Christian, 5-6, Sr., 25.1
Corynne Hauser, Rochester, 5-8, Sr., 25.1
Leah Homan, Bishop Guilfoyle, 5-10, Sr., 23.4
Jenna Muha, Shade, 6-0, Jr., 27.2
Layke Fields, Kennedy Catholic, 6-0, Fr., 11.6
Ayla Hileman, Williamsburg, 5-8, So., 16.4
Katie McGrath, Jenkintown, 5-7, Sr., 17.6
Katie Sheeler, Otto-Eldred, 5-5, Jr., 18.3
Josie Snyder, Shanksville-Stonycreek, 5-10, Sr., 18.9
Rylee Snyder, Shanksville-Stonycreek, 6-0, Sr., 14.3
Sanaa Brodie, Farrell, 5-9, Sr., 16.6
Minyhah Easterling, Glendale, 6-3, Jr., 16.2
Bella Forker, Faith Christian, 5-8, Jr., 14.0
Anna Ulmer, Northumberland Christian, 6-1, Sr., 10.7
Iyanna Wade, Clairton, 5-3, Fr., 23.7
Jayla Woodruff, Williamsburg, 6-0, Jr., 15.1
Player of the Year: Emily Garvin, Northumberland Christian
Coach of the Year: Lance Hudak, Portage