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Tell Selected as SM Times All-Area MVP
Posted On:
Tuesday, April 08, 2014
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Article courtesy of Joe Bailey, SM Times Sportwriter, 4/6/14

Shnyia Tell is a driven individual.

That quickly becomes abundantly clear once she steps onto a basketball court.

Most athletes are motivated.

However, it’s what drives Tell that sets her apart.

Tell doesn’t play for the recognition. She doesn’t play for the trophies. Or the stats.

She plays for herself.

“I don’t play basketball for the titles,” Tell said inside the Pioneer Valley gym Thursday. “I don’t play it for the stats, or the awards, I play it for me. I don’t really care about anything else.”

Although Tell doesn’t care about individual awards, the Pioneer Valley senior post player has acquired one more.

Tell has been selected as the Most Valuable Player of the 2014 Lee Central Coast Newspapers’ All-Area Girls Basketball Team.

Kaitlyn Flowers, from Pioneer Valley’s primary rival St. Joseph, is the 2014 Defensive Player of the Year.

Pete Fortier, who led Valley Christian Academy to the CIF Southern Section Division 6 championship last month, is the 2014 LCCN Coach of the Year.

Tell’s teammate Tawny Lino, a junior, was selected to the LCCN All-Area First Team. VCA junior Simone Swain, the CIF-SS Division 6 Player of the Year, is also on the First Team.

Arroyo Grande sophomore forward Ashlyn Herlihy, St. Joseph junior guard Syenna Ramirez and Lompoc junior post Chrisshnay Brown are also on the LCCN First Team.

Pioneer Valley guards Victoria Becerra and Stella Dulay are on the All-Area Second Team.

VCA’s Ellie Hedlund, Santa Maria’s Sarah Galicinao, Lompoc’s Rylee Sager and Cheyenne Marmolejo, Righetti’s Danita Estorga and Courtney, Cabrillo’s Devan McCune, VCA’s Catalina Paniagua and Nipomo’s Taylor Nevitt are all on the 2014 LCCN All-Area Second Team.

The 5-foot-11 Tell, who grew up playing basketball at the local Boys and Girls Club and has been playing the game since she was 4, led Pioneer Valley to the school’s first ever league basketball championship.

Tell and the Panthers stormed through the PAC 7 League during the 2013-14 season, running away with the league title with an 11-1 record.

The league title becomes much more impressive when looking at where the Panthers were when Tell arrived on campus four years ago. The Panthers went 4-8 in league when she was a freshman.

In Tell’s sophomore season, the Panthers were 10-13 overall and 2-10 in the PAC 7.

She leaves high school a champion.

Tell’s style of play is rugged. She knows how to fight for rebounds with any body part available, although her hips, chest and elbows get much of the work.

Her rebounding is an art form. When she wasn’t the tallest, or the strongest or quickest, she was able to get to any loose ball and secure it.

In her senior season, Tell averaged over 16 points and 13 rebounds, playing against a host of talented post players in the PAC 7.

“When I was younger, I was always the tallest out of everyone,” Tell said. “So I’ve always played the post and I’ve always had that drive to push, to get physical. I’m not the biggest post in the league now, almost every team has a player taller than me.

“Rebounding is mind of matter more than anything else. I feel like I’m a 6-foot-2 player, I’m going to play like I’m 6-2. I get big. I just push people and try to be as aggressive as I can be without fouling.”

The Panthers were knocked out of the CIF Southern Section playoffs after a first-round loss to Alta Loma. The Panthers entered the tournament seeded ninth. That playoff game came two days after Pioneer Valley coach, Brian Hook, was arrested and eventually charged with four counts of sex with a minor.

“What happened with our coach, it was critical timing, we found out what happened to our coach two days before the CIF playoff game,” Tell said. “Our team is young, so they mentally just broke down. They basically lost their minds. They didn’t know what to do.

“That was a turning point. I thought, ‘We need to get this together. We need to pull together and get this win. And I tried my hardest to get everyone together to help them cope. It was hard.”

The Panthers eventually lost to Alta Loma 57-55 at home.

“Coming down to the game, there was something missing,” Tell said. “I don’t know what it was, that whole night just felt weird. I know our coach’s presence would’ve helped. There was something he could’ve said that would’ve helped us. We lost by two points. Two points. That’s it. It sucks, but I mean, you can’t get everything you want.”

Tell was named the co-MVP of the PAC 7, splitting the award with Jessica Judge of San Luis Obispo.

Tell said she was recently accepted by Chico State and plans to walk on to the women’s basketball team next year.

And though Tell said she doesn’t care about awards, she was proud to find out she was named the LCCN All-Area MVP.

“Finding out yesterday that I had won, I feel like I deserved it and I worked hard for what I got — I’m happy,” she said Thursday.

Tell certainly did earn this year’s award, beating out some tough competition.

VCA’s Swain had a stellar junior campaign, helping the Lions to a sectional championship with efficient scoring and piles of rebounds.

St. Joseph’s Flowers ended her high school career with a bang. The Knights finished second in the league and made the semifinals of the CIF-SS Division 4A playoffs.

But, just like on the basketball court, there was no stopping Shnyia Tell.

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