WORCESTER – WPI junior Ama Biney (Worcester, MA) was unanimously selected as the Worcester Area College Basketball Association (WACBA) Women's Player of the Year. The voting was conducted by the sports information departments from the nine four-year schools in Worcester County, including Assumption and Holy Cross, as well as three members of the local media.
Biney was also a consensus All-WACBA First Team selection while senior Priscilla Dunphy (Barrington, RI) landed on the second team. Seniors Ian Converse (Woodstock, CT) and Sean Doncaster (Medford, MA) bookended the men's second team. It was later announced that Noontime Sports tabbed Biney as an All-Noontime Second Team member and Jake Wisniewski (W. Brookfield, MA) as an All-Rookie Team selection.
Biney, the All-NEWMAC first teamer, first-ever NEWMAC Defensive Player of the Year and the program's first-ever D3hoops.com All-Region selection, is 16th in steals and 23rd in steals per game among her Division III peers ahead of the national championship weekend. Following the conference tournament, the local product led the NEWMAC overall in steals (93) while ranking second in free throw percentage (79.1%), second in points (415), fourth in field goals (165) and fourth in points per game (14.8). Over the span of 16 conference games, Biney led the way in steals (47) and free throw percentage (80.4%), as well as fifth in field goals (85), seventh in points (216) and eighth in points per game (13.5). The team leader in scoring and rebounding handed in a career-high 28 versus RPI and a season-best in NEWMAC games with 22 at Wellesley.
A double-digit scorer in 24 of 28 games, including the last eight, Biney garnered two NEWMAC Offensive Player of the Week selections and three NEWMAC Defensive Player of the Week nods, including the first-ever to be awarded by the conference. The repeat CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree was named MVP of the Worcester City Tournament, WPI Thanksgiving Classic and WPI Holiday Tournament. In the final week of the season, Biney dropped 18 points in the NEWMAC first round versus Coast Guard and semifinal against Clark.
Dunphy ranked first overall (41.9%) and in conference games (49.0%) in 3-point field goal percentage. The senior was also top 10 in 3-pointers (fifth all, seventh NEWMAC), minutes played (sixth all, ninth NEWMAC) and steals (ninth NEWMAC). She also led WPI in 3-pointers per game and free throw percentage and was second on team in scoring and rebounding, as well as third in steals. The WPI Thanksgiving Classic All-Tournament Team honoree achieved double-digit scoring in 17 contests. At the end of the NEWMAC semifinal, Dunphy was key with a layup, steal and a free throw to help lift third-seeded WPI to its second NEWMAC Women's Basketball Championship game in as many years.
Converse was named an All-NEWMAC First Team selection and the program's first NEWMAC All-Sportsmanship team honoree. Over the course of 25 games played, Converse led the league in offensive rebounds (66) while ranking third in field goals (159), fifth in points per 40 minutes (21.3), fifth in points per game (15.5) and fifth in field goal percentage (48%). In terms of the 13 conference games played, the senior topped the chart with 32 offensive boards and was second in points per 40 minutes with 22.7. Converse was also third in field goals (85), fourth in points per game (16.5) and fourth in field goal percentage (49.1%). The double-digit scorer in 20 games, including the last 11, posted six double-doubles on the season. Converse scored 23 points and hauled in nine rebounds in the NEWMAC semifinal versus eventual tournament champion MIT.
Doncaster, who was a NEWMAC first teamer last year, paced the conference in assists (74) and was second in free throw percentage (85.9%) over 13 league games. On the season, he was second in both categories with 119 and 84.4%, respectively. Doncaster also achieved double-digit scoring in 15 games with a season high of 29 at Salem State and dropped 16 on Springfield and MIT in the first two NEWMAC contests of the season.
Wisniewski, an 11-game starter – including the first eight - averaged 8.2 points and 4.2 rebounds in 20.4 minutes per game. The local product also totaled 110 rebounds, 20 assists, 15 steals and six blocks. His 45 offensive boards ranked fifth overall in the NEWMAC. He narrowly missed a double-double versus MCLA and enjoyed eight double-digit scoring performances with a career-best 17 at Emerson.
Nichols' Marcos Echevarria was named WACBA Men's Player of the Year while teammate DeAnte Bruton was tabbed the Rookie of the Year and head coach Tom Glynn was recognized as the Coach of the Year. WPI's Ama Biney was selected as the Women's Player of the Year as Fitchburg State's Kyra Rose took home another Rookie of the Year nod. Assumption's Kerry Phayre and Becker's David Bostick were chosen as Women's Co-Coaches of the Year.
WACBA (Worcester Area College Basketball Association) is an organization billed as "one of its kind in the country" featuring 10 colleges, 20 programs plus sports information directors and media members to foster friendships and camaraderie along with promoting the GREAT GAME OF BASKETBALL throughout the TRADITION RICH Worcester County.