Lammers, Barry highlight GPAC All-Conference selections

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It’s no surprise that two senior stars instrumental in another sweep of GPAC regular-season and tournament championships have reeled in high honors from the conference. Grace Barry and Philly Lammers have been named to the All-GPAC first team, as announced by the GPAC on Wednesday (March 4). Four other members of the Concordia University women’s basketball program were also chosen as all-conference selections: sophomore Mackenzie Koepke (second team) and seniors Colby Duvel (honorable mention), MacKenzie Helman (honorable mention) and Riley Sibbel (honorable mention).

In addition, Lammers was voted by league coaches as the GPAC Defensive Player of the Year. Lammers is the first player in program history to ever earn both GPAC Player of the Year and GPAC Defensive Player of the year honors over the course of a career.

Head coach Drew Olson’s squad captured the GPAC tournament title on Tuesday (March 3) by defeating rival Hastings. Lammers and her fellow four-year seniors won GPAC regular-season and tournament titles all four years.

A Millard West High School product, Lammers is putting the finishing touches on a career that puts her in the discussion among the greatest players ever at Concordia. She achieved first team All-GPAC status all four years and appears on track for a fourth-straight All-America award. As a senior, Lammers has averaged 13.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.6 steals and 1.1 rebounds per game. She is shooting 52.7 percent from the floor. On the program’s all-time lists, Lammers ranks second in scoring (2,019), second in blocked shots (179), third in rebounds (1,020) and fourth in steals (355). She has been a force behind the program’s 136 wins over the past four seasons.

Barry is the pilot of the plane. With the Lincoln East High School alum at the point over the past two seasons, Concordia has gone a combined 66-5. With Taylor Cockerill going down with an injury prior to the official start of the season, Barry took on an increased scoring role this winter. She is averaging 13.9 points, 5.9 assists, 3.2 steals and 2.8 rebounds per game while shooting 45.4 percent from the floor. Taking into account her two seasons at the University of Nebraska-Kearney, Barry has surpassed 1,000 career points. Last season she was named the MVP of the national tournament and second team All-GPAC.

Koepke moved into the starting lineup this season has provided a consistent threat with her perimeter shooting. Her 66 3-point field goals rank as the most on the team. The Lincoln Lutheran High School product is averaging 8.4 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game. Her 19 points in the GPAC quarterfinal win over Midland represent a career high. Koepke was tabbed an honorable mention all-conference selection in 2018-19.

Three seniors round out the list of honorees. Sibbel is a repeat honorable mention All-GPAC choice. The O’Neill, Neb., native has been one of the league’s top backcourt defenders and is a major reason why the Bulldogs force a wealth of turnovers. Sibbel is averaging 6.1 points and 2.0 steals per game. Duvel has enjoyed her best season as a senior and is averaging 8.3 points and 4.5 rebounds. The 2019 homecoming queen has piled up 792 points and 634 rebounds in her career. Meanwhile, Helman provides steady minutes off the bench. She is shooting 41.2 percent from 3-point range while averaging 5.2 points.

The program’s previous GPAC Defensive Players of the Year were Mary Janovich (2017), Tracy Peitz (2014), Katie Rich (2012 and 2013) and Kari Saving (2005).

The NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championship bracket will be revealed later tonight (March 4). The tournament will take place in Sioux City, Iowa, March 11-17.