Vermilion's AuBree LaForce named Miss Basketball

JIM BOBEL/THE MORNING JOURNAL Vermilion senior AuBree LaForce was named Miss Basketball for Lorain County at Tuesday’s All-Star Game at Elyria High School.

ELYRIA — Vermilion’s AuBree LaForce reached a lot of milestones in her senior year, including becoming the school’s all-time leading scorer, earning the Division II Lorain County Player of the Year and West Shore Conference Player of the Year awards, and leading the Sailors to their first district final since 1995.

The 5-foot-2 senior can also add the title of Lorain County Miss Basketball to her list of accolades, as she was presented the award Tuesday night during the Lorain County Girls Basketball All-Star Game. LaForce is the third Vermilion player to win the award since its creation in 1985, joining Renee Aggers in 1990 and Kristi Littlton in 1996 as Sailors to be named Miss Basketball.

LaForce, who averaged 16.6 points per game in her senior season, had dreamed about becoming Miss Basketball, but admitted she was surprised to hear her name announced as the recipient of Miss Basketball.

“There’s so many great players in this county, I really didn’t know what to expect,” LaForce said. “I was just hoping for the best. It really means so much, so much, that I got this.”

Despite being one of the shortest varsity players in the county, LaForce used that to her advantage to put up big numbers and to become the leading scorer in the history of Vermilion girls basketball with a career total of 1,199 points. She accomplished the feat on Feb. 6 in her last home game, passing Jill Dodson for first place.

“I think it’s an advantage to be short,” LaForce said. “I love my height and I think I can move around easier, draw contact and I just go out there and play my hardest.”

LaForce’s parents, Lisa and Wade, were in attendance to see Aubrey win the award. They had traveled plenty of miles to see Aubrey play basketball throughout summer AAU ball, and were proud to see her win the Miss Basketball award.

“I’m just ecstatic,” Lisa LaForce said. “That little 5-foot-2 Aubrey just nailed it. I love it.”

Vermilion coach Colin Irish, a former NBA draft pick, nominated LaForce for the Miss Basketball award and felt she had a good chance to win the award before her name was called.

“It was great to coach her,” Irish said. “This is just a reflection of how hard she’s worked.

“I know what she does not only on the basketball court, but off the court and with the grades and the whole package, she had a very good shot at it. With the increase of our wins this year (a record of 14-11), I knew she was leading our program in the right direction.”

LaForce’s academic successes helped her chances to win the award, as she is ranked second in her senior class with a 4.41 GPA.

LaForce ended her high school career on the Elyria gym floor in the Sailors’ 52-45 loss to Holy Name, in which she scored 32 points. She returned to the same gym floor a few weeks later and fulfilled her goal of being Miss Basketball.

“It’s been my dream to win this award and take my team as far as I can in the tournament,” LaForce said. “We hadn’t been there (to a district final) since 1995 so that was an amazing accomplishment. And my teammates, I couldn’t have done it without them.”

She is undecided at this point about where she will attend college, but she has offers from and has been accepted to Denison, Mount Union and Case Western.

After winning the award, she scored six points in her All-Star game — both on three-pointers — and helped her Red Team win 67-48 over the Black Team.

@Bielik_Tim

Last Updated: 3/19/2013 11:25:43 PM EST

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