Panthers collect league hoop awards

Senior guard Abbey Schmahl (Aurora, Ind.), junior center Courtney Prater (Anderson, Ind.), freshman guard Alicia Hopkins (Columbus, Ind.) and head coach Molly Jones have each received post-season honors from the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference.

Prater and Hopkins were tabbed first-team all-Heartland Conference by the league’s 10 head coaches. Schmahl earned honorable-mention recognition, while Jones was named the HCAC’s coach of the year for the second season in a row.

Prater earned first-team honors after leading Hanover with 14.8 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. She ranked fourth in the conference in scoring and fifth in rebounding. She also led the Panthers, and ranked second in the league, in field-goal percentage (48.6%).

A transfer from Anderson University, Prater is a three-time all-conference honoree. She was an honorable-mention pick for the Ravens as a sophomore and was the league’s freshman of the year in 2010.

Hopkins was a first-team all-Heartland Conference selection and also earned a slot on the HCAC’s all-freshman team.

In her first collegiate season, she set a Hanover single-season record with 93 steals and led the league with 3.6 steals per game. She averaged 9.3 points and 2.7 rebounds per contest and also ranked second on the squad with 59 assists.

Schmahl was an honorable-mention all-conference selection for the first time in her career. She also earned a spot on the league’s all-sportsmanship squad.

A member of the HCAC’s all-freshman team in 2009, Schmahl averaged 5.4 points, 3.6 rebounds and a team-high 3.6 assists per contest in her final season with the program.

Jones was named the Heartland Conference’s coach of the year for the second straight season. After graduating five players from last season’s 25-2 squad, she led the Panthers to a 21-5 overall record in 2011-12, including a 16-2 HCAC mark and share of first place in the league's regular-season standings.

The effort marked the program’s third consecutive 20-win season and fourth straight appearance in the HCAC tournament’s championship game.

2011-12 All-Heartland Conference Team