Danielle Lawrence was left off the list of seven finalists for Kentucky’s Miss Basketball award, but coaches in her region certainly realize her value.
Lawrence, a 5-foot-10 senior, has been named the Sixth Region Player of the Year after leading Butler High School to a 24-3 record and the No. 3 perch in The Courier-Journal’s Litkenhous Ratings.
“She’s never been a vocal leader, but she’s just been a leader with the way she goes about things,” Butler coach Larry Just said. “I know she was disappointed she wasn’t a Miss Basketball finalist, and that motivated her a little bit.”
Lawrence received eight Player of the Year votes from the 13 coaches who participated. No other player in the region received more than one.
Ballard senior Javonna Layfield, who is a Miss Basketball finalist, received six of eight votes to earn Seventh Region Player of the Year honors.
Lawrence, who signed with IUPUI after also considering Western Kentucky, is averaging 15.3 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.0 steals and 2.3 assists. The Bearettes will face Iroquois at 6 p.m. Friday in the 22nd District Tournament final and have clinched a spot in next week’s Sixth Region Tournament.
Lawrence also received the Joyce Seymour Award for the top offensive player in the Louisville Invitational Tournament, where Butler beat Sacred Heart 50-49 in the championship game.
“She’s a complete player,” Just said. “It’s not just about scoring. It’s not just about rebounding. She goes out and defends the best kid on the other team if I need her to do that. She gets steals. She works at every facet of the game. I wouldn’t trade Danielle for anybody.”
Layfield, a 5-10 guard/forward, is averaging 16.9 points and 9.7 rebounds for No. 9 Ballard (21-4). She has not committed to a college but is considering North Carolina Wilmington and Bellarmine among several others.
Layfield battled knee injuries as a sophomore and junior but has returned strong for her senior season, Ballard coach Frank Wright said. He also credits her with playing out of position this season because the team needs her more in the paint than on the wing.
“She’s had some adversity to deal with, and she’s stayed focused and positive and determined through all of it,” Wright said. “She’s been very courageous.”