Pelham’s Laci Gogan repeats as county’s Player of the Year
Published 5:18 pm Monday, March 28, 2022
By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor
For the second year in a row, Shelby County’s girls basketball Player of the Year will reside in Pelham thanks to junior guard Laci Gogan.
Gogan won last year’s Player of the Year award after averaging 19.2 points, 3.1 assists and 2.8 rebounds per game to lead the Panthers to the Sweet 16.
This year, her stats weren’t quite as high in each category due to more balance around her on the team, but she still remained the county’s top player, which helped the Panthers tackle history, advancing to the Elite Eight and Final Four for the first time ever.
She finished her junior season averaging a county-high 16 points per game as the most important scorer and player to her team. She also averaged 2.5 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game, while she upped her steals from 54 to 58 this season.
With Gogan winning the Player of the Year for the girls, it gave Pelham the clean sweep for the top postseason awards in the county after Michael Jones won the boys Player of the Year award a week earlier.
She first became a key contributor for the Panthers as an eighth grader, averaging 7.3 points, three assists and two rebounds per game.
Since then, Gogan has grown each season into one of the state’s best players which also earned her a spot on this year’s Class 6A All-State basketball team.
As a freshman, she stepped up to truly show what was possible, scoring 17 points per game and adding 1.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game.
Then, last year as a sophomore, she led the county in scoring by more than six points per game, totaling 19.1 points per game, while she also totaled 3.1 assists and 2.8 rebounds per game.
This year, she was the clear favorite for the award, but the leadership qualities and skills of players like Chelsea’s Sydney Schwallie, Thompson’s Alecia Reasor, Helena’s Olivia Johnigan, Montevallo’s Jai-Lin Ivory and Vincent’s Ja’Kalynn McGinnis and Trenay Lane made them all worth consideration as well.
But Gogan’s consistency for four years and her ability to lead Pelham to history were too much to ignore.
Now a starter for four years with the Panthers, she was basically playing with the experience of a senior this season, despite having one year left.
With that, she relied on her teammates more often to help this season, not only knowing when defenses were honed in on stopping her, but trusting what they could do with a talented group around her.
The more that trust grew, the better the Panthers got, which led to their historic season.
Gogan now has 1,546 points through her first four years and will head into her senior season as one of the state’s top returning players with the milestone of 2,000 points well within reach.