SEWARD, Neb. – An All-America season the propelled the Concordia University Women’s Basketball team to the quarterfinals of the NAIA national tournament has led to another major honor for Taylor Cockerill. The Waverly, Neb., native was selected as the captain of the Midlands NAIA Women’s Basketball All-Nebraska Team, as chosen by the Omaha World-Herald. Cockerill was joined on the five-member first team by teammate Taysha Rushton. In addition, Mackenzie Koepke and Rylee Pauli were tabbed as honorable mention choices.
As the emotional leader of the Bulldogs, Cockerill also paced the team in points (14.7), rebounds (6.5) and assists (3.23) per game this season. She posted shooting percentages of 41.3 from the field, 37.1 from 3-point range and 77.8 from the foul line. Cockerill scored 20 or more points in eight separate games, including two 33-point outings. In the national quarterfinal clash with Morningside, she turned in 17 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists while narrowly missing out on a triple-double. The Women’s Basketball Coaches Association recognized Cockerill on its All-America team.
Rushton put together one of the finest seasons ever for a Concordia freshman and was named first team All-GPAC. The native of Lubbock, Texas, ranked second on the team to Cockerill in scoring with an average of 14.4 points per game. She also shot 34.3 percent from 3-point range (team high 73 treys) and 81.4 percent from the foul line. Rushton piled up 27 points in the NAIA round of 16 win over Marian University (Ind.). She also dropped 24 points in the GPAC tournament title game.
Koepke and Pauli were honorable mention All-GPAC choices and provided veteran presences within the starting lineup. Koepke averaged 7.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 0.9 blocks this past season. She has drained 181 career 3-point field goals. Meanwhile, Pauli averaged 7.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.5 steals as a junior. She recorded 17 points in the win over Marian.
NAIA Omaha World-Herald All-Nebraska Team
G — *Taylor Cockerill, Concordia, 14.7 ppg, 6.5 rpg
G — Faith Ross, Bellevue, 12.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg
G — Taysha Rushton, Concordia, 14.4 ppg, 2.6 apg
F — Elexis Martinez, Bellevue, 16.0 ppg, 6.3 rpg
F — Makenna Sullivan, Midland, 10.8 ppg, 8.5 rpg
Honorable mention: Bellevue: Jamie Winkler. Concordia: Mackenzie Koepke, Rylee Pauli. Doane: Madison Davis, Haylee Heits. Hastings: Carley Leners, Kaitlyn Schmit. Midland: Lexis Haase, Peyton Wingert. Nebraska Wesleyan: Johanna Vandenack. Peru State: Dayna Dewitt, Maddy Duncan. College of St. Mary: Honnah Leo, Clare Lewandowski. York: Julia Trujillo.