By BRETT MARSHALL
Two members of the 2012 Telegram All-Area girls basketball team signed letters-of-intent to play at the collegiate level for the 2012-2013 season.
Taylor Bleumer of Ingalls and Avery Burns each signed their letters at their respective schools on Wednesday — Bluemer inking her commitment to play at Southwestern College in Winfield, a member of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference while Burns signed an NJCAA letter to attend Seward County Community College in Liberal.
Bleumer, a 5-9 forward, helped the Lady Bulldogs to one of the most successful seasons in school history as her team finished third in the Class 1A-Division II state tournament in Hays. She finished her senior year with an 11.8 scoring average while also averaging 8.4 rebounds. In 17 games of her team's 22-3 season, Bleumer had double-figures in scoring and she recorded five double-doubles in scoring and rebounding, two of those coming at the state tournament. In the third-place game, a victory over Wetmore, Bleumer had 17 points and 17 rebounds.
Burns, a two-time member of The Telegram's All-Area team, saw her senior season end early when she went down with an ACL tear in her left knee in January. She had played just eight games in helping the Lady Bluejays to an 8-0 record at the time. In her abbreviated season, Burns, a 5-6 point guard, averaged 16.3 points while also pulling down 5.4 rebounds per game. She averaged 3.2 assists and 4.0 steals. She hit 45 percent of her field goals and 82 percent of her free throws.
One other member of The Telegram's 2012 All-Area team — Player of the Year Ulysses' Kaylea Britton — had signed an NCAA Division I letter in November to attend the University of Vermont. Sublette's Daryan Whaler will be attending the University of Kansas to pursue her academic degree while Holcomb's Katie Pfeifer, the lone junior on this year's team, will return for her senior season with the Lady Longhorns.
In addition to those signings, Deerfield's Bridget Crandall also put her name to an NJCAA letter-of-intent on Monday to play at Seward County, joining Burns next season to play for the Lady Saints.
Crandall, an honorable mention all-area selection this past season, led Deerfield to a 19-4 record, third best in school history. The 5-6 guard averaged 13.2 points, 6.3 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 3 steals per game for the Lady Spartans.
Bleumer said last month that she plans to pursue a degree in physical therapy and athletic training while Burns indicated she was uncertain about what degree she would pursue but did say that athletic training and coaching were among her interests.