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Sunapee Junior Named New Hampshire’s Top Player

Sunapee — It was a surprise Erika Waterman never expected. In fact, she still doesn’t think she deserves it.

In what may have been the worst kept secret in New Hampshire, Waterman, a junior from Sunapee, will be named the New Hampshire Division IV Girls Basketball Player of the Year this afternoon in Concord.

“I definitely was not expecting this,” said the 16-year-old Waterman, who believes she wasn’t supposed to be told of the honor until the event today. “But Tim (Coach Tim LaTorra) kind of couldn’t wait to tell me. I think he was supposed to keep it quiet for a couple of more days.”

Last season, the Lakers went 18-3 and made it to the NHIAA Division IV semifinals. It was a season that saw Waterman, a 5-foot-7 point guard, average 15.5 points per game along with five rebounds and five steals.

“She handles pressure real well after struggling a little bit last year,” LaTorra said. “She can catch and shoot real well and has great defensive instincts in terms of shutting down the passing lanes.”

“You know,” added LaTorra, “one of her biggest assets is her leadership and the chemistry she creates with the team. She is a great teammate. She has been very modest and humbled by all this. To be named the best player in the division completely blindsided her.”

Waterman came to Sunapee as a sophomore after spending her freshman year at Thetford Academy. She made the Thetford varsity as a backup player, appearing in 20 games and scoring a total of 53 points.

Last year, as a Laker sophomore, she earned a starting spot and was named to the second team All-State.

In addition to playing for the Lakers, Waterman spends her summers playing AAU basketball for the Twin State Jammers coached by Hank Tenney.

“We’ve already started,” said Waterman, explaining why she does not participate in a spring sport in Sunapee. She plays soccer in the fall.

Now that Waterman is getting so much attention, her coach expects that she’s going to have to develop more of her game to get open for shots next winter.

“It’s kind of a set shot I take now,” Waterman said. “And I know I’m going to have to find other ways to get more shots off.”

Winning the Division IV award was the last thing in Waterman’s mind, believing either Mckenna Burke of Groveton or Josie Bruno of Colebrook were more worthy.

Not in the eyes of the D-IV coaches, however. So it will be Erika Waterman taking the walk to the stage when her name is announced today as the best player in the division.

“I’ve already got butterflies,” she said.