MONTICELLO — Chelsey Rhodes said she could not have had as good of a year as she did without the help of her teammates.

MONTICELLO — Chelsey Rhodes said she could not have had as good of a year as she did without the help of her teammates.

But the Monticello girls basketball team needed Rhodes to make it as far as the Lady Billies’ did.

Monticello coach Lucy Williams moved Rhodes from shooting guard to point guard this season, and the senior flourished.

Rhodes averaged 16 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.8 steals and 2.4 assists per game and helped lead Monticello to the 5A semifinals. For her outstanding season, Rhodes has been named the Pine Bluff Commercial’s All-Southeast Arkansas Girls Basketball Player of the Year.

Rhodes knew who to thank right away when she was told she had earned the award.

“It’s an honor, but I know I couldn’t have done this without my teammates,” she said. “Ever since I have been playing ball, I have been a person that is for the team and I am more concerned with how the team does, and mine will come if the team does well.”

Even though Rhodes was quick to credit her teammates, Williams was ready to give Rhodes the accolades she deserves.

“She was one of the top players in the state all year long,” she said. “Just one of those great athletic players and a good student with good work ethics and one of the better players I have had in a long time.”

The award does fit Rhodes, though, who gives her all every time out on the court.

“I always expect the best, not cocky-wise,” she said. “I go into it with a positive attitude and however things go, they go. You have good nights and bad nights, and I always hope for a good one.”

Rhodes had a good night most of the time for Monticello during its run this year. Monticello lost to Paragould 58-44 in the 5A state tournament, which did put a small dent on Rhodes strong season, she said.

“I put in all that I had and I wanted to get that ring,” she said. “It was a little disappointing, but it was a fun season and I enjoyed every bit of it.”

The Lady Billies’ 2012 season had great expectations written all over it. The group of players had been together since they were eighth-graders.

“When the year began, it was our goal,” Rhodes said. “We worked and worked and we knew we wanted it. We continued to work hard to get to where we wanted to get.”

Rhodes was the key piece. Williams did not worry about moving her to a position that required more ball handling and decision-making.

Williams knew Rhodes was more than capable of handling the transition.

“She has always been so smart on the court,” she said. “She just had grown tremendously. From passing off the dribble and finding her teammates when they were open to finding her shot, her court awareness was so developed.”

Rhodes shrugged off a move to one of the toughest positions on the court, too.

“I wasn’t scared or anything and we have a lot of chemistry, so it was just something I was willing to do,” she said. “I knew it was a big transition and there would be a lot of chance, so I just did what I had to do.”

Williams and Monticello’s opponents were not the only ones who noticed how well Rhodes handled the transition. After just seeing Rhodes practice, Delta State coach Sandra Rushing offered her a chance to play with the Lady Statesmen.

“She was sold in one practice,” Williams said.

Rhodes said she will not redshirt since Rushing plans to use her next year. The move up from high school to a top program in NCAA Division II may be a big jump, but once again, Rhodes is looking forward to the challenge.

“I am ready and I am going to play,” she said. “That’s where I want to be.”