Delaney Connolly, Oakton–The most consistent of Oakton’s talented senior triumvirate, the forward failed to score in double figures only twice on the year on the way to leading the Cougars in scoring at around 18 a game. A good rebounder who did work inside, Connolly also was able to draw opponents’ bigs outside the lane with her three-point shooting ability (33 on the year). Very basketball-savvy and a leader on the court. Will play at Loyola (MD) next year.
Mikayla Vaughn, Paul VI–Athletic, well over six-foot forward will play in South Bend next year for the Irish. Led the powerful Panthers in scoring at around 15 points a game after transferring in last year. Works hard playing defense, pounding the glass and finishing down low on offense. With her wingspan the only thing left is developing range on her shot. Hits free throws at over a 70% clip–not like she can’t shoot, however.
Indeya Sanders, Herndon–Dynamic guard did it all for Herndon. Most dangerous when out in transition. Good passer and rebounder. Averaged around 14 points a game with good scoring balance from outside (25 threes) and inside. Had her best games in January against rivals Chantilly and Oakton, when she scored 25 points and a season-high 27 points, respectively. Will play at American next year.
Mary Clougherty, Chantilly–Forward kind of just went about her business early in the year as the Chargers cruised, content to crash the boards and score what she needed to while getting her teammates involved. But watching her take over games during the second half of the season was something else. When she got her three-point shot going was almost unstoppable, such as when she hit four against Herndon and Oakton on her way to 26 and 27 point games. Will play at Lehigh next year.
Megan Callahan, Stonewall Jackson–Callahan was good last year for Stonewall, earning a scholarship to Robert Morris. She was really good this year, averaging almost 20 a game and helping to spark her team to a surprising conference title. Poured in points early, scoring over 30 points three times before Christmas, but as her team got better and better was able to score less and distribute the ball more at the point. Still a shooter at heart, Callahan hit 63 threes on the year and shot 83% from the line.
Kailyn Fee, Oakton–Connolly may have been more consistent, but Fee was easily the Cougars’ most dynamic player. When she was on she impressed like perhaps no one other on this list. She ran the point and took care of the ball for the state runner ups, played tough defense and seemingly never needed much of a break. Scored 30 against Robinson and 29 against Chantilly after getting to the line 20 times, but easily her most important game came in a do-or-die playoff game against T.C. Williams. In that game the University of Richmond signee hit four threes and was a perfect 12 of 12 from the line to eliminate the Titans.
Bhrandi Crenshaw, T.C. Williams–We’ll also remember Crenshaw’s great game in a losing cause that evening as well. The athletic small forward scored 19 points on 9-14 shooting and was a pest defensively. A great finisher when she got in transition with the athletic Titans, Crenshaw was always active attacking the rim. Has considerable leaping ability that makes her seem a lot taller than she actually is. Despite being a shade under six feet tall had games where she blocked shot after shot on defense.
Nadia Davidson, Osbourn Park–Talk about unlimited range. Davidson, a 5’10” wing, has athleticism but easily was at her most dangerous just draining threes. Had no problem hitting them from a foot or two beyond the arc, either. Buried four of them en route to 24 points in a regional tourney first round loss to Oakton. Height and jab step made her difficult to stop from the perimeter. Has excellent handles and dribbling ability. Will play for Coppin State next year.
Lyrin Hatcher, Wakefield–Led the Warriors in scoring at over 15 points a game. Like Davidson and Crenshaw a natural high school “three” but can play multiple positions. Athlete who can crash the boards, frequently going for double-digit rebounds and blocking shots. Scored season-high 26 points in a win over Marshall. Great handle and a dangerous quick mid-range shot.
Ahlia Moone, Battlefield–Led the regional runner-up Bobcats at scoring at just under 13 a game. Seemed to really up her game the second half of the season and in the playoffs, when her team made an impressive run through regionals. Guard can get very hot from three, but loves to attack the rim from the perimeter on the wing. Battlefield was most dangerous when it was playing intense defense, and Moone was as irritating as about anyone on that side of the ball.
Taylor King, Hayfield–Point guard led the Hawks in scoring at almost 14 points a game. Had a season-high 27 points in an impressive 16-point win over Fairfax. Small at just over five feet tall, King still managed to get to the free throw line a decent amount and attack the rim. Good passer and shooter who buried 42 three-pointers on the year. Always a threat to come up with a steal.
Amanada Nhek, Patriot–Attending GMU on a soccer scholarship, it was no coincidence the Pioneers started to get better and better as Nhek immersed herself in basketball. While not a tall guard Nhek was fearless attacking the rim and in every aspect of the game. Good defender and shooter. Scored 23 points in a second round regional win over West Potomac to include three threes. Tough to not mention Patriot guard Autumn Hopson here, Nhek’s backcourt mate who easily could have made one of these teams as well.
Kate Esper, Lake Braddock–It isn’t just about scoring, although Esper led a solid Lake Braddock team at over 11 a game. It’s about defense, and Esper always had her hands in the passing lanes. She came up with steal after steal for the Bruins and also did a pretty good job on the boards despite only being around 5’8″ or 5’9″. Showed some range to hit the occasional three-pointer, but really needed only to deliver from the free throw line a little better to achieve greater recognition.
Summer Matlack, Wakefield–The Warriors’ point guard, Matlack is a fantastic passer and ball-handler first and foremost who loved to rack up assists. But she was more than happy to score when necessary, delivering 19 points in a key early season win over Battlefield. Can shoot from outside but was best using her quickness and ball-handling ability to draw fouls and get to the line.
Hanna Oliver, Woodbridge–Maybe the best pure shooter in the region, you could argue Oliver belongs higher on the list. Hit an impressive 82 three-pointers on the year and led the Vikings in scoring at over 13 a game. Buried threes from well beyond the arc, often at the top of the key before defenses knew what hit them. Known as a shooter first, Oliver nonetheless did a lot of things well, including on defense and feeding others the ball.
Ada Stanley, Brentsville–5’11” forward averaged almost 17 points a game this year for the 3A Tigers. Does a little bit of everything. Is a good passer, important as she often drew double teams. Wasn’t a one-woman show for Brentsville but sometimes had to be, such as in early December when she scored 27 of her team’s 34 points in a win. Will play at Division II UVa-Wise next year.
Toni Herman, Flint Hill–Led a balanced Flint Hill team in scoring at over 11 points a game. Lefty small forward was adept at hitting three-pointers within the flow of the offense, hitting 39 on the year. Also good at hitting mid-range jumpers. Smart player who like many of her teammates had no problem sharing the ball as often as possible.
Grace Rauch, Chantilly–Sometimes over-shadowed by Clougherty, Rauch is a considerable talent. The Chargers often went as she went. Chantilly was undefeated (7-0) when Rauch scored 15 points or more but 3-5 when Rauch failed to score in double figures. Senior forward scored a season-high 32 points in a regional first round win over Stonewall Jackson. Hit 36 threes on the year.
Tory Martin, Westfield–Bulldogs did some damage when Martin, a low-post threat, stepped up and dominated. The forward led Westfield in scoring at over 13 a game and was tough to stop in the post. Scored 22 points and pulled down 14 rebounds in a late season upset of Chantilly. Scored in double figures in all but four games.
Elizabeth Bucy, Langley–Surprise, surprise. It isn’t just about scoring points, folks. Not the most skilled player, Bucy made her living dominating the boards. Despite being significantly under six feet tall, Bucy averaged over ten boards a game including 16 in a district tourney win over South Lakes. Bucy didn’t score much at around six a game but did when it mattered most against tough competition, most noticeably in a victory over O’Connell (12 points) and a playoff win over Woodbridge (14 points). These teams can deservedly be debated and re-done, but if you think Bucy doesn’t deserve this spot you’re flat-out wrong.
Don’t Forget–Maddie Royle (Oakton); Lana Zjajo (Heritage); Corianna Calloway (Heritage); Christina Adlam (Park View); Janiece Loney (Herndon); Ellie Buckley (Langley); Olivia Augustini (Langley); Rachel Dunie (Langley); Hannah Smith (McLean); Vanessa Barlow (McLean); Dominique Webster (Fairfax); Karah Murphree (Fairfax); Alivia Damper (South Lakes); Ty Taylor (West Potomac); Emma Sharman (West Springfield); Katie Garrish (Annandale); Danielle Harrington (Battlefield); Dana Harrington (Battlefield); Marley McLaughlin (Battlefield); Autumn Hopson (Patriot); Ava Pell (Patriot); Ricka Jackson (Stonewall Jackson); Harmony Anderson (Osbourn); Catrina Wood (Osbourn); Chastity Wilson (Gar-Field); Courtney Wilson (Gar-Field); Kylie Hardin (Marshall); Amani Rascoe (Briar Woods); Kayla Castro (Briar Woods); Emma Harwood (Stone Bridge); Jordan Wick (Woodgrove); Lilian Majmyar (Dominion); Blair Thompson (John Champe); Kennedy Fairfax (Bishop Ireton); Kelsey Dunn (St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes); Nicole Bolton (St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes); Megan Garman (Brentsville)