Amira Collins, Paul VI–The steady Collins had a very strong senior year for the Panthers. The University of Tennessee signee averaged around 18 points a game, only failing to reach double figures in scoring once the entire year. She did most of her work down low but also displayed range from the high post and three-point line. Was strong on the boards and often turned games with her defense, blocking shots and neutralizing the top-tier posts in the WCAC.
Devyne Newman, Herndon–All the players listed here generally receive extra defensive attention, but perhaps no one faced more of it than Newman this season. The St. Joseph’s-bound guard has a pro-style jump shot that continuously torched opponents. She went for 35 points once and 31 in a win over Eleanor Roosevelt, though her most impressive night might have come in a win over Patriot. That January evening Newman hit nine three-pointers, a school record. Newman does many other things well on the court, including play defense, but it’s her combination of shooting and athleticism on offense that make her special.
Clara Ford, Marshall–There’s good things brewing at Marshall but it will make us sad to not see Ford roaming the paint there any longer. She’ll be at Boston College next year, on to bigger and better things. What a senior season for Ford. She scored 19 a game and was dominant on the boards as Marshall came on top in both its district and regional tournaments. Scored 37 in an early season win over Fairfax. Ford made just as much impact on defense, protecting the lane effectively against even the most athletic and taller teams. A hard-worker who came a long way on the court in just a few years.
Jordyn Callaghan, Langley–While it’ll be weird to see Marshall without Ford, it’ll be really weird to see Langley without Callaghan next year. What more can we say about Callaghan? The point guard did it all on the court. She ran the offense. She took over scoring duties when she needed to. She was an A-1 defender who often guarded the opponent’s best player. Callaghan was a coach on the floor for the Saxons who will be terribly missed next year. Langley’s program has churned out many special guards over the years and Callaghan will go down in history as one of the best ever.
Brie Perpignan, O’Connell–One of the most unsung guards in the area, Perpignan was the engine that made O’Connell go this season. She averaged 16 points a game despite being the obvious focus of opposing defenses. Very athletic, Perpignan was always a threat to pick an opponents pockets and take it all the way. Probably more of a scorer than a shooter, she nevertheless made opponents pay from the arc and more often, the charity stripe, where she shot over 75%. She will play for the Elon Phoenix next year.
Kate Klimkiewicz, Paul VI–Perfectly capable of taking over games, she just didn’t need to that often on a team with Owusu and Collins. Despite being on such a talented squad there were many halves where Klimkiewicz carried the team. A good three-point shooter, she did a lot of damage on kick-outs to her on the perimeter and on the secondary break. Then, after softening up the defense from outside, the tall forward could attack the rim. Also a good rebounder more than capable of fighting for points inside, Klimkiewicz will join Ford at BC next year.
Paris McBride, Woodbridge–Woodbridge returns a ton of talent, but it is certainly fair to wonder how the Vikings will respond to losing a player the caliber of McBride. Another first-team talent who doesn’t get her due, McBride did it all for the Vikings in much the same way Callaghan did for the Saxons. She ran the offense, still realizing when it was time for her to look to score. Also a fantastic defender, McBride was the focal point of the dangerous Woodbridge pressure defense that won games with steal after steal. Oh, and don’t forget that despite being a smaller point guard she routinely put up seven or eight board games as well. Will play at Delaware next year.
Kennedy Middleton, Tuscarora–Guard averaged 20 a game for the Huskies, dominating opponents with her speed, athleticism and finishing ability. Especially in the open court opponents couldn’t do much with her, sending her to the free throw line more often than not. Middleton averaged around nine free throw attempts per game and when she got to the line more than that Tuscarora was very difficult to beat. Middleton was a big contributor on the boards and guarded taller players well in addition, huge factors for the smallish Huskies. Middleton will play at Millersville University next year.
Lexi Weger, Episcopal–The tall forward had another solid campaign, this time in the more competitive top division of the ISL. Weger did a little bit of everything for the Maroon. When she wasn’t scoring she was making an impact on the glass, such as when she grabbed 21 boards against Potomac School. When she wasn’t making an impact on the boards she was blocking shots and concentrating on getting her teammates involved on offense. When Weger played with intensity she was very difficult to stop, hitting threes and posting up inside. She’ll play at Princeton next year.
Natalie Villaflor, Loudoun County–One of those kids you can plug in anywhere on the court in an increasingly position-less game, Villaflor had another excellent season for the Raiders. POY for the third consecutive year in the Dulles District, Villaflor scored less than she did in 2016-2017, but only because she had a more complete team. She was at her best rebounding and running the court, although she was also just fine hitting threes and pounding opponents inside in the half court as well. Versatile with a great love for the game, Villaflor will play for Robert Morris next season.
Natalie Terwilliger, West Potomac–The young Wolverines again benefitted from having an absolute rock in the middle in Terwilliger. While big and strong, the center displayed many other facets of her game this season. She showed some solid range from the three-point line and also handled the ball much better than most players her size. Still, her bread and butter remained her dominant inside game both on offense and defense. Those skills allowed her to have some massive point-rebound double-doubles on the season. She will play for Christopher Newport next year.
Courtlynne Caskin, The Potomac School–Guard scored in double figures in every game she played in 2017-2018. Tenacious and relentless, Caskin poured in points for Potomac from both inside and out. She averaged a couple made threes a game but also used her excellent athleticism and ball-handling skills to attack the rim and draw foul after foul. Caskin scored 20 points or more 15 times on the year, scoring 31 in a Joe Cascio game versus Mount Vernon. Basketball isn’t even her best sport–she’s first-team All-Met in soccer and will go to UVA on a lacrosse scholarship.
Nicole McNamara, Westfield–The Bulldogs won the regular season Concorde District crown in no small part because of McNamara, the Concorde’s POY. McNamara was excellent on defense, using her length and footwork to get in passing lanes and constantly bother opponents. The efficient guard averaged 13 a game and mostly played things smart, taking good shots and creating offense when her team needed it. Good in transition, fundamentally sound and solid with both hands, it just won’t be the same with all the McNamara sisters out of Westfield, which we think is now the case.
Chloe Madgwick, Stone Bridge–Shooting guard became her school’s all-time leading scorer this season. One of those players who is content to play within the offense and rarely force shots, Madgwick had an efficient 2017-2018 for the Bulldogs. In the regular season she averaged over two made three-pointers per game and just under 15 a game total. She also was solid on the boards and provided great leadership to a young Stone Bridge team. She will play at Muhlenberg College next season.
Elise Levenberry, T.C. Williams–Quite simply, when Levenberry and her twin sister Danielle did significant damage inside it was almost impossible to stop the Titans this year. In the Titans’ six losses Elise averaged under seven points a game, in the Titans’ numerous wins she averaged well into double figures. But it wasn’t by a long shot all about scoring with Elise and her sister. They controlled the boards, which was crucial in getting the Titans’ talented guards in transition. Elise also surprised opponents with her fantastic footwork and quickness all day long.
Tia Benvenuti, South Lakes–With a talented team this year, Benvenuti didn’t need to pile up statistics for the Seahawks, the point guard just needed to lead. That she did. That’s not to say she didn’t have some nice stats, either. She averaged double-digits in scoring and set the tone for her team, often with her defense. A great passer and ball-handler, Benvenuti was at her best leading the fast break. Opponents also paid dearly when they forgot what a good shooter she was as well–Benvenuti displayed great catch-and-shoot ability from the arc. She’ll play for Mercer next year.
Katy Sharon, Madison–Once again the tall guard was indispensable for the Warhawks this season. Madison is known for its team play and defense, but somebody had to deliver points for the squad when it needed it most. Usually that was Sharon. When she scored Madison was very hard to beat–the Warhawks only lost twice in the regular season when Sharon delivered double figures. Sharon was most dangerous from the perimeter, hitting 50-plus three-pointers on the year.
Peyton Perine, Oakton–We didn’t understand how key Perine was for the Cougars until we watched her in a victory over Lake Braddock. In that game Perine went for 12 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, and it was clear what she meant to the team. The power forward had some unbelievable games, pouring in 29 in a win over Madison and scoring 25 in a heartbreaking one-point loss to Marshall in the regional tournament. Scoring 25 against a paint-protector like Clara Ford should give you a good idea how huge Perine played. She’ll play for Curry College next year.
Machaela Simmons, Hayfield–Here’s a story we should have written this year. Simmons tore her ACL last season but was back in less than a year to finish first team all-district and lead the Hawks to a successful season. Was she even at 100%? That’s what scary to think about. Anyway, the guard made a living hitting threes and taking it to the rim. She also looked just fine in transition despite wearing a knee brace. She can handle the ball and her long-range shooting seems effortless. This one is still available, college coaches.
Jami Tham, Wakefield–The tough small forward provided key leadership all year round for the youthful Warriors. Her on-the-court production wasn’t too shabby either. Tham averaged almost 15 points a game and sped or bullied her way to the rim on a regular basis. She was also proficient on the glass, producing a few 15 rebound games and giving her team numerous second chances on offense. Also a threat to deliver a weak side block or reject the ball directly back into a shooter’s lap, Tham averaged more than two rejections a contest.
HONORABLE MENTION–Rana Azad (Langley), Hallie Jepsen (Langley), Carly Britt (Langley), Emily Shively (Langley), Alyssa Sweeney (Stonewall Jackson), Julia Ng (Loudoun County), Rachel Clifton (Seton), Nori Solomon (Mount Vernon), Rasha Benhamida (Falls Church), Amaya Gray (Edison), Jasmine Forte (Woodbridge), Maya Goree (Episcopal), Morgan Pettit (Brentsville District), Danayshia McClendon (Gar-Field), Victoria Kirby (Hayfield), Elizabeth Sherrill (Hayfield), Camahni Kelly (Hylton), Sydney Kennard (Bishop Ireton), Callie Doyle (Centreville), Cami Lamont (Flint Hill), Gabby Cadle (Colgan), Marlise Brunson (Herndon), Taylor Strawser (Herndon), Diana Miskell (Madison), Lexi Chipps (Seton), Sydney Miller (Lake Braddock), Kaela Moskowitz (McLean), Mina Mori (Oakton), Maddie Young (South Lakes), Wanna Wardak (Westfield), Seana Ellsworth (West Springfield), Shawn Mills (O’Connell), Enas Nigatu (Washington-Lee), Karinna Papke (T.C. Williams), Danielle Levenberry (T.C. Williams), Nicole Bloomgarden (George Mason), Jenna Short (George Mason), Katherine Hirsch (George Mason), Ashley Dean (Rock Ridge), Celine Fink (Loudoun Valley), Susannah Anderson (Mount Vernon), Madi White (Woodgrove), Lily Forrester (Woodgrove), Mia Buchanon (Osbourn Park), Alyssa Bertrand (Patriot), Yanessa Cabrera (Stonewall Jackson), Serenity Turnbull (Battlefield)