G. Christina Trivisonno, Marshall
G. Lee Volker, Paul VI
C. Meghan O’Brien, Chantilly
F. Alyssa Andrews, Colgan
F. Brianna Scott, South Lakes
Lexi White, West Springfield; Juliana Park, Lake Braddock; Hannah Kaloi, Oakton; Bella Perkins, Paul VI; Ambria Redfearn, West Potomac; Adaija Bender, Woodbridge; Caitlin Blackman, Patriot
All the girls on our sophomore team made an impact in their debut campaigns last year. This season a good many of them became superstars. The sky is truly the limit for NOVA’s class of 2021–oh, how we’d love to coach this team…
Without Clara Ford, it was clear guards Christina Trivisonno and her twin sister Mary would have to step up and realize their potential if the Statesmen were to again be a regional power. They did. Christina was a first team National District selection and stood out as a highly efficient scorer for 21-win Marshall. She was a constant threat from long range, also doing a good job drawing fouls and getting to the line. A good defender already, Trivisonno got much stronger in the offseason and that made her all the better versus bigger guards and forwards. She and her talented sister are like having two coaches on the court. Mary didn’t score quite as much as Christina but made similar strides and could easily be on this team.
Lee Volker made an immediate impact in the WCAC after transferring to Paul VI from Loudoun Valley. The long guard, like Trivisonno able to bring the ball up the court or play off-guard, was a second team all-WCAC selection. On offense she hit from long range when needed and was able to finish with either hand. Her length gives her the ability to pick opponents’ pockets and deliver key weak and strong side blocks. Look for her to step up even more as a scorer next year. She flashed her ability to carry a team on offense in 2018-2019, such as when she delivered 22 points against O’Connell. Volker already holds a few DI scholarship offers, deservedly.
It really says something that in a district with established seniors and dynamic freshman Grace Arnolie, Meghan O’Brien of Chantilly was voted Concorde Player of the Year. She’s just a wrecking ball inside and can hit the outside shot as well. Long, athletic and fairly strong for her age, O’Brien delivered 20 points and 20 rebounds on more than one occasion, including twice in two Charger road victories at regionals. She can play defense inside and out. There’s almost no question O’Brien will be almost unstoppable in a few years and she’s complimented nicely by several other very talented sophomores at Chantilly. Whoever is shortly announced as the Chantilly girls coach will likely have a lot of fun coaching the Chargers next year and beyond.
It also says something in a district with Woodbridge in it Colgan sophomore Alyssa Andrews was voted Cardinal Player of the Year. Andrews averaged almost 20 points a game for the Sharks. Athletic, strong, and with solid height, she proved capable of playing/defending multiple positions and scoring in a variety of ways. That included delivering big blocks on defense and then going coast-to-coast. Adept in the half court or transition, Andrews only needs to continue to refine her free throw shooting to average an absurd amount of points per game. She does have three-point range, already connecting on about one a game.
It’s only a matter of time before Brianna Scott of South Lakes is unstoppable. For long stretches of games she already is. Still growing into her six-foot-plus body, Scott delivered several amazing offensive performances this year as the Seahawks advanced to the state tournament. She averaged almost 15 a game, hitting from inside and well outside the arc. On defense she altered and blocked shots constantly, going for double-digits in rejections against Jefferson in December. What’s absolutely terrifying for Northern Region opponents is her coordination and footwork are still developing. Very soon her reputation will travel far outside of Northern Virginia.
The only reason Lexi White of West Springfield doesn’t “start” for this team is because we love her versatility off the bench. A fairly tall guard, White can do it all. She rebounds, plays defense, can handle the ball, and passes well. She can also score. White averaged around 12 points a game in an offense that wasn’t particularly up-tempo. She hits the occasional three-pointer but makes an absolute killing going left when opponents don’t expect it. She can post up, get to the line…say, did we mention she does it all?
Juliana Park of Lake Braddock does a little of everything as well. A rugged defender and strong for her age, the small forward does great work on the boards. On offense Park can score inside and out. While she hits the occasional perimeter shot she’s best drawing contact and getting to the line. There she hits about three of every four attempts. We can plug this Bruin in at the four if we want to go small, and at the two or the three if we want to go big. Like White, her versatility serves her well.
Speaking of versatility meet Hannah Kaloi of Oakton. We’ve seen her listed as a guard-forward-center before and when you watch Kaloi you can understand why. At around six feet tall and physically strong enough to control the boards, Kaloi can bang down low and then turn around and play defense on the perimeter versus most guards. She has amazing composure and shooting touch for a sophomore. She gets to the line and her free throw shooting is top notch at above 80%. Kaloi can hit the perimeter shot and if she improves further in that area look out. Oakton was 13-2 when she scored 14 or more points, 5-5 when she did not. That shows her importance to the Cougars.
Isabella Perkins of Paul VI didn’t really stand out in the stat sheet all that often for the powerful Panthers this year. The talented guard just quietly went about her business, playing excellent defense, handling the ball when necessary, and burying the occasional big shot. In the last game of the season, however, she led her team with 21 points in the VISAA Championship, Paul VI’s 13th straight state title. Perkins is a fantastic ball-handler and defender but expect more scoring games like that very soon. It will be fun to watch her and Volker develop their games together the next two years.
Ambria Redfearn of West Potomac gives our team energy, athleticism and offensive firepower. The athletic guard averaged around 14 points a game to power the Wolverines’ attack. With a quick and impressive vertical, Redfearn can grab rebounds by the bushel and trigger the fast break by herself. She’s also always a threat to register steals in the Wolverines’ aggressive zone presses. Redfearn has star potential. She can shoot but still requires only marginal improvement from the free throw line and arc to become someone who can average 20 a game. Redfearn is one of those few players who has the potential to keep opponents constantly off balance with her talent.
We’re not sure anyone is actually underrated on Woodbridge, but if anyone is it might be Adaija Bender. Not sure how someone with growing DI interest and six blocked shots through three quarters in the state title game is only second team Cardinal District, but hey, whatever. What we know is Bender, a forward well over six feet tall, is rapidly improving. As mentioned she can certainly alter and block shots. In every regional and state playoff game she contributed double-digit boards for the state champs. With very good length and leaping ability those parts of her game aren’t going away. Now it’s just continuing to develop strength and offensive ability on the perimeter. Then, great things await.
There’s a lot of strong cases to be had for the final spot on the team. We could use the perimeter shooting of Osbourn Park’s Maddie Scarborough. Another post like SSSA’s Bradyn Griffin would be nice, as would the length and athleticism of Ashley Allen of Potomac Falls. Adrianna Smith of O’Connell was hurt for a decent chunk of the year, but she’s really, really good. In the end we decided on another guard, though.
Caitlin Blackman of Patriot had a really nice year for the Pioneers. Blackman isn’t tall, but we love how she crashes the boards for the smallish Pioneers. She has good handles and can certainly play the point but also is capable of scoring. Blackman went nine of ten from the free throw line en route to 20 points in a close win over Hylton early in the year. A good passer, we love Blackman on this team delivering the ball to its athletic wings and talented posts, as well as popping the occasional three-pointer.
Congrats to the team and to the Honorable Mentions below. Many are very capable of being in the top twelve and expect some more breakout performances next year.
Lauren Palmateer (Forest Park), Jewel Dixon (Potomac), Victoria Hinton (Potomac), Imani Gillen (Hayfield), Danea Mackey (West Potomac), Caroline Eby (West Potomac), Scarlett Anderson (Mount Vernon), Veronica Bubak (Robinson), Tate Lewis (Robinson), Anna Wiggins (Woodson), Ashley Allen (Potomac Falls), Paige Anderson (Potomac Falls), Grace Nathan (Briar Woods), Taylor Hafer (Stone Bridge), Audrey Cowden (Stone Bridge), Sarah O’Day (Stone Bridge), Jaidyn Turner (Woodgrove), Valerie Dirkse (Marshall), Mary Trivisonno (Marshall), Katie Cox (McLean), Sophie Smith (McLean), Mackenzie Koch (Herndon), Laci Johnson (Herndon), Skylar Bibbee (Chantilly), Megan Baxter (Chantilly), Sophie Pavlech (Chantilly), Kara Vietmeyer (Oakton), Kaya Squirewell (Centreville), Gabby Reed (Westfield), Amalia Makrigiorgos (Madison), Maddie Scarborough (Osbourn Park), Jo Raflo (Osbourn Park), Alex Harju (Osbourn Park), Destinee Marzett (Osbourn Park), Kennedy Fuller (Colgan), Sofia Faloni (Falls Church), Taylor Thompson (Wakefield), Nevaeh Wallace (Wakefield), Lauren Brokken (Dominion), Xavia Hahn (Dominion), Cierra Davis (Manassas Park), Sole Carroll (Bishop Ireton), Bradyn Griffin (SSSA), Chumani Chamberlain (SSSA), Cayla Williams (Madeira), Lindsey Hardesty (Trinity Christian), Evelina Swigart (Potomac School), Elayna Whitley (Loudoun County), Jordyn Grandberry (John Paul)