F. Adrianna Smith, O’Connell
F. Bradyn Griffin, St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes
F. Lee Volker, Paul VI
G. Laila Jewett, Bishop Ireton
G. Isabella Perkins, Paul VI
Adrianna Smith, O’Connell–Smith had a great bounce-back year to a sophomore season limited by injury, earning first team VISAA and second team WCAC honors. When she’s right Smith is one of our favorite players in all of NOVA offensively. The forward is strong enough to post up bigger players, using her quickness to go around them to score near the rim. She’s a very dangerous weapon from three-point range, and has the quick feet to attack from the arc when defenses overplay her. She’s got good size for the next level, and could very well be headed for a breakout season statistically next year.
Bradyn Griffin, St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes–Griffin continues to get it done for the Saints at a high level, helping Calvin Crenshaw’s team win more and more. The small forward improved her game in 2019-2020, scoring her 1,000th career point to boot. Although not particularly tall, she’s very strong and physical. She can dominate a game from block or the high post, even against bigger teams. When she’s hot, such as when she scored 31 against Potomac (MD), she’s very difficult to deal with. At her best she’s hitting from the line (10 of 10 in one game) and mixing in an occasional three-pointer. Griffin is another unsung local gem.
Lee Volker, Paul VI–When you’re co-Player of the Year in the WCAC as a junior, you’re pretty good. Volker is one of those star players who isn’t afraid to do all the dirty work as well–bumping cutters, boxing out, you name it. Defensively she’s very versatile and physical, able to guard opponents down low and on the perimeter with equal success. She’s relentless. On offense, she’s probably the talented Panthers’ most reliable threat, though she’ll usually do it within the framework of the offense. The six-foot wing takes great angles to the basket and is usually good for a three-pointer or two per contest.
Laila Jewett, Bishop Ireton–The Cardinals guard was a first team all-VISAA selection this year with good reason. She really sets the tone for Ireton with her physical, strong play at the point guard spot. Strong describes Jewett perfectly. At 5’10” she can grab her own rebound and head down the court at full speed in a flash, with few defenders willing to risk their health by jumping in front of her. She scores when necessary, netting 15 in two big games versus O’Connell. She can hit the three-pointer and get to the line. Jewett has committed to play at the University of Central Florida in 2021-2022.
Isabella Perkins, Paul VI–Perkins has the look of a shooting guard at the next level…right now. The sharpshooter is anything but flat-footed on her beautiful three-point shot–she does an excellent job of positioning her feet for the quick trey and using her legs to elevate. If Volker is one of the more consistent PVI scoring threats, Perkins is certainly one of the more explosive. She can fill it up in a hurry. It helps that she has ample high school and AAU experience playing the point as well. The first team all-VISAA selection also is always a threat to get a steal, and has a very high motor.
Cayla Williams (Episcopal), Jada Brown (O’Connell), Reniya Jones (Bishop Ireton), Sole Carroll (Bishop Ireton), Jordyn Grandberry (Bishop Ireton), Chumani Chamberlain (Saint Stephen’s & St. Agnes), Evelina Swigart (Potomac School), Ruva Kiara (Madeira), Mary Caiafa (John Paul the Great), Victoria Rogers (Seton)
Our list of “reserves,” as is typically the case, includes Division I prospects. Cayla Williams of Episcopal is one such tantalizing prospect–a player well over six feet tall that drains threes consistently. She can do the dirty work inside and completely open up an offense from the perimeter.
Jada Brown is a combo guard with a great motor who was a key piece for O’Connell this year. She’ll put up some impressive stats next year for the Knights. The three Ireton kids’ (Jones, Carroll, Grandberry) contributions sometimes get lost on a deep Cardinals roster, but they’re all legit college prospects who can impact any game in a hurry.
The rest of the players listed are very solid players who don’t get nearly enough recognition as they play in the smaller private school leagues, or the lower division of the ISL. Chamberlain is a great athlete who also excels at volleyball. Swigart is essential as a second scoring option for TPS, while Kiara is a powerful guard who does a little bit of almost everything.
Meanwhile Caiafa is a good-sized guard who scored around 10 a game on a very solid John Paul team, and Rogers stepped up with some nice games this year for the Conquistadors.
Congrats to all!