F. William Wilson, South County
F. Mekhai Washington, Centreville
G-F. Landon Hawes, Potomac Falls
G. Joseph Dagbe, South Lakes
G. Matt Anderson, Loudoun County
Ethan Wilson (Osbourn Park), Soren Almquist (Madison), Lance Johnson (Freedom-South Riding), Daniel Mbangue (Fairfax), Zack Blue (Patriot), Beau Everett (Riverside), Daniel Peterson (Hayfield), Trent Dawson (Loudoun Valley), Anthony Reyes (Washington-Liberty), Jalen Coker (Potomac Falls)
William Wilson, South County–The forward was named the VHSL Class 6 Player of the Year for his role in leading the Stallions to a co-state title. When his team needed a bucket, there was a pretty good chance Wilson would get the ball. He can shoot from outside but rarely seemed to feel the absolute need. That’s because of his ability to weave through traffic and get at the rim–no matter what. With the quickness of a guard but the strength of a forward, Wilson seemed able to score regardless of what the defense threw at him. Also a good team player, Wilson racked up rebounds and assists in 2019-2020.
Mekhai Washington, Centreville–Tall and athletic, Washington had some absolute monster games helping Centreville to a share of the Class 6 state title with South County. The forward did it against some of the best competition Northern Virginia had to offer, contributing 30 points and 15 boards in a win over Fairfax, and 37 points, 10 boards in a state tourney win over Lake Braddock. “If I can get to the rack easy, I’m going to do it all day until they stop me,” Washington told us. Did anyone ever stop this guy?
Landon Hawes, Potomac Falls–So many talented guards around here get overlooked because of height. Okay, we don’t always agree but we get it. We just don’t understand why more mid-majors didn’t take a look at Hawes, who does not have that problem. A 6’4″ shooting guard who easily averaged north of 20 a game, the deadeye shooter was deservedly voted the 5C region Player of the Year. Perhaps his best game came in a loss to Potomac. With PFalls missing forward Jalen Coker, Hawes scored 37 points and grabbed 10 boards. He scored 37 in a win over Briar Woods, too. Christopher Newport gets another steal next year–how do the Captains land these guys?
Joseph Dagbe, South Lakes–Have to go with the electric Dagbe, the 6D region Player of the Year, as a starter here. Dagbe scores–we’ve watched him several times tally double figures even playing limited minutes due to foul trouble–but he’s also a defensive ace. His foot speed and quick hands make him an A1 on-the-ball defender. We’ve seen him register 6-8 steals in a half. That’s a big reason South Lakes only lost five games this year. The fantastic athlete will play football at Long Island University next year.
Matt Anderson, Loudoun County–At point guard we go with Anderson, who had an amazing year leading the Raiders to a district and regional crown. Voted Class 4 first team all-state, Anderson first and foremost controlled the tempo and played great defense for his team all year round. He also scored when necessary. In one game against Heritage he hit eight three-pointers on his way to a 32-point night. Loudoun County is an older school, and nobody in its history has hit as many threes as Anderson did in his career. We’re excited to watch him play for Shenandoah University next year.
Ethan Wilson, Osbourn Park–A starter all the way, we nevertheless love Wilson in a sixth man role here where the talented guard can just come off the bench and score. Other aspects of his game are underrated, such as his rebounding, but lets just focus on his ability to score. When he gets hot he can carry a team by himself. The second leading career scorer at a school that once had a late-blooming David Robinson roaming its halls, Wilson averaged around 22 a game this season. He’ll play south of Richmond at Virginia State next season.
Soren Almquist, Madison–The Player of the Year in the Concorde District wasn’t first team Washington Post All-Met Avery Ford or Mekhai Washington, it was forward Soren Almquist of Madison. Okay, some of that was because his team won the Concorde regular season, but Almquist was a massive part of that. At 6’5″ and with a solid vertical, Almquist did damage both in the post and with his jumper. He protected the paint pretty well on defense, too. The versatile Almquist, also a pretty good ball-handler for a big man, is one of three (Hassan Kurtu, Jack Fricka) talented NOVA players that will play at Hood College next season.
Lance Johnson, Freedom-South Riding–Like Almquist, another forward that can hit from the arc and surprise opponents by getting to the rim from the perimeter is Freedom’s Lance Johnson. First and foremost though, the second team Class 5 all-state selection was a rock in the middle for the Eagles, pacing them in both rebounds and blocks. Freedom is a deep program, but it’s difficult to imagine nearly as many wins in South Riding the last couple of years without Johnson. He’ll play at Randolph-Macon next year.
Daniel Mbangue, Fairfax–Versatile sums up Daniel Mbangue of Fairfax very well. The second team Class 6 all-state selection is a tall guard capable of guarding almost anyone one through five on the court. He’s a big help on the boards and can also function as a distributor on the perimeter. He can also score. While he’ll hit the three-pointer, he’s perhaps best spinning to the hoop and taking it all the way in the transition. Mbangue headlines a fantastic Fairfax senior class chock full of notable talent. He’ll join Lance Johnson at Randolph-Macon next year.
Zack Blue, Patriot–Blue was the eighth or ninth scorer for the Pioneers last season, but he was the most feared weapon on this year’s 21-5 team. Blue seemed to do his best work in big district games, leading the team with 22 in its district championship victory over Champe and contributing 28 in a win over Osbourn. But, the guard did it as efficiently as anyone, taking quality shots at the rim or from three and getting to the line. Coach Sherman Rivers calls him the “the toughest player he’s ever coached.” Will play at Mary Washington next year.
Beau Everett, Riverside–While some of the omissions from this team bother us, we are thrilled to be able to recognize Everett this year. The relentless guard averaged about 16 a game this season on his way to grabbing second team all-state honors, but that doesn’t tell the whole tale. Sometimes content to play glove-like defense and dish with opposing defenses geared to stop him, Everett still seemed to shine at the biggest moments against tough opponents. Though it was a loss, we’ll never forgot the 47 points he somehow managed against Stone Bridge. He’ll play at Ursinus next season.
Daniel Peterson, Hayfield–The big man from Hayfield was voted Gunston District Player of the Year after a successful senior campaign. If you didn’t have a lot of muscle in the middle versus the Hawks, Peterson could put you in a world of hurt. His 20 points were huge in Hayfield’s memorable regional playoff win versus rival Edison, and he routinely gave his team double-doubles. It wasn’t just his inside work–Peterson also was once again dangerous shooting from outside both in the half court and on the secondary fast break. Like Blue, Peterson will play at Mary Washington next season.
Trent Dawson, Loudoun Valley–Dawson had another great season, piling up points, steals, and assists for the Vikings. In January the point guard scored 38 points against Stone Bridge, then followed it up with a 35-point, nine assist game a week later versus Woodgrove. He’s a difficult player to defend as he’s constantly probing and attacking the defense, and when he doesn’t have the ball he’s a major threat to come off screens and bury a three. Dawson, a second team Class 4 all-state selection, will play at Roanoke College next year.
Anthony Reyes, Washington-Liberty–The Generals had a fantastic deep senior class but nobody embodied W-L’s tough, gritty play more than Reyes. Whether the point guard was scoring 25 in a win over Yorktown or just concentrating on defense and running the offense, like in a playoff win over Wakefield, Reyes just generally got it done. A good shooter, the worst thing defenses could do was send Reyes to the line, where he’s almost automatic. The Sun Gazette‘s basketball MVP for Arlington County, Reyes will play at Mary Baldwin next season.
Jalen Coker, Potomac Falls–A fantastic athlete who will play football for Holy Cross, Coker made quite the impact on the hardwood this season as well. He gave frequent double-double production, often also providing 20 points or more for the Panthers. There were also the steals, blocks and the dunks. The forward was a fan favorite for his highlight reel jams and rejections, which often served to demoralize opponents. Coker and Hawes provided a 1-2 punch that ultimately led to Potomac Falls’ emergence from the hotly-contested Potomac District.
The Honorable Mention list below is simply ridiculous. We vote on these teams, and we’re fully aware you could make a 15-team player team from the guys below that would possibly be on a par with the above team. Congrats to all on great high school careers!
Hassen Kurtu (South Lakes), Jerome Scott (South Lakes), Max Gieseman (Washington-Liberty), Marino Dias (Washington-Liberty), Aidan Stroup (Yorktown), John Pius (Yorktown), Yared Belay (Yorktown), Quentin Hart (Herndon), Lysander Rehnstrom (Herndon), Randy Shephard (McLean), John Hunter (Centreville), Lance Douglas (Centreville), Harrison Patel (Madison), Winston Aja-Omu (Oakton), Max Wilson (Oakton), Kyle Whippen (Westfield), Chase Whippen (Westfield), Sam Johnson (Westfield), Chris Miers (Chantilly), Xa’Vian Myles (South County), Cody Kellem (South County), Brandon Walker (South County), Jimmy Anderson (Lake Braddock), James Dargue (Lake Braddock), Josh Abtew (Fairfax), Ricky Peters (Fairfax), Christian Lewis (Fairfax), Chase Ackerman (Fairfax), Michael Powell (Robinson), Tanner LaPlante (Robinson), Peter Schnizer (Robinson), Tyler Treasure (West Springfield), Bradley Harden (West Potomac), Colby Dessaure (West Potomac), Jack Fricka (West Potomac), Ethan Payne (West Potomac), Adrien Hunter (West Potomac), TJ Horton (T.C. Williams), Ricardo Ross (T.C. Williams), Ryan Adams (Annandale), Nasir Barnes (Mount Vernon), Jaedyn Perry (Mount Vernon), Michael Lee (Hayfield), Jackson Ford (Patriot), Tyler Savage (John Champe), Jaden McKenzie (Stonewall Jackson), Michael Goree (Stonewall Jackson), Trevor Bounds (Battlefield), Jordan Radford (Battlefield), Carter Svenson (Battlefield), Manny White (Potomac), Kevin Johnson (Forest Park), Kyle Bond (Forest Park), Adric Howe (Colgan), Greg Maddux-Velez (Hylton), Cory Wilson (Gar-Field), Michael Healy (Stone Bridge), Billy Crichton (Stone Bridge), Isaiah Rhodes (Stone Bridge), Michael Jerome (Stone Bridge), Robbie Kemmerer (Freedom-South Riding), Zach Hoenig (Freedom-South Riding), Ty Reichard (Riverside), Aidan Clark (Briar Woods), Will Shin (Briar Woods), Brock Redman (Woodgrove), Xavier Evans (Wakefield), DeAndre Parker (Wakefield), Trayvon Todd (Wakefield), Aaron Queen (Wakefield), Thomas Burke (Marshall), Gabriel Casillas (Edison), Jared Clawson (Edison), Jaden Ignacio (Edison), Donavon Staples (Edison), Caleb Botts (Falls Church), Quinn Padovani (Falls Church), Alex Yu (Thomas Jefferson), Addison New Ringeisen (Thomas Jefferson), Caleb Whitaker (Lee), AB Ali (Justice), Mark Siegel (Loudoun County), Luke Brenner (Loudoun County), Sam Shelton (Dominion), Max Mancuso (Dominion), Jayden Hickey (Dominion), Adam Thomas (Dominion), Clyde Volker (Loudoun Valley), Avery Nance (Loudoun Valley), Umayr Obaid (Loudoun Valley), Zion Ball (Loudoun Valley), Jadon White (Tuscarora), Mason Sergi (Broad Run), Toufeeq Sharieff (Park View), Shiek Kamara (Park View), Daniel Miller (George Mason), Josiah Freeman (Manassas Park)