Madison #34 (2)
Stella Gougoufkas was a major offensive ingredient in Madison's 2022-2023 state title recipe.

2022-2023 All-NOVA Junior Girls Team, Public School

F. Stella Gougoufkas, Madison–Gougoufkas caught our eye during the offseason as a player who looked ready to make a big jump, and that she did. Madison’s only regular season loss in the Concorde came when Gougoufkas was unavailable to injury. She was extremely important to the Warhawks’ offense especially, taking key shots and punishing opponents from both down low and the perimeter. Aggressive, confident, and strong, she’s poised for another jump next year

F. Hope Drake, Briar Woods–Drake continues to highlight a very strong Falcons junior class that also includes the talented Tia Chen, Noel Cabiness, and others. Much like Gougoufkas, her team’s offense often flows through her and her natural playmaking abilities. She can pass effectively from the perimeter and is good on the drive from deep as well. That is obviously something she needs to be good at, since opponents want to stop her from shooting from the arc first. She also does good work on the boards as well.

F-C. Ella Negron, Patriot–Once Negron got the ball and sealed her opponent on the block, there was very little opponents could do to stop her. If they did manage to swarm the first team Cedar Run selection and prevent her from scoring, she would often whip a pass to an open shooter. Court-savvy, strong, and smart, Negron is a double-double machine who the Pioneers will strive to get a touch on virtually every offensive possession if they can in the halfcourt.

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Patriot’s Ella Negron knows how to position herself to do maximum damage down low.

G. Jahniya Marion, Centreville–Marion had an impressive year after transferring from Word of Life, culminating in her being voted Concorde District Player of the Year. One of the best finishing guards in Northern Virginia, the combo guard attacks the rim with either hand with abandon. A perfect fit in Centreville’s up-tempo game, look for Marion to make an even bigger impact next season.

G-F. Angelina Nice, Woodgrove–Nice had an injury last season that derailed her somewhat, but not this season. The tall point forward had a great junior year and was named team MVP for the 21-win Wolverines. Her length presents a significant problem for opponents. Nice uses it to disrupt passing lanes and get steals, which often results in a Wolverine bucket. She can pour in points on offense off-ball or direct/orchestrate it with equal efficiency.

Angelina Nice burst onto the scene this season as a forward-sized point guard-type.

G-F. Sarah Pritz, Lake Braddock–Pritz had another good season for the Bruins, again earning first team all-Patriot District. Her obvious regular role is that of a power forward earning double-doubles, but Pritz really can help her team in any way necessary. She hits threes, plays smart and within the team concept, and is a very good passer.

G-F. Simone Pendleton, Falls Church–Yet another versatile player who can play a number of positions, Pendleton scored this season at an impressive 19 ppg clip. She has a very nice mid-range jumper and an array of offensive moves in the halfcourt, but Pendleton really did it all on defense this season. She racked up blocks and steals en route to being voted National District Defensive Player of the Year.

Very few players in the junior class scored at the prolific rate of Simone Pendleton, if any.

G. Madison McKenzie, Gainesville–McKenzie is a no-brainer starter on this, or most any team, but did miss some games this season due to a myriad of injuries. She still battled through those to dominate when she was playing. McKenzie is one of the better shooters in Northern Virginia and the guard is also game-changing in the open court on both offense and defense.

F. Brianna Long, Colgan–We have a soft spot for good rebounders, and there aren’t too many better than Long, who averaged well into double figures. The all-Cardinal District selection is also an excellent defender who racks up deflections and steals and frustrates bigger players down low on defense. She gets to the hoop and scores too, though it’s the defense and rebounding that we really admire about her.

Rebounding is the forte of Colgan standout Brianna Long.

F-C. Avery Griepentrog, Madison–The defense and rebounding goes for tall forward Avery Griepentrog as well. She controlled the middle this season for the state champion Warhawks’ superb defense. Griepentrog is adept at blocking shots and can hurt opponents on offense in a number of ways, including from beyond the three-point line.

F-C. Emma O’Connor, Westfield–In a district that has many strong defensive players like Griepentrog, the Defensive Player of the Year was still forward Emma O’Connor of Westfield. She also controlled the middle well for her team, using her length and good footwork to position herself for blocked shot after blocked shot. O’Connor gets to the rim and is capable of finishing off the glass in a number of ways.

Westfield’s Emma O’Connor uses her length to make things difficult for opponents.

F. Alysa Carrigan, Tuscarora–We’ve often raved about Carrigan’s athleticism, but the champion high jumper has really made impressive strides as a basketball player, too. She’s a handful inside racking up rebounds and put-backs, and can collect steals by the bushel in Tuscarora’s full-court defense. As her jumper and shooting gets better and better, the sky is limit for the 5’11” Carrigan.

G-F. Hannah Wakefield, Centreville–Wakefield gives Centreville another wing with decent height who can contribute in a number of areas, at a number of positions. One of the Wildcats’ team captains, the first team all-district selection beats you with aggressiveness and versatility. She’s relentless and fundamental down low, scoring and grabbing rebounds, but also defends the perimeter and drills threes.

Centreville’s Hannah Wakefield is a player that can attack defenses in a variety of ways.

G. Ella Mahaffey, Riverside–If you haven’t figured it out by now, the Potomac District is loaded with considerable junior talent. We remain impressed with Mahaffey, a long point guard who continues to improve and become even more stronger and more athletic. She’s a plus defender, smart, and as loaded as Northern Virginia is with talent, we can’t think of many, if any, point guards we’d rather have run our team than Mahaffey.

Alex Gonzalez (Broad Run), Adriana Albritton (Hayfield), Halimah Hajhassan (Justice), Gabby Jackson (Woodbridge), Trinity Henderson (Woodbridge), Bri Borcherding (Langley), Helena Helms (Wakefield), Anna Musgrove (Marshall), Alexandra Nassif (Marshall), Morgan Carpenter (Centreville), Lillian Perkins (Madison), Samantha Etzler (Westfield), Bridget Brennan (South Lakes), Alia Terrell (South Lakes), Finley Tarr (Oakton), Elizabeth Barry (Robinson), McKenna Huff (Robinson), Cassady Dunn (West Potomac), Sebina Neidrick (W.T. Woodson), Kelsie Chang (W.T. Woodson), Leila Carter (South County), Talia Astorga (South County), Kylie Jenae Unpingco (South County), Elena Small (Lake Braddock), Posi Fakulujo (Edison), Hannah Strother (Falls Church), Emily Keefe (Falls Church), Susan Aburish (Annandale), Aashi Chhabra (Gainesville), Ella Nhek (Gainesville), Delaney Gilliam (Gainesville), Anna Helstrom (Park View), Tia Chen (Briar Woods), Noelle Cabiness (Briar Woods), Sienna Casillas (Briar Woods), Lizzie Rubino (Stone Bridge), Meagan Njamen (Potomac Falls), Kaylie Avvisato (Riverside), Maureen Tremblay (Meridian), Elizabeth Rice (Brentsville District)