G. Toni McCrae, Edison–Edison has lots of good players, but opponents had to focus their defense on McCrae first if they wanted to beat the Eagles. Often times, it didn’t matter if they did focus on McCrae–she torched them anyway. First and foremost, the dynamic National District Player of the Year gets into the lane and scores, though she also sets up her teammates and is tough defensively.
G. Alden Yergey, Brentsville District–Yergey’s skill and talent has never been in doubt. She’s been doing it for so long in Nokesville that literally last year we initially left her off the junior team because we thought she was a senior. This year the point guard delivered another (around) 20 ppg, and showed us a level of toughness playing through injury to lead her team to the state title game.
G. Grace Middleton, Tuscarora–Also registering her usual 20 ppg this season was Grace Middleton of Tuscarora. The Frostburg State commit piled up the usual other stats as well: rebounds, assists, steals and so on. Even with talented teammates, the exciting Huskies catalyst was the biggest reason for Tuscarora’s run to the Class 4 state semis this year.
G. Kayla Dixon, Madison–Dixon had a great career for the Warhawks, providing defense, ball-handling, and off-ball scoring. The fourth straight state title for the Warhawks was a difficult road, and Dixon stepped up in the biggest moments. She led the Warhawks with 19 in the regional championship game, and had 20 in her team’s state title game victory.
G-F. Alana Powell, Osbourn Park–Powell won district POY, then region POY, then state POY this season, certainly an appropriate way to conclude her impressive high school career. We just love the way she would fight to the rim for the defensive-minded Jackets, using a blend of speed and strength to outmatch defenders.
G-F. Kara Bremser, McLean–The all-time leader in career three-pointers at McLean High School closed out her career in style, leading McLean to a Liberty District title. Not only did the prolific shooter burn it up again from beyond the arc, the Assumption signee was also named district co-Player of the Year on defense.
G-F. Sarah Link, Madison–Link was definitely the glue (link?) that held Madison together this season. Tough, rugged, and versatile, she always provided what the Warhawks needed, from a timely three-pointer to tough defense across the positional spectrum. She’s one of the better passers in Northern Virginia, too.
G. Caitlin Crump, Oakton–Like most of the best players in Northern Virginia, one of Crump’s major strengths is her versatility. Good at scoring the basketball, Crump moved (back) to point guard during the year–and still scored the basketball, prolifically. A willing defender and excellent passer as well, the first team all-region selection will play at Christopher Newport.
F. Caroline Shimp, Robinson–Shimp is a tough competitor that has no problem with the physical aspect of basketball and thrives on contact. Trouble is, if you don’t play a physical game with her, she’ll just bury a three-pointer right over you. Kind of a no-win situation, much like most teams playing the Rams in general. Speaking of generals, Shimp will head to Washington and Lee next season.
G. Mary Prater, West Potomac–Another offseason and another year writing up Prater. We’ve heard people argue she’s the best pure guard in Northern Virginia. Not sure specifically what that means, but Prater definitely might be it. She can handle and shoot with the best of them, but more importantly she plays the game smart and is a good leader.
F. Lajayla Lipscomb, Potomac–Lipscomb had another excellent season en route to winning Cardinal District Player of the Year honors. The forward is extremely tough to stop anywhere near the basket and had some monster scoring games against teams that simply couldn’t handle her. Even when she wasn’t scoring, she was contributing–Lipscomb was easily one of the best rebounders in the area.
F. Elizabeth Creed, Meridian–Creed is just a powerhouse; this season she concluded a memorable career with another solid campaign for the Mustangs, earning first team all-state honors. Another Christopher Newport signing, she was a tough matchup for any opponent unfortunate enough to have to guard her, a tall player with the ability to both shoot and put it on the floor effectively.
F. Gwen Balca, Park View–This is not an unbiased publication–one of our known biases is toward Sylvia Fowles-type rebounding fiends. Balca is one of those. She averaged around 15 rebounds a game as Park View continued its resurgence this season. Not like the relentless forward didn’t score, either. How does a 25-point (plus 20 rebound) game versus Broad Run grab you?
F. Jessica Dornak, South Lakes–Christopher Newport got yet another nice player in Dornak, South Lakes’ steady and tough forward. She’s a double-double machine around the basket who can play physically, yet her soft hands allow her to catch tough post entry passes and deliver a delicate finish. The Reston stalwart provided the Seahawks a powerful last line of defense on the other side of the ball, too.
G-F. Kori Cole, Osbourn Park–Cole is the kind of versatile wing every team can really use. She can help the guards with the ball-handling duties, yet still post up on the block as needed. Able to finish with either hand and like many of her teammates, very comfortable playing tough on-ball defense and in transition, Cole is as dynamic is anyone on this list.
Many very good players are in Honorable Mention. Amor Harris missed a decent chunk of the season to injury–if she didn’t the talented Alexandria City guard would likely be a “starter” on this team. She’s awesome. When Litsy Lujan-Gonzales got hot she could pour in points as quickly or faster than anyone in Northern Virginia. We’ve always felt guard Peyton Jones of Meridian could hold up to just about anybody. Jenna Steadman is going to be fantastic at the next level. It goes on…congrats to all!
Amor Harris (Alexandria City), Litsy Lujan-Gonzales (Mount Vernon), Princess Mensah (Mount Vernon), Aylin Humpherys (Herndon), Annelise Castillo (Herndon), Shushan Krikorian (McLean), Renee Timbers (South Lakes), Amelia Simonsen (Robinson), Tina Vaughan (Lake Braddock), Peyton Jones (Meridian), Raylin Harrell (Langley), Taylor Chase (Yorktown), Brennah Lee-Pawlak (Marshall), Natalie Branson (Herndon), Diarra Diagne (Herndon), Loren Nelson (Wakefield), GiGi Denton (Wakefield), Adeline Suryabudi (Madison), Ryleigh Thurston (Centreville), Maddie Kinsel (Oakton), Grace Hansen (Oakton), Mia Branch (South Lakes), Bella Bruce (Westfield), Julia Hopper (West Potomac), Ciara Norfleet (Alexandria City), Riya Menon (Fairfax), Brooke Godlove (W.T. Woodson), Courtney Mills (South County), Rachel Dexter (West Springfield), Aani Akins (Edison), Danielle Allen (Hayfield), Elizabeth Cheek (Justice), Sydnee Smith (Patriot), Addisyn Banks (Patriot), Sofia Miller (Battlefield), Kennedy McCalla (Gainesville), Danielle Darfour (Osbourn Park), Amiyana Williams (Osbourn), Kymora Payne (Osbourn), Grace Farrar (Freedom-South Riding), AJ Jones (Colgan), Farrah Abdallah (Hylton), Tiana Jackson (Potomac), Tytianah Smith (Woodbridge), Andrea Countiss (Gar-Field), Katie Christ (Dominion), Ayanna McNair (Heritage), Lillie Scheivert (Tuscarora), Camryn Worley (Tuscarora), Avery Moon (Stone Bridge), Jiya Gumaste (Independence), Casey Weeren (Riverside), Annika Rohs (Woodgrove), Jenna Steadman (Woodgrove), Cara Vollmer (Brentsville District)