Langley Rahman
Langley's Anya Rahman poured in points for the Saxons this season.

2022-2023 All-NOVA Sophomore Girls Team

G. Anya Rahman, Langley–Rahman definitely took another jump this season, as the talented Saxon guard racked up first team district and region honors. She received a ton of defensive attention, but still delivered with some monster scoring games–for a young player she showed an impressive understanding of when to set up her teammates and when to take over. The combo guard was very good again from beyond the arc (61 three-pointers) but also has a wide array of finishing moves as well.

G-F. Amirah Anderson, Bishop Ireton–Anderson has blown up on the recruiting trail lately with several Division I offers. It’s easy to see why after the season she had. The tall guard really has no significant weaknesses. She plays good defense, she takes and makes threes within the flow of the offense, she attacks the basket effectively, and so on. We know you can put her at the three or four–heck, Ireton can even put her at the five if it wants–kid gets double-figures boards not infrequently.

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Amirah Anderson has recently blown up on the recruiting trail, with good reason.

G-F. Nyla Brooks, Bishop Ireton–Brooks continues to be an absolute game-changer for the Cardinals when she is healthy. The Tennessee commit has just scary, scary length and she uses her foot speed and athleticism to absolutely terrorize opponents on defense. Steals lead to her getting in transition where she is almost unstoppable attacking the basket, even in the WCAC. Like Anderson you can put her at a multitude of positions, and she can defend much smaller players on the perimeter and big players down low.

G-F. Riley Hamburger, Paul VI–Speaking of length and A1 defense, have you seen Riley Hamburger play? Routinely tasked by Scott Allen to harass the opponent’s best offensive player, she does just that. Athletic and very smooth for her age, you could argue Hamburger is as key as any player for the defensive-minded Panthers. The offense is there too for Hamburger, but she always plays within the team concept first. That is one of her best qualities and it only helps her limitless upside.

Long Riley Hamburger is a lock-down defender who plays a key role in Paul VI’s success.

F. Georgia Simonsen, Robinson–The advances in the already-dominant Simonsen’s game were on full display this season. The monster blocked shots down low were still there, as was the low-post game on offense. Clearly however, Simonsen expanded her offensive game, more often effectively attacking the basket from the wing, high post and elsewhere off the dribble. Yikes–probably not a good thing for the Rams’ opponents when a 20-10 type shows continuous improvement.

G-F. Raigan McCalla, Flint Hill–If we’re not starting McCalla on this team–and we probably should have–we’re checking her into the game ASAP. McCalla bowled over ISL competition this year and in the playoffs against good teams like St. Catherine’s and PVI averaged 21 ppg. She’s a guard/wing with good strength and athleticism who regularly gets double digits in boards and can push the pace herself after she gets them. Perhaps an underrated shooter as well.

F. Skylar Giuliani, Potomac School–Giuliani had some monster games this year en route to earning VISAA Division I first team honors; an example was in a win over St. Andrew’s when she scored 28 points and grabbed 16 rebounds. She’s over six feet tall and has a strong motor and active hands. When she’s not all over the court making plays, Giuliani is canning her reliable mid-range shot. The Panthers have other talented sophs who could have made this team as well.

Active forward Skylar Giuliani held her own in the top division of the ISL and gave the Panthers a lot of production.

F-C. Alexandra Brown, Osbourn Park–Brown had another good season, quietly going about her business for the Jackets. You know how you are supposed to bump cutters in basketball? Well, you had better at least get in Brown’s way when she cuts, or it’s an automatic two. One of the strongest low-post forces in NOVA, the first team all-Cedar Run selection could be looking at monster numbers going forward.

G. Emma Komaily, W.T. Woodson–We think of steals and three-pointers first when we think of Komaily, who was voted all-Patriot District first team this year. She’s got fantastic anticipation on defense and is constantly in the passing lanes, and if she’s on from outside she can pile up points in a hurry. Komaily really does everything pretty well, however.

Woodson’s Emma Komaily can impact the game significantly both offensively and defensively.

G-F. Frances Shapiro, Washington & Liberty–Active and relentless, Shapiro earned her way on this team with an extremely good sophomore year. Like Komaily, the all-Liberty selection kind of does a little of everything. We saw the wing hit double-digit rebounding, set up the offense, rack up steals, can threes, and methodically attack the basket. Shapiro, like a number of W-L’s kids, are up-and-coming.

G-F. Claire Erny, Broad Run–Despite the graduation of Yvonne Lee and the transfer of Sajol Thornhill to Virginia Academy, Broad Run still managed to finish tied for second place in the Dulles District. One of the major reasons was Erny, a player who made an impact in a lot of facets of the game. The athletic wing had lots of nice all-around games, was named first team all-district, and is a real player to watch going forward.

Claire Erny of Broad Run got on our radar last year, but seemed to really step up her game this season.

G. Taylor Allen, Potomac–Allen has been a favorite player of ours for some time, and she had a very solid sophomore year for the Cardinal District regular season champs. Not short by any means, Allen is able to still keep a tight dribble low to the ground and then elevate well to the hoop with a jumper or lay-up. Allen, along with Olivea Puller, bring energy and lead a talented Potomac sophomore class that will help the Panthers stay very competitive going forward.

G-F. Kaiden Kerkulah, Thomas Jefferson–Kerkulah had a monster year for TJ, with several 20-10-type performances to buoy the Colonials. While she’s not particularly tall for someone who can more-than-adequately woman the 4 or 5 spots if necessary, she gets the job done. Kerkulah can bully her way to the basket through double teams, and is athletic enough to defend on the perimeter or protect the paint down low.

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A couple of college coaches have asked us about Kaiden Kerkulah, with good reason.

Jamieson McIntyre (O’Connell), Jaylen Manning (O’Connell), Daniya Brown (O’Connell), Vilte Kacerauskaite (McLean), Alyssa Evans (McLean), Tatum Olson (McLean), Peyton Daley (Langley), Maddie Bernet (Chantilly), Emerson Mustard (Chantilly), Kennedy Parrott (Centreville), Shannon Heiner (Edison), Lana Massey (Edison), Sarah Chawki (Edison), Jayla Lee (Lewis), Anna Mawloud (Fairfax), Olivia Jones (West Potomac), Jill Humphreys (West Potomac), Kalina Rapoza (West Springfield), Jaellen Hillery (West Springfield), Chloe Baird (Battlefield), Allison Lisack (Freedom-South Riding), Mya Townes (John Champe), Esther Nantume (Osbourn), Maysa Bilal (Patriot), Kelani Johnson (Freedom-Woodbridge), Olivea Puller (Potomac), Aaliyah Thrash (Hylton), Addison Padgett (Heritage), Ahria Mehta (Dominion), Elizabeth Thornton (Loudoun Valley), Brynn Hunter (Potomac Falls), Reagan Skorupski (Stone Bridge), Natalie Turner (Mount Vernon), Helena Johnson (Thomas Jefferson), Josephine Clayton (Thomas Jefferson), Abigail Lee (Thomas Jefferson), Brooke Lynn Miller (Brentsville District), Savannah Price (Brentsville District), Da’Nayah Cuthbertson (Manassas Park), Nora Stufft (Meridian), Ellie Friesen (Meridian), Lucy Pennefather (Seton), Nina Velandria (John Paul the Great), Hannah Williamson (John Paul the Great), Zaria Gaskins (Christ Chapel), Shai James (Episcopal), Zora Burrell (Potomac School), Catherine LeTendre (Potomac School), Kayla Washington (Bishop Ireton)