Boys Top 10
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Warren Craft – William Fleming Junior Guard
The junior has already verbally committed to Virginia Tech following his sophomore season with the Colonels. The 6-foot-2 speedster missed the early part of the season with a stress fracture in his shin but when he returned it was a pleasant occurrence for head coach Mickey Hardy. "His basketball IQ is so high, he plays hard all the time. He's a slasher, a scorer, can shoot the 3-ball and he's working hard on his shot. We think with another year he's going to be an outstanding long range shooter," Hardy says. Craft tends to get stronger as the game progresses. A number of his best performances have come in fourth quarters. In the last few games of the season, Craft averaged close to 20 points and 7 rebounds. He also has a 3.5 G.P.A.
Caleb Tanner –Floyd County Senior Guard
To say Tanner knows how to score would be a massive understatement. In his final game in the region quarterfinals, he scored 25 points to finish with a new VHSL-record 2,770 for his career. The 6-foot-1 senior guard also hit five 3-pointers, establishing a new VHSL career mark in that category as well. For a majority of the season he was averaging nearly 40 points a game for the Buffaloes.
Jamarcus Hairston – G.W. Senior Forward
Coach Ron Parson's first season in Danville has gone pretty well. The Eagles are 25-4 heading into the 4A state semifinals while relying on a number of talented players but at the top of that list is Hairston. The Conference 24 Player of the Year has been a double-double machine and has increased his level of play in the postseason. At 6-foot-6 and 230 pounds he garners much of the opponents' attention so by simply moving around in the post, he creates space for his fellow Eagles on the offensive end of the floor. He averages 15 points, 12 rebounds, and 5 blocks a game. Jamarcus may go the prep school route but he is currently being recruited by Winston-Salem State and Johnson C. Smith in Charlotte, NC. Parson says, "He's talented, buying into what we're doing. He's a team captain. He sets a good example and he has all the tools and we have all kinds of confidence in him."
Christian Kirchman – Patrick Henry Senior Guard
Head coach Jack Esworthy is glad Kirchman was on his team. He just wishes he had one more season with him in a PH uniform. In a Conference 3 semifinal game, Kirchman scored 29 points including a clutch game-tying three-pointer in the closing minutes.
Tremaine Edmunds – Dan River Junior Forward
Will Dan River's streak of crushing losses in the state tournament end this season? If the Wildcats get over the hump, Edmunds would be a big reason why. Known more for his football prowess (he's being recruited by Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Maryland, and Cincinnati), Edmunds is impressive on the basketball floor. As a 6-foot-6, 200 pound forward, he plays so much faster than other players his size. He's constantly leading or on the wing for a fast break dunk. Defensively he can fend off shots and offensively, if he needs to, he can produce in bunches. Against G.W., Edmunds scored 19 points and grabbed 21 rebounds.
Justin Goode – Lord Botetourt Senior Guard
The Cavaliers are making the school's first trip to the state semifinals in part because of the overwhelming contributions of Goode. He poured in 36 points in a region championship victory over Spotswood. That win avenged an earlier season loss to the Trailblazers and ended their 28-game unbeaten streak. His toughness may be an attribute that goes unnoticed but his coach Chad Conner is well aware of Goode's well-rounded basketball skills. Goode averages 19.7 points, 4.3. assists, and 4.5 rebounds per game. He's also a 91 percent free throw shooter. Conner says, "Justin can do a lot of different things. He's extremely talented with the ball and can shoot a variety of shots. If you play him up close he can take people off the dribble and he's a knock down shooter if you leave him open. He's an extremely skilled guard."
Conner says Goode is leaning toward going to a prep school for a year after receiving some interest from Big South schools like Radford and VMI.
Darius Johnson – Altavista Junior Forward
Along with his twin brother Demetrius, Darius is part of a twin tower duo that impacts a game on nearly every possession. He can score 20-plus points a game and defensively if an opponent decides to drive into the lane there's a good chance his shot is going to be altered in some form or fashion. It may be rejected to midcourt or at least slightly taken off line, resulting in a missed shot and an Altavista rebound. He averages 17.2 points and 7.8 rebounds a game. He has 49 blocked shots. Coach Mike Cartolaro says, "Darius is the man in the middle. He scores. He rebounds. He carries the load inside and he is a shot blocker."
Devonnte Holland –Martinsville Sophomore Forward
The super sophomore has emerged as the go-to player for coach Jeff Adkins' team. The Bulldogs are attempting to return to the glory days of repetitive trips to the state tournament and this year they've reached the state semifinals in part because of Holland's production. In a region semifinal game against Gate City he had 26 points, 16 rebounds, and seven blocked shots.
Skye Johnson – V.E.S. Senior Forward
Back in September Johnson committed to Delaware after also considering Drexel and Fairfield. The Delaware coaching staff has informed him that he could start or at least see a lot of playing time as a freshman. Coach Curtis Staples has plenty of talent to look to on the floor and Johnson's statistics (15 points, 10 rebounds) were not as high as they could have been had he not had so much other offensive power around him. Johnson was one of the players that led V.E.S. to the VISAA Division II state semifinals. Coach Curtis Staples said, "Skye's versatility at 6-foot-8, with a 7-foot wing span, caused problems for even bigger post players. Skye can post up and shoot it [well from mid-range], so he was a difficult match up for people."
Juan Thornhill – Altavista Junior Guard
Just like he performs on the football field, Thornhill is explosive on the court. During Altavista's recent tournament run, the junior is averaging roughly 15 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists a game. More often than not he's the one controlling the offense. He has the ability to penetrate against man to man or zone defenses and Thornhill has been known to throw down a nasty dunk. He and teammate Meche Maulbeck teamed up earlier this season on an alley-oop out of bounds play. In the postseason he's averaging nearly 15 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists a game. His season averages are 13.4 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 4.7 assists a game. Coach Mike Cartolaro says, "Juan does everything. He scores. He rebounds. He's our top assist guy. He's the point guard and leader and he's one of the best athletes I've ever coached."
Girls Top 10
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Anitra Thomas – Brookville Senior Guard
It's rare to play at the varsity level for four years but Thomas earned every bit of her playing time with the Bees. She made ABC 13 First Team All-FCP as a junior and here basketball instincts set her apart from others on the court. The Conference 30 Player of the Year is Brookville's all-time leader in career points with 1,355. This season she averaged 21 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals per game. Coach Warner Dyke says, "I think she is leaning toward playing for Christopher Newport." Thomas helped lead the Bees to a 21-3 record.
Zarkia Mattox – Franklin County Senior Forward
She averaged 14.4 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 4.4 steals a game this season for the Eagles. In an early February game against Martinsville Mattox had 16 points and an astounding 11 steals.
Zarkia is being recruited by Lees McRae, Bridgewater and Ferrum. Coach Anne Crutchfield says, "Zarkia is the rare type of player who is a game changer. She brings intensity and competitiveness to the floor every night. She's an outstanding student-athlete and a the ultimate teammate."
Cameron Carter – Heritage Senior Guard
Last year's ABC 13 Full Court Press Player of the Year capped her high school career with a strong senior season. Carter averaged a team-high 25.7 points a game, adding more than six assists per contest. She's worked hard to improve her defensive skills and get her teammates more involved in the offensive flow. Carter topped 1,500 career points in the second half of her senior year, finishing with 1,768. First-year Heritage head coach Pat Riley called Carter a "great captain and leader on the team, both on and off the court." He added Carter gave the team composure during games. The 5-foot-8 guard is looking to continue her career at the next level, probably at the Division 2 level where she'll be able to contribute right away. Riley says it will be "very tough" to replace an athlete like Carter.
Desiree Keeling – William Fleming Junior Forward
The 6-foot-2 inside power is averaging 16 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game for the Colonels. Their 21-6 record has them in the 4A state semifinals. They play Saturday against Woodrow Wilson. Keeling shoots 54 percent from the court and her coach Ron Hubbard says, "She's the most dominant post player in the area. She's unselfish. She's a dominant inside presence, a great hustler. You might think with her size that she's slow but she's fast, very quick, with good hands, and continues to learn every day."
She is a unique talent with an agile and athletic skill set that has a number of ACC schools looking at her. She already has one offer from Virginia Tech. N.C. State and West Virginia have also recruited her and a host of mid-major programs, including George Mason, UNC Greensboro, Charlotte, and Radford are also on her radar.
Drew Freeland – Hidden Valley Freshman Guard
She says she rarely looks at her scoring statistics but this freshman star helped lead the Titans to 20 wins. In a Conference 32 playoff game Freeland scored 27 points and Hidden Valley coach Randy Bush is pleased to say Freeland still has three more years of high school hoops to go. Busch says, "it's scary she's just a freshman." Freeland averaged around 12 points and 5 assists a game.
Miranda Crockett – Franklin County Junior Forward
The season may have ended with a loss for the Eagles but Crockett's name was announced a lot over the public address system in that game against Colonial Forge. Crockett, a 5-foot-10 forward, tallied 34 points and 11 rebounds in the Region 6A South quarterfinals. Over the course of the season she scored 20 or more points eight times and ended up averaging 17 points and 6.8 rebounds a game. She shot 46% from the field this season. Miranda also averaged 3.3 steals. Miranda is currently being recruited by several D1 and D2 programs. Coach Anne Crutchfield says, "Miranda is a complete player. She has the ability to score from the perimeter. Her work ethic is unparalleled and is absolutely one of the most coachable players that I have ever worked with. The tougher the competition the better Miranda plays."
Bronaza Fitzgerald – G.W. Senior Center
IN November she signed to play for UNC Asheville. As a junior, a season ago, she averaged 15 points and 11 rebounds a game. This season she helped lead the Eagles to 22 wins. Their season came to a premature end in the Conference 24 semifinals. In that game against Carroll County, Fitzgerald scored 19 points. Carroll County head coach Marc Motley said he was extremely impressed with Fitzgerald's athleticism, calling her possibly the most athletic big kid Carroll has ever faced since he's been coaching in Hillsville.
Claudia Quevedo – Rustburg Senior Guard
She's an exchange student from Spain and Red Devils fans are certainly glad she chose Rustburg. Simply put Quevedo was an offensive dynamo. She averaged 24 points and 6 assists a game. Coach Kim Trent says, "I've coached 21 years and she probably had the best stats I've had from an individual player." Defensively the 5-foot-9 guard, who is committed to Radford, wreaked havoc on opponents - collecting 7 steals a game. "I think her biggest asset - she truly made everyone on the team better. She's unselfish. She can drive to the basket at will but could pass just as well.
Keely Fresh – Rockbridge County Junior Guard
Fresh has given an early verbal commitment to play for St. Bonaventure, a team that is currently 23-9 in the Atlantic 10 Conference. In a game against Heritage, Fresh scored 29 points and a single-game school record 37 points against Northside. She was named First Team All-Conference 31 after averaging 18.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 3.5 steals per game.
Fresh is assuredly going to be Rockbridge's all-time scoring leader. After three seasons, she's just 125 points away from the record.
Coach Amanda Anken
Syndey Morris – Altavista Senior Forward
Morris makes an impact on every play she's on the court. As a First Team All-FCP performer in 2013, she helped lead the Lady Colonels to the state title game. Altavista is back in the state tournament and one reason is because of the talent of this senior. Morris, who has signed to play volleyball at James Madison, can score, rebound, and block shots. Coach Debra Spencer relies on Morris to lead the team and Morris' enthusiasm to win is infectious.