Boys Top 10
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WarrenCraft - William Fleming Junior Guard
The junior has already verballycommitted to Virginia Tech following his sophomore season with the Colonels. The6-foot-2 speedster missed the early part of the season with a stress fracture inhis shin but when he returned it was a pleasant occurrence for head coachMickey Hardy. "His basketball IQ is so high, he plays hard all the time. He's aslasher, a scorer, can shoot the 3-ball and he's working hard on his shot. Wethink 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 hisbest performances have come in fourth quarters. In the last few games of theseason, Craft averaged close to 20 points and 7 rebounds. He also has a 3.5 G.P.A.
CalebTanner -Floyd County Senior Guard
To say Tanner knows how to score would be a massive understatement. Inhis final game in the region quarterfinals, he scored 25 points to finish witha new VHSL-record 2,770 for his career. The 6-foot-1 senior guard also hit five3-pointers, establishing a new VHSL career mark in that category as well. For amajority of the season he was averaging nearly 40 points a game for theBuffaloes.
JamarcusHairston - G.W. Senior Forward
Coach Ron Parson's first season inDanville has gone pretty well. The Eagles are 25-4 heading into the 4A statesemifinals while relying on a number of talented players but at the top of thatlist is Hairston. The Conference 24 Player of the Year has been a double-doublemachine and has increased his level of play in the postseason. At 6-foot-6 and230 pounds he garners much of the opponents' attention so by simply movingaround in the post, he creates space for his fellow Eagles on the offensive endof the floor. He averages 15 points, 12 rebounds, and 5 blocks a game. Jamarcusmay go the prep school route but he is currently being recruited byWinston-Salem State and Johnson C. Smith in Charlotte, NC. Parson says, "He'stalented, buying into what we're doing. He's a team captain. He sets a goodexample and he has all the tools and we have all kinds of confidence in him."
ChristianKirchman - Patrick Henry Senior Guard
Head coach Jack Esworthy is gladKirchman was on his team. He just wishes he had one more season with him in aPH uniform. In a Conference 3 semifinal game, Kirchman scored 29 pointsincluding a clutch game-tying three-pointer in the closing minutes.
TremaineEdmunds - Dan River Junior Forward
Will Dan River's streak of crushinglosses in the state tournament end this season? If the Wildcats get over thehump, Edmunds would be a big reason why. Known more for his football prowess(he's being recruited by Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Maryland, andCincinnati), Edmunds is impressive on the basketball floor. As a 6-foot-6, 200pound forward, he plays so much faster than other players his size. He'sconstantly leading or on the wing for a fast break dunk. Defensively he canfend off shots and offensively, if he needs to, he can produce in bunches.Against G.W., Edmunds scored 19 points and grabbed 21 rebounds.
JustinGoode - Lord Botetourt Senior Guard
The Cavaliers are making the school'sfirst trip to the state semifinals in part because of the overwhelmingcontributions of Goode. He poured in 36 points in a region championship victoryover Spotswood. That win avenged an earlier season loss to the Trailblazers andended their 28-game unbeaten streak. His toughness may be an attribute thatgoes unnoticed but his coach Chad Conner is well aware of Goode's well-roundedbasketball skills. Goode averages 19.7 points, 4.3. assists, and 4.5 reboundsper game. He's also a 91 percent free throw shooter. Conner says, "Justin cando a lot of different things. He's extremely talented with the ball and canshoot a variety of shots. If you play him up close he can take people off thedribble and he's a knock down shooter if you leave him open. He's an extremelyskilled guard."
Conner says Goode is leaning toward goingto a prep school for a year after receiving some interest from Big Southschools like Radford and VMI.
DariusJohnson - Altavista Junior Forward
Along with his twin brother Demetrius,Darius is part of a twin tower duo that impacts a game on nearly everypossession. He can score 20-plus points a game and defensively if an opponentdecides to drive into the lane there's a good chance his shot is going to bealtered in some form or fashion. It may be rejected to midcourt or at leastslightly 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. CoachMike Cartolaro says, "Darius is the man in the middle. He scores. He rebounds.He carries the load inside and he is a shot blocker."
DevonnteHolland -Martinsville Sophomore Forward
The super sophomore has emerged as the go-to player for coach JeffAdkins' team. The Bulldogs are attempting to return to the glory days ofrepetitive trips to the state tournament and this year they've reached thestate semifinals in part because of Holland's production. In a region semifinalgame against Gate City he had 26 points, 16 rebounds, and seven blocked shots.
SkyeJohnson - V.E.S. Senior Forward
Back in SeptemberJohnson committed to Delaware after also considering Drexel and Fairfield.The Delaware coaching staff has informed him that he could start or atleast see a lot of playing time as a freshman. Coach Curtis Staples has plentyof talent to look to on the floor and Johnson's statistics (15 points, 10rebounds) were not as high as they could have been had he not had so much otheroffensive power around him. Johnson was one of the players that led V.E.S. tothe VISAA Division II state semifinals. Coach Curtis Staples said, "Skye'sversatility at 6-foot-8, with a 7-foot wing span, caused problems for evenbigger post players. Skye can post up and shoot it [well from mid-range], so hewas a difficult match up for people."
JuanThornhill - Altavista Junior Guard
Just like he performs on the football field, Thornhill is explosive onthe court. During Altavista's recent tournament run, the junior is averagingroughly 15 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists a game. More often than not he'sthe one controlling the offense. He has the ability to penetrate against man toman 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-oopout of bounds play. In the postseason he's averaging nearly 15 points, 5rebounds, and 5 assists a game. His season averages are 13.4 points, 5.1rebounds, and 4.7 assists a game. Coach Mike Cartolaro says, "Juan doeseverything. He scores. He rebounds. He's our top assist guy. He's the pointguard and leader and he's one of the best athletes I've ever coached."
Girls Top 10
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AnitraThomas - Brookville Senior Guard
It's rare to play at the varsity levelfor 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 instinctsset her apart from others on the court. The Conference 30 Player of the Year isBrookville's all-time leader in career points with 1,355. This season sheaveraged 21 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals per game. Coach WarnerDyke says, "I think she is leaning toward playing for Christopher Newport."Thomas helped lead the Bees to a 21-3 record.
ZarkiaMattox - 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 againstMartinsville 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 raretype of player who is a game changer. She brings intensity andcompetitiveness to the floor every night. She's an outstandingstudent-athlete and a the ultimate teammate."
CameronCarter - Heritage Senior Guard
Last year's ABC 13 Full Court PressPlayer of the Year capped her high school career with a strong seniorseason. Carter averaged a team-high 25.7 points a game, adding more thansix assists per contest. She's worked hard to improve her defensive skillsand get her teammates more involved in the offensive flow. Carter topped1,500 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 captainand leader on the team, both on and off the court." He added Cartergave the team composure during games. The 5-foot-8 guard is looking tocontinue her career at the next level, probably at the Division 2 level whereshe'll be able to contribute right away. Riley says it will be"very tough" to replace an athlete like Carter.
DesireeKeeling - William Fleming Junior Forward
The 6-foot-2 inside power is averaging16 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game for the Colonels. Their 21-6record has them in the 4A state semifinals. They play Saturday against WoodrowWilson. Keeling shoots 54 percent from the court and her coach Ron Hubbardsays, "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 agileand athletic skill set that has a number of ACC schools looking at her. Shealready has one offer from Virginia Tech. N.C. State and West Virginia havealso recruited her and a host of mid-major programs, including George Mason,UNC Greensboro, Charlotte, and Radford are also on her radar.
DrewFreeland - Hidden Valley Freshman Guard
She says she rarely looks at herscoring statistics but this freshman star helped lead the Titans to 20 wins. Ina Conference 32 playoff game Freeland scored 27 points and Hidden Valley coachRandy Bush is pleased to say Freeland still has three more years of high schoolhoops to go. Busch says, "it's scary she's just a freshman." Freeland averagedaround 12 points and 5 assists a game.
MirandaCrockett - Franklin County Junior Forward
The season may have ended with a lossfor the Eagles but Crockett's name was announced a lot over the public addresssystem in that game against Colonial Forge. Crockett, a 5-foot-10 forward,tallied 34 points and 11 rebounds in the Region 6A South quarterfinals. Overthe course of the season she scored 20 or more points eight times and ended upaveraging 17 points and 6.8 rebounds a game. She shot 46% from the field this season. Miranda also averaged 3.3steals. Miranda is currently being recruited by several D1 and D2 programs. Coach Anne Crutchfield says, "Miranda is a complete player. She has theability to score from the perimeter. Her work ethic is unparalleled and isabsolutely one of the most coachable players that I have ever worked with. The tougher the competition the better Miranda plays."
BronazaFitzgerald - G.W. Senior Center
IN November she signed to play for UNCAsheville. As a junior, a season ago, she averaged 15 points and 11 rebounds agame. This season she helped lead the Eagles to 22 wins. Their season came to apremature end in the Conference 24 semifinals. In that game against CarrollCounty, Fitzgerald scored 19 points. Carroll County head coach Marc Motleysaid he was extremely impressed with Fitzgerald's athleticism, calling herpossibly the most athletic big kid Carroll has ever faced since he's beencoaching in Hillsville.
ClaudiaQuevedo - Rustburg Senior Guard
She's an exchange student from Spain andRed Devils fans are certainly glad she chose Rustburg. Simply put Quevedo wasan offensive dynamo. She averaged 24 points and 6 assists a game. Coach KimTrent says, "I've coached 21 years and she probably had the best stats I've hadfrom an individual player." Defensively the 5-foot-9 guard, who is committed toRadford, wreaked havoc on opponents - collecting 7 steals a game. "I think herbiggest asset - she truly made everyone on the team better. She's unselfish. Shecan drive to the basket at will but could pass just as well.
KeelyFresh - Rockbridge County Junior Guard
Fresh has given an early verbalcommitment to play for St. Bonaventure, a team that is currently 23-9 in the Atlantic10 Conference. In a game against Heritage, Fresh scored 29 points and asingle-game school record 37 points against Northside. She was named First TeamAll-Conference 31 after averaging 18.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 3.5steals per game.
Fresh is assuredly going to beRockbridge's all-time scoring leader. After three seasons, she's just 125points away from the record.
Coach Amanda Anken
SyndeyMorris - Altavista Senior Forward
Morris makes an impact on every playshe's on the court. As a First Team All-FCP performer in 2013, she helped leadthe Lady Colonels to the state title game. Altavista is back in the statetournament and one reason is because of the talent of this senior. Morris, whohas signed to play volleyball at James Madison, can score, rebound, and blockshots. Coach Debra Spencer relies on Morris to lead the team and Morris'enthusiasm to win is infectious.