Player of the Year: Rashanika Williams, Central High First Team F Shauliqua Fahie, Elmore Stoutt F Shania Liburd Charlotte Amalie G Rhea Benjamin, Charlotte Amalie G Rashanika Williams, Central High G Jendayi Williams, Central High Second Team C Nia Simmonds, Eudora Kean F Parissa Terrell, Educational Complex F Ki'Anna Crooke, Charlotte Amalie G Nailea Nicholas, Eudora Kean G Jahnyra Donovan, Central High 2017 Tournament Calendar Central High School Invitational: February 17-19 Eudora... [read more]
First, we have to say good bye to Anisha George and BeBe George, who have had many tightly contested game with most outcomes favoring George. However, as things change, the more they remain the same as retooled Charlotte Amalie tries to take back the crown from Central High. Central High looked real good at the MLK Jr. Invitational tournament with their closes contest coming in the championship game, 33-20. Charlotte Amalie didn't play in the tournament but should make a splash at the Central High Invitational scheduled for President Day Weekend. Eudora Kean lost a lot to transferring students, but the addition of Nia Simmonds is big. Elmore Stoutt from Tortola has Shauliqu Fahie who has been selected to the Basketball Without Borders camp that will be the same weekend as the NBA All Star Weekend in New Orleans, Louisiana. Antilles and the Private Schools Pirates are the other teams in the league and we regret to inform you that Montessori has chosen not to participate in the league this season.
1) Charlotte Amalie: Rhea Benjamin (G, 5-7, Sr.), Shania Liburd (F, 5-9, Jr.), Ki'Anna Crooke (F, 5-8, Sr.), Armani Richardson (F, 5-8, Jr.), Tezzell Henderson (G, 5-7, Fr.), Brianna Esprit (G, 5-5, Fr.) Comment: The perennial fictional champs return to the top of the heap with a full roster of 12 players. Benjamin, Liburd and a returning Crooke are more than enough to run up the score board. Crooke is returning from injury, but was the best player on the Virgin Islands junior women's national team in U15 play. Liburd and Richardson are leapers as the hawks boast two of the most athletic players in the league along with several newcomers make the Hawks the team to beat.
2) Central High: Rashanika Williams (G, 5-5, Sr.), Jendayi Williams (G, 5-5, Sr.) Ah'Zyah Lake (F, 5-8, Sr.), Jahnyra Donovan (G, 5-4, Jr.), Shaina Barnes (F), Sadeja Fieulleteau (F/G, 5-7, Soph.) Comment: Central, the defending champs, has a solid starting five led by the hot shooting trio of Williams, Williams and Donovan. Rashanika is the do everything guard and Jendeyi, the MVP of MLK, sets the table. Donovan scored in binges in the MLK. She had totals of 14, 12, 21 and 11 in the championship game. Fieulleteau owns a high arching jump shot and is the long arm of Central's defense. She blocks shots, rebounds and also bounces the ball very well. Lake is their offensive rebounding specialist and Barnes has been getting really aggressive.
3) Eudora Kean: Delma Baron (F. 5-10, Sr.), Dashanel Henry (F, 5-8, Sr.), Nailea Nicholas (G, 5-9, Soph.), Nia Simmonds (F, 5-11, Jr.), Elois Commodore (G, 5-1, Fr.) Comment: Simmonds is the strongest post player in the Virgin Islands, players were bouncing off or her like pinballs. Baron showed what she was made off in the championship game of the MLK tournament. She used her quick moves to score 10 points and played staunched defense. Nicholas has been handed point guard duties after the departure of fellow sophomore Ahlanee Cook. Nicholas uses her size advantage to get buckets.
4) Elmore Stoutt: Shauliqua Fahie, Mahkayla Pickering, Ambah Penn, Javonna Farrington Comment: Competed with only six players and finished in third place at the MLK Jr. Invitational tournament. Fahie is probably the best individual talent in the Virgin Islands but will rely heavily on Pickering and Farrington for offensive support.
Educational Complex: Parrisa Terrell (), Kyra Bryson (), Mahalia Edwards, Shanyce Horsford Comment: Horsford had a good MLK tournament and maybe putting it all together. Edwards and Bryson are the starting backcourt and Terrell needs to assert herself more. She is physical inside, but took games off.
Antilles School: Abby Lysiak, Taylor Robinson (F, 6-1, Jr.), Tsamara Roberts, (G, Sr.), Keyanna John (F, Sr.) Comment: Kudos for getting Roberts and John back on the basketball court and it may take them time to get back into playing form. Robinson needs to attack the boards and become a presence in the paint.
Good Hope-Country Day Comment: After a several year absence, GHCD or the private School pirate may be making a comeback. Erin Blackmore is somewhere out there excited for this development.
Preseason Player of the Year: Rashanika Williams, Central High
First Team F Shauliqua Fahie, Elmore Stoutt F Shania Liburd Charlotte Amalie G Rhea Benjamin, Charlotte Amalie G Rashanika Williams, Central High G Jendayi Williams, Central High
Second Team C Nia Simmonds, Eudora Kean F Parissa Terrell, Educational Complex F Ki'Anna Crooke, Charlotte Amalie G Nailea Nicholas, Eudora Kean G Jahnyra Donovan, Central High
2017 Tournament Calendar Central High School Invitational: February 17-19 Eudora Kean Invitational: March 3-5 Elmore Stoutt Varsity Tournament: March 17-19
For the second time this season, University at Albany senior guard Imani Tate(173-G-95) has been named America East Player of the Week, the conference offices announced Monday. She shares the award with Hartford's Sierra DaCosta, who was named Rookie of the Week. Tate led the Great Danes to two victories last week, over Vermont and Hartford, to close out the first round of America East regular season play. She averaged 26.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 3.5 steals. In the game a... [read more]
For the second time this season, University at Albany senior guard Imani Tate (173-G-95) has been named America East Player of the Week, the conference offices announced Monday. She shares the award with Hartford's Sierra DaCosta, who was named Rookie of the Week.
Tate led the Great Danes to two victories last week, over Vermont and Hartford, to close out the first round of America East regular season play. She averaged 26.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 3.5 steals. In the game against Vermont, Tate scored 29 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead UAlbany in both categories. Against Hartford, she scored 23 points in 23 minutes. Over the course of both games, Tate shot 7-10 from three. Tate also leads the America East in scoring with 20.5 points per game, and has scored 20 or more points in 10 of 17 games played this season, including each of the last four.
Tate joins teammate Jessica Fequiere as the Danes' two-time recipients of the weekly award. She now has seven Player of the Week awards in her career, second-most all-time behind Shereesha Richards' 20, and is tied for second in total weekly awards with Ebone Henry with seven total Player and Rookie weekly awards, behind Richards' 27.
Next, the Great Danes open the second round of America East regular season play with two games on the road, first at UMass Lowell on Wednesday, February 1, and then at Stony Brook on Saturday, February 4.
By Brian McCallum, FLORIDA TODAY During a timeout in a game against Cocoa High, Heritage girls basketball player Macoyah Barry stands at the edge of the team huddle, staring away from the rest of her teammates. Though her head is turned away from Panthers coach Colin Turey, she isn't ignoring him. Barry is reading signs from her interpreter. She is deaf, but the 18-year-old plays two sports for Heritage and is a budding star in her spring pursuit, track and field, where she qualified f... [read more]
By Brian McCallum, FLORIDA TODAY
During a timeout in a game against Cocoa High, Heritage girls basketball player Macoyah Barry stands at the edge of the team huddle, staring away from the rest of her teammates.
Though her head is turned away from Panthers coach Colin Turey, she isn't ignoring him. Barry is reading signs from her interpreter.
She is deaf, but the 18-year-old plays two sports for Heritage and is a budding star in her spring pursuit, track and field, where she qualified for the state meet in 2016.
But this is basketball season. Her interpreter for the night is Page Worrells, one of about four who rotate from games to practices to classrooms, helping Barry fill in the gap created by what is not complete deafness but makes sounds around her, according to mom Aba Jackson, come across at about the level of a whisper.
Sports are an important part of Barry's life. Jackson described them as something that allows her oldest child of six to blend in with the student body.
And basketball is one of her loves. The thing Barry loves most about playing high school basketball would win the heart of any coach.
Signing day is big for Judson, Brevard HS sports Busy week of winter high school sports playoffs
'I love defense.'
In the first half of the game, the Heritage sophomore applies a bit of pressure, gets a steal and passes to a teammate, who drives for a basket. On the next possession, Barry scores herself to push the Panthers' advantage to 34-17 in the final minutes before halftime.
Her long arms are a defensive asset, but they can also get her into trouble. Early in the third period, she is called for reaching in.
Her track and field coach, Colleen Arambula, thinks Barry could qualify for the 2017 state meet in two sprints and the long jump, where her leap of 17 feet, 6 inches placed 11th among Class 3A girls last year.
'I want her to do as much as possible,' Arambula said. 'She's so coachable. Whatever you say, she just says, 'OK, coach,' and she does it.'
Arambula, Turey and Barry's mom all see a thirst for coaching and for learning from the student-athlete. It is strengthened by the increased opportunities brought on by her life in Brevard County, where she has the regular help of translators, something she didn't have as a young child.
Barry moved with her family from the U.S. Virgin Islands in 2011 to Miami and shortly thereafter to Palm Bay.
'In the Virgin Islands, I didn't really have an interpreter, so I was kind of lost,' she said through interpreter Alicia Adkins after a recent practice. 'I had an interpreter one day a week, and the rest of the time I had to work by myself.'
She still does a good bit of learning on her own, and, according to her mother, prefers using the speaking ability she does have rather than signing. But she is most comfortable doing that only with people she knows well. On a track and field road trip last spring, Barry engaged in an ongoing conversation with Arambula.
'The whole time, she's talking to me about politics,' the coach said. 'She's very bright. She told me she watches the news and reads the ticker at the bottom of the screen.'
Though she didn't always have interpreting help, Barry has always had a busy schedule. Her mother played basketball, softball and ran track herself, and Barry played those three as well as soccer before moving to the U.S.
When she reached ninth grade at Heritage, she decided to try basketball along with track and field, and she has considered adding softball back to her agenda.
'The communication side of it, during games, was new to me,' Turey said. 'She's been pretty consistent in going with the flow, and the kids are like her coaches when they're on the court.'
Barry said she generally can tell if a change in play or defense is required during game action based on the tone of what she can hear and the positions of her teammates. As of last week, she was averaging 4.1 points and 2.0 steals and had played in 18 of 20 games.
The Panthers have had a strong season, winning 17 games and holding the top spot in District 13-7A going into Wednesday night's district semifinal at Heritage High.
'When the girls play unselfishly, they are just about unbeatable if everyone is doing their job,' Turey said. 'The chemistry has been a lot stronger than in the last couple of years.'
That has been true for Barry individually, as well.
'A few of my teammates know how to sign,' she said. 'A lot of students love it. They wish there was a class for it, like there is for Spanish, but there aren't enough students for it.'
She also has high expectations for herself, particularly on the track, where continued improvement could draw interest from college coaches down the road.
'She feels like she's going to be somebody,' Jackson said, adding that her daughter's math abilities have her interested in engineering as one option for college study. 'She's determined to be somebody, whether it's in sports or business.'
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