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Saturday, March 23, 2019

Williams, Canty Take MVP Honors in WBCA High School All-America Game

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Photo Caption: Elizabeth Williams (Red, No. 1) of Princess Anne High School, Virginia Beach, VA , and Briyona Canty (White, No. 15) of Trenton Catholic Academy, Willingboro, NJ, receive their MVP awards from WBCA CEO Beth Bass (far right) and a young assistant following the WBCA High School All-America Game on Saturday, April 2, at Conseco Fieldhouse, in Indianapolis. Williams is headed to Duke next fall; Canty to Rutgers.

Photo Credit: Full Court Press/Lee Michaelson©




By Lee Michaelson
Publisher

The White Team took an 83-73 victory over the Red Team in Saturday’s 2011 WBCA High School All-America Game, held at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis as part of a weekend of NCAA Division I Women’s Final Four activities. The game, featuring many of the nation’s top female high school seniors, was close most of the way, with the Red Team leading by one (39-38) at the half, but the White opened a small lead in the second half and rode it home to the victory.

The WBCA High School All-American Game has been held annually since 1992; this year was the second in which the high school standouts took the floor on the Women’s Final Four Court.

Betnijah Laney of Smyrna High School (Clayton, Delaware) scored a game-high 22 points for the White Team, leading them to the win. Laney has yet to decide where she will play college ball.

Briyona Canty of Trenton, New Jersey’s Catholic Academy, was named Most Valuable Player for the White Team, however, after posting 13 points, handing out eight assists and swatting down two blocked shots for the winning side. Canty will play for Rutgers next season. Canty says she believes she is related to the WNBA’s Dominique Canty, but isn’t sure quite how.

Elizabeth Williams of Virginia Beach, Virginia’s Princess Anne High School, took home MVP honors for the Red Team with 20 points on eight-of-19 from the field, plus eight boards, three blocks and an assist. It was the second top award of the week for Williams, who was named MVP of the McDonald’s Girls’ All-American Game on Thursday. Williams is bound for Duke next fall.



Photo Caption: The White Team’s Betnijah Laney put up a game-high 21 points and hauled down seven boards. Laney has not yet decided where she will play next year, but the powerful 6-0 forward will be a good catch for somebody.
Photo Credit: Full Court Press/Lee Michaelson©



Photo Caption: Rutgers-bound Briyona Canty (White, No. 15) took home MVP honors for the White squad with a dazzling and athletic performance that included 13 points, eight assists, five boards and two blocks.
Photo Credit: Full Court Press/Lee Michaelson©



The White Team pulled out the win despite the loss of Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (Mater Dei High School, Anaheim, California), the country’s top recruit from the Class of 2011 and WBCA National Player of the Year, who had to sit out the game after injuring her knee in Friday’s practice session. Though Mosqueda-Lewis, who is headed to Connecticut next year, hobbled along the sidelines on crutches, she insisted the injury was not serious and that there was no reason for concern over her ability to play for the Huskies next year.

Photo Caption: Future Husky Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, who had previously been named the WBCA’s High School National Player of the Year, had to sit out Saturday’s All-America Game after injuring her knee in Friday’s practice.
Photo Credit: Full Court Press/Lee Michaelson©



The White Team, coached by WBCA High School Coach of the Year Rich Castellano of North Port High School (N.Y.) who was assisted on the sidelines by Anne Long of Spring Valley High School (Columbia, S.C.) and honorary co-captain Kristi Toliver of the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks, shot a white-hot 52.2 percent (35-of-67) from the field, including five-of-11 (45.5 percent) from downtown.

Photo Caption: Members of the White Team—(clockwise) Briyona Canty (No. 15), Samantha Logic (J.I. Case High School, Racine, WI; committed to Iowa), Taylor Greenfield (Ballard High School, Huxley, IA; committed to Stanford) and Kiah Stokes (No. 41; Linn-Mar High School, Marion, IA; committed to Connecticut)—share a huddle with honorary co-captain Kristi Toliver of the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks.
Photo Credit: Full Court Press/Lee Michaelson©



Five-six point guard Shakena Richardson of Neptune High School (Neptune, NJ), who like Canty is headed to Rutgers, knocked down three of the White Team’s long-balls, on a perfect three-for-three from long range. Richardson finished with 11 points and three assists.

Photo Caption: Neptune, NJ’s Shakena Richardson was not named to the McDonald’s All-American squad, but she showed why she deserved the honor in the WBCA game, nailing a perfect three-of-three from the arc to finish with 11 points, plus three assists.
Photo Credit: Full Court Press/Lee Michaelson©




Six-four forward Krystal Forthan of Georgetown High School (Tex.) also recorded double digits for the White Team with a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds, plus two swats. Forthan is committed to attend LSU next season, but said she is waiting to see who is selected to fill the head coaching spot left vacant when Van Chancellor was moved to administrative duties. (UCLA’s Nikki Caldwell was named as the new LSU head coach on Saturday, but this information was not known as of game time.)

Photo Caption: Krystal Forthan of Georgetown, Tex., recorded the game’s only double-double with 12 points and 10 boards, plus two blocks, an assist and a steal in just 20 minutes on the floor.
Photo Credit: Full Court Press/Lee Michaelson©



Photo Caption: Bria Smith (White, No. 3; Christ the King High School, Massapequa, NY) goes up for two, but Elizabeth Williams (Red, No. 1) gets a piece of it. Smith, who withdrew her commitment to Virginia after head coach Deb Ryan stepped aside, finished with nine points. She said she’ll likely decide on her plans for the fall sometime next week.
Photo Credit: Full Court Press/Lee Michaelson©



The Red Team, coached by Terri Bamford of La Jolla Country Day (San Diego, CA), assisted by Bolingbrook High School’s (Ill.) Tony Smith and honorary co-captain Alana Beard of the WNBA’s Washington Mystics, featured five players in double figures.

Photo Caption: The coaches for the Red and White Teams were presented with autographed balls after the game. From left: White Team Head Coach Rich Castellano, Northport High School, Northport, N.Y., who was also named 2011 WBCA High School Coach of the Year; White Team Assistant Coach Anne Long, Spring Valley High School, Columbia, SC; Red Team Head Coach Terri Bamford, LaJolla Country Day School, La Jolla, Calif.; and Red Team Assistant Coach Tony Smith, Bolingbrook High School, Bolingbrook, Ill.
Photo Credit: Full Court Press/Lee Michaelson©




In addition to Williams, local star Bria Goss (Ben Davis High School, Indianapolis, IN), who is headed to Kentucky in the fall, notched 12 points plus eight boards, three assists and two steals for the Red Team. Ariya Crook-Williams (Long Beach Poly High School, Long Beach, CA) posted 11, including two-of-five from long range; she will be heading to USC next season.  Tennessee-bound Cierra Burdick (Butler High School, Matthews, NC) and Amber Henson (Sickles High School, Tampa, FL; committed to Duke) added 10 apiece, with Henson tacking on eight rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Photo Caption: Elizabeth Williams (Red, No. 1) drives the key for a reverse lay-up as Kiah Stokes (White, No. 41) defends.
Photo Credit: Full Court Press/Lee Michaelson©



Photo Caption: Ben Davis High School’s Bria Goss (Red, No. 13) was a crowd favorite, hailing from a local Indianapolis High School. Goss finished with 12 points on five-of-nine from the floor, to which she added eight boards, three assists and two steals.
Photo Credit: Full Court Press/Lee Michaelson©



Photo Caption: Ariya Crook-Williams (Red, No. 3) puts one up. Crook-Williams finished with four-of-nine from the field, including two-of-five from the arc, for 11 points.
Photo Credit: Full Court Press/Lee Michaelson©



Cierra Burdick, a Tennessee-commit, gets some air as she puts up two of her 10 points on the day. Burdick also contributed three assists before fouling out of the game.
Photo Credit: Full Court Press/Lee Michaelson©




Photo Caption: Five-six point guard Ariel Massengale, of Bolingbrook High School (Ill.), who will head to Tennessee next fall, soars for two of her eight points on the evening. Massengale also passed out six assists for the Red Team.
Photo Credit: Full Court Press/Lee Michaelson©



Saturday’s WBCA game, which featured many of the same players who appeared in the McDonald’s All-American Game in Chicago on Thursday, was considerably closer, featuring 11 ties and 15 lead changes, and remaining tight until midway through the second half. The McDonald’s Game allots players to East and West teams largely on the basis of geography, though the Selection Committee has some discretion to depart from the map in order to balance the sides. In contrast, after the 20 All-Americans are chosen by the WBCA’s High School All-America Selection Committee, Committee Chair Gary Glasscock sharpens his pencil and begins the process of assigning players to teams on the basis of position, height, and performance in major statistical categories, with the goal of balancing the two teams as evenly as possible. In this case, his approach certainly worked.

Photo Caption: White Team members savor their victory after the game. From left: Kristi Toliver (WNBA, Los Angeles Sparks, honorary co-captain); Betnijah Laney (Smyrna High School, Clayton, Del.; undeclared); Samantha Logic (J.I. Case High School, Racine, Wisc.; committed to Iowa); Kiah Stokes (Linn-Mar High School, Marion, Iowa; committed to Connecticut); Taylor Greenfield (Ballard High School, Huxley, Iowa; committed to Stanford); and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (Mater Dei High School, Anaheim, Cal.; committed to Connecticut).
Photo Credit: Full Court Press/Lee Michaelson©



Originally published Sun, April 03, 2011


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NCAA DIVISION I TOP 25 COACHES' POLL
WOMEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Week: February 7, 2012
RANK SCHOOL RECORD LAST WEEK'S RANK PRESEASON RANK AP RANK POINTS
1 Baylor (31) 24-0 1 1 1 775
2 Notre Dame 23-1 2 2 2 743
3 Connecticut 21-2 3 4 3 710
4 Stanford 20-1 4 5 4 685
5 Duke 19-3 6 8 5 650
6 Miami (FL) 20-3 7 7 6 604
7 Kentucky 21-3 5 15 7 584
8 Maryland 20-3 10 10 8 534
9 Wisconsin-Green Bay 20-0 9 24 9 530
10 Ohio State 21-2 11 NR-RV
(61)
10 483
11 Tennessee 17-6 8 3 11 476
12 Delaware 20-1 13 NR 12 434
13 Georgetown 18-5 15 11 14 379
14 Texas A&M 16-5 16 6 15 378
15 Nebraska 19-3 18 NR 13 309
16 Rutgers 17-4 14 12 17 372
17 Louisville 17-6 12 9 20 276
18 Gonzaga 21-3 19 NR-RV
(70)
19 234
19 Purdue 19-5 17 21 16 222
20 Georgia 18-6 20 12 21 202
21 Penn State 18-5 21 14 18 176
22 DePaul 17-7 23 18 NR-RV
(38)
92
23 Georgia Tech 16-6 22 NR-RV
(18)
22 104
24 South Carolina 18-5 NR-RV
(13)
NR 24 46
25 Vanderbilt 18-5 NR-RV
(23)
NR-RV
(19)
NR 45
Dropped Out: No. 24 North Carolina, No. 25 Kansas.
First-place votes: Total first-place votes received (if any) are indicated in parentheses following school name.
Others receiving votes: St. Bonaventure (22-2) 34; North Carolina (17-6) 19; California (17-6) 18; Florida Gulf Coast (21-2) 16; Middle Tennessee (19-5) 15; Texas-El Paso (20-2) 8; Texas Tech (16-6) 5; Brigham Young (21-4) 4; Fresno State (19-4) 4; St. John's (15-8) 4; Princeton (15-4) 3; Oklahoma (15-7) 2; West Virginia (17-6) 2; Kansas State (15-7) 1.
Rank remains unchanged since last week
Ranking has risen since last week.
Ranking has dropped since last week.
Credit: Courtesy Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). The weekly Division I Top 25 Coaches' Poll, sponsored by USA Today and ESPN, is based on voting by a Board of Coaches made up of 31 head coaches at Division I institutions all of whom are WBCA members.