The All-Met girls’ basketball team selections are nearing closer by the day, and this past week I had the opportunity to watch a few candidates for the team. Here are a few brief notes on four players that have been key pieces to their respective teams’ late season runs. (Disclaimer: These are evaluations based off two games: Last Friday’s WCAC thriller between Paul VI Catholic and St. Johns, and Thursday’s Virginia AAA Northwest regional semifinal featuring Forest Park and Stonewall Jackson. The evaluation doesn’t limit other players from these four teams, or any other team in the region, from being considered for the All-Met team. Further, my opinions do not reflect those of the entire All-Met sports staff.)
G Lindsay Allen, St. Johns, Sr.
As briefly detailed in last week’s story about St. John’s 64-60 win over Paul VI Catholic on Senior Night, Allen was introduced prior to the game as a player who will likely be remembered as one of the best in WCAC history. The McDonald’s all-American backed it up that night, too – as she has done all season. Allen averages 16 points per game, but she does it with a mature shot selection. And defensively, despite being just 5-7, she’s probably St. John’s best perimeter defender. The most enduring part of Allen’s performances this season, including against Paul VI last week, is her ability to make intelligent plays down the stretch. In the first meeting between these two teams, it was a steal and layup in the final minute. Last Saturday, it was a stealth-like offensive rebound that led to a conventional three-point play late in the game that turned the tide.
F Nicole Floyd, Stonewall Jackson, Jr.
The Wake Forest commit is one the region’s most athletically gifted front court players, but in Thursday night’s win against Forest Park, she showed no sign of relying on those gifts alone. Floyd was the most physical and determined player on the floor. Of her 27 points, 10 came on offensive rebound putbacks, and whenever there seemed to be a loose ball in the lane, she was the player to come away with possession. And she still showed a strong drop-step and hook shot on Thursday, skills that seem to have only become sharper through the constant double and triple teams thrown at her for much of this season.
F Ariana Freeman, Paul VI Catholic, Jr.
Freeman nearly upstaged Allen and St. John’s last week, scoring 24 points in the 64-60 loss. St. John’s was able to get the forward in foul trouble late – she fouled out with less than a minute remaining – but from purely an offensive perspective, the 5-foot-11 Freeman was the best player on the floor. The West Virginia recruit is always in full control of her body, and was relentless in attacking the rim. She showed an ability to pull up off the dribble and spot up from long distance with three three-pointers, hitting a number of those shots in the second half at key moments, when St. John’s was trying to pull away.
G Breyana Mason, Forest Park, Sr.
The Forest Park senior received a standing ovation at the end of Thursday night’s loss to Stonewall Jackson in the Virginia AAA Northwest Region semifinal, and rightly so. Mason topped the 1,500 point mark for her career earlier this season. Last week, she became Prince William County’s all-time leading scorer. And on Thursday, in her final high school game, the Virginia recruit didn’t go out lightly. She scored 24 points and was a perfect 6 for 6 from the foul line. Stonewall Jackson ran fresh defenders at Mason all night, which was effective for much of the first half, but eventually the 5-9 bruiser found a way to get to the basket in the second half. Her offensive game is very crafty. As documented, Mason is one of the area’s best shooters, and she can knock down jumpers from both 15 and 18 feet alike. But she can also muscle her way off the perimeter and into the lane, and she can slash and go up and under at the rim, as she did often times Thursday. As Stonewall Jackson’s Sydney Jordan said after Thursday’s game, “[Mason] is the best player. She’s going to, like, get her points.”
Have you witnessed any performances recently that are worthy of All-Met conversation? If so, please share below in the comments section — or feel free to email me at email@example.com.