Basketball preview: Girls’ independents, others


St. John's Jade Clark (23) reaches in, but can't knock the ball away from Riverdale Baptist's Kelila Atkinson (22) as she grabs a rebound during a showdown of Washington-area girls’ basketball powers last season. (Doug Kapustin/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)
December 6, 2011
Top teams

Riverdale Baptist (30-5), Spalding (28-5), Pallotti (14-11)

Top players

G/F Kelila Atkinson, Riverdale Baptist, 6-1, Sr.

G/F Jonquel Jones, Riverdale Baptist, 6-3, Sr.

G Raven Makins, Spalding, 5-8, Sr.

F Tiffany Padgett, Pallotti, 6-1, Sr.

G/F Jennie Simms, Riverdale Baptist, 6-1, Sr.

Skinny

Riverdale has finished No. 1 in the final rankings the past three years. The Crusaders have five Division I signees, including Atkinson (Wake Forest), Jones (Clemson), Simms (West Virginia), forward Brittany Murray (LaSalle) and guard Dominique Johnson (Towson). Murray is a transfer from National Christian and Johnson came in from Holy Cross. Riverdale’s schedule includes trips to Arizona, New York, the Bahamas and Tennessee. . . .

Spalding, which lost to three WCAC teams last year but handed Riverdale its lone local loss, went unbeaten in IAAM play; four of the top five scorers were seniors, the exception being junior forward Camille Calhoun. Makins has signed with Central Connecticut State. Junior post players Jade Scaife and Sierra Clark have transferred in from McNamara. Spalding hosts Riverdale on Feb. 6. . . .

Pallotti’s Padgett, a Loyola signee, averaged 10 points, 11 rebounds and 5 blocks. Six-foot-2 Beverly Ogurinde, a High Point transfer, and seven players off an unbeaten junior varsity will boost the Panthers. . . . Annapolis Area Christian freshman guard Taylor Murray last spring was one of two Class of 2015 invitees to USA Basketball U16 tryouts in Colorado Springs. . . . Middleburg Academy has won three of its first four games despite the departures of leading 2010-11 scorers Chloe Owens (Herndon) and 6-foot-2 Tori Morris (O’Connell).

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