From many, there will be one. And while there’s still no guarantee contending athletes will win their own state at this point in the season, a number of elite performers are making a case for Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year consideration. Here’s the scoop on the latest top candidate.
Senior, Fairfield (Mont.)
Greatness Present: Barta has never lost a high school basketball game. Ever. The 6-foot-4 do-it-all center scored 32 points to spoil Havre (Mont.) High’s Senior Night in a 67-32 victory last week, extending Fairfield’s state-record winning streak to 94 games.
“I’ve never thought about our wins,” Barta told the Billings Gazette of the streak that began with her freshman debut in 2010. “It’s just one game at a time. None of us girls know what it’s like to lose.”
This season, Barta has led the Eagles to a 16-0 start, averaging 25.0 points, 8.9 rebounds, 3.7 steals, 2.6 assists and 2.4 blocks per game.
Greatness Past: In her previous three seasons, Barta led undefeated Fairfield to consecutive Class B state championships. She totaled 21 points and 15 rebounds as a junior in a 45-32 title-clinching win over Townsend (Mont.) Broadwater, capturing tournament MVP honors. A returning All-State selection, she produced 17.5 points, 8.6 boards, 3.0 steals, 2.3 blocks and 1.9 assists per game in 2012-13.
Greatness Future: Barta has signed with Gonzaga.
Make no mistake: The Gatorade State Girls Basketball Player of the Year races aren’t over, and the National POY race is now heating up. Time remains for one standout student-athlete among thousands to rise to the top of our list.Check back for daily updates on the top contenders making their case.