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 guard/forward, Salesian (Richmond, Calif.)
Greatness Present: A pair of victories over her school’s most bitter rival—the nation’s only team to lay claim to two McDonald’s All-Americans—has made Moore’s sweetest season just a little bit tastier.
The 6-foot senior amassed 28 points and 17 rebounds as the Pride (21-5) completed a regular-season sweep of Stockton (Calif.) St. Mary’s, 62-51. Featuring McDonald’s All-Americans Mikayla Cowling and Gabby Green, St. Mary’s is the only team to beat USA TODAY Super 25 second-ranked Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei.
Still, St. Mary’s was no match for Moore, who helped her team clinch the first outright Tri-County Athletic League title in program history. Another mini-showdown is on tap: Moore will line up for the East squad on the opposite side of West roster invitees Cowling and Green in April’s McDonald’s All-American Game. Moore had 23 points, eight rebounds and five assists in a 64-63 win over St. Mary’s in January.
She’s averaging 18.3 points, 9.5 rebounds, 8.0 assists and 3.8 steals per game this season, including a quadruple-double (19 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists, 10 steals) in a 70-68 win over South Medford (Ore.) last month.
Greatness Past: Moore has led Salesian in points, rebounds, assists and steals ever since she was a freshman. The returning Co-MVP of the Tri-County Athletic League, she averaged 18.8 points, 8.1 rebounds and 6.8 assists as a junior, leading the Pride to the 2013 Division IV state championship game last season.
Greatness Future: Moore has signed with Louisville.
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.