Over the next several weeks, we will be taking a closer look at the top high school basketball players in Idaho, for each classification.
To start, here are the Top 20 girls basketball players in Class 5A. There are dozens of standout 5A girls basketball players in Idaho and these lists are not intended to be comprehensive. DM or tag us on Twitter or Instagram @sbliveid and let us know about players worthy of fans’ attention in 2020-21.
The list is in alphabetical order.
TOP 20 PLAYERS IN 5A GIRLS BASKETBALL
C Paige Clark, sr., Thunder Ridge
Clark’s future is with volleyball. She was the co-High Country Conference Player of the Year and signed with the University of Montana in the fall. But that ability has translated pretty well to the basketball court too. Clark used her size (6-foot-1) and leaping ability to own the boards against most teams last season with almost eight rebounds per game on her way to earning All-Conference first-team honors.
G Lauren Davenport, sr., Thunder Ridge
Davenport may be the smartest player in the state. She had interest from Princeton, Columbia and Cornell before ultimately committing in the spring to Boston University, a private research university with a 25-percent admittance rate. It made her the first women’s basketball commit in Titans’ history. Oh yeah, she’s pretty good with a basketball in her hands too. The 5-11 shooting guard averaged 13.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and almost a block per game along with being the District 5-6 Defensive Player of the Year last season.
G Brooke Donnelly, sr., Rigby
Teammate Tylie Jones gets most of the headlines — more on her later — but Donnelly is pretty good too. She made the District 5/6 second-team with 9.7 points per game last season and head coach Troy Shippen calls her “our best defender.” Donnelly has several schools from nearby Washington and Utah looking at her.
“(She) plays with a lot of passion and loves the game,” Shippen said.
C Sophie Glancey, jr., Timberline
The loss of an NCAA Division I center is tough. But Timberline head coach Andy Jones already has another one waiting in the wings. The 6-foot-2 Glancey racked up All-SIC first-team and All-State second-team honors with 12 points and 6.7 rebounds per game last season. Expect those numbers to go up significantly with her having to replace Emma Ellinghouse, who is now at Santa Clara.
“Sophie is very fundamentally sound on the block, able to use either hand effectively,” Jones said. “She runs the floor extremely well, and her perimeter game is something she’s really working on, and I expect it to improve over the season.”
G Jayden Glaze, jr., Skyview
The Hawks’ struggles since moving up to 5A in 2018 have been well-documented. They’ve won just two league games. But the 5-foot-7 Glaze gives them something to be excited about and has the capability to turn their fortunes around. She earned All-Conference honorable mention honors for a team that finished 2-20. Glaze averaged 12 points per game for Hoop Dreams — widely considered the best club team in Idaho.
“The girl is a diehard hooper and she absolutely has dreams of playing college basketball after high school,” Skyview coach Kacy Bonds said. “Jayden is an elite competitor, and she has a drive that is unparalleled to most girls her age. She’s always the hardest worker in the gym and she looks forward to those big moments.”
PG Gracee Gustin, sr., Kuna
Don’t expect the jump back up to 5A to stop the ascension of Gustin. She was on the Kuna team that made the 5A state tournament in 2018. And Gustin has only gotten better since. She was an All-4A Southern Idaho Conference first-team pick with 9.0 points, 2.0 assists and 1.5 steals just last season. Gustin also has an offer from Blue Mountain Community College (Oregon) with probably another one to come in Walla Walla (Washington).
“(She) is one of the top three-point shooters in the area,” Kuna coach Dennis Jordan said.
F Tylie Jones, sr., Rigby
Collegiate programs in several states such as Utah and Montana are eagerly awaiting her decision. And it’s easy to see why. The 6-0 Jones was the District 5-6 Player of the Year and an All-State second-team selection. She did so by averaging 16 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game last season. She also shot 37.3% from three-point range. But this is nothing new. Jones has been doing this for four seasons.
“Tylie is a versatile player,” Rigby coach Troy Shippen said. “She has the size of a post, shoots like a shooting guard, passes like a point guard, great rebounder and great defensive player.”
G Jaleesa Lawrence, sr., Meridian
Lawrence is a player who people knew was going to be special some day when she stepped onto the court as a wide-eyed freshman. Well that day has come and gone and the 6-foot Lawrence has molded herself into one of the state’s best players. She nearly averaged a double-double with 15.1 points and 9.8 boards a year ago. Lawrence also recorded 3.0 assists and 2.4 blocks per game to earn first-team honors in the state’s best and most competitive conference. Through two games this season she’s averaging 20 points per game on 55% shooting from the floor.
“Jaleesa’s versatility is her biggest strength,” Meridian coach Stu Sells said. “She can score from any position on the floor and has the ability to stretch the floor with her three-point shot or score posting up in the interior.”
G Jayden McNeal, jr., Borah
The Lions have had to trust the process over the last couple of years with a litany of young players. Well that process may be close to being complete with another year of experience under their belt. The leader of that youth movement is McNeal, who broke out last season with 9.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.0 assist and 1.5 steals per game to earn All-SIC honorable mention honors. And it has the likes of University of Montana, University of Idaho and Pepperdine all paying attention.
“Jayden is a versatile player who can guard the best post players in the league as well as bring the ball down the court as the point,” Borah coach Whitney Kenyon said.
P Naya Ojukwu, jr., Mountain View
Ojukwu is without a doubt the state’s most sought after recruit. Mountain View coach Connie Skogrand said her star player simply has “too many” offers. And it’s easy to see why programs like UCLA, Michigan, Syracuse and Gonzaga want her. At 6-foot-1, Ojukwu has the perfection combination of size and speed. It led to her averaging 14.8 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.8 blocks and 1.2 steals per game. Those earned her both All-State and All-SIC first-team honors.
“Naya is a gifted player with natural athleticism, awareness, and technique in basketball,” Skogrand said. “She is a powerful rebounder and great shot blocker. Difficult to stop inside the key.”
P Brooklyn Rewers, sr., Lake City
Rewers is arguably the most high profile player in the state. And with good reason. She’s 6-foot-4, and was a walking double-double last season on her way to averaging 18.7 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. But that might not be her most impressive stat-line. She averaged almost four blocks per game on her way to being the co-MVP of the Inland Empire League and an All-State second-team selection. Rewers originally committed to Duke before a coaching change led her to sign with another blue blood of college basketball in Michigan State.
“Brooklyn is an extremely skilled player for her size that can score in so many different ways,” Lake City coach James Anderson said. “She works extremely hard and is a great teammate.”
G Kennedy Robertson, sr., Idaho Falls
At 4-18, there weren’t a lot of bright spots for the Tigers last season. But the biggest one was the emergence of Robertson. She recorded 8.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.0 steals per game to earn All-League second-team honors. It’s not just on the court, though. Robertson is a three-sport star, including in soccer where she scored 14 goals this fall to make the All-Area first-team. That athletic prowess should help Idaho Falls take a much-needed step forward this season.
“Kennedy is an exceptional athlete,” Idaho Falls coach David Vest said. “She has a motor that will not quit, and a drive that keeps pushing her past physical limitations.”
PG Allison Ross, sr., Boise
Ross only played in half of the Braves’ games last season due to a preseason concussion. But she still made quite the impression. The 5-foot-7 floor general averaged 9.1 points, 2.5 assists, 2.2 steals and shot 37% from behind the arc on her way to earning All-SIC second-team honors. She then made the All-State Tournament team as an honorable mention selection after helping Boise win the consolation title. Ross is signed to play at NCAA Division II Hawaii Pacific University.
“Allison possesses an extremely high basketball IQ and is a catalyst on the floor both offensively and defensively,” Boise coach Kim Brydges said. “Her ability to anticipate and her competitive drive makes her one of our best defenders. She also has been known for some fantastic finishes and big time shots which speak to her offensive ability.”
G Trinity Slocum, sr., Mountain View
Slocum had seemingly impossible expectations being the younger sister of University of Arkansas star Destiny Slocum. But Trinity Slocum has surpassed them all. She is 68-11 since first stepping into the program in 2017. Slocum averaged 14.7 points, 6.1 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 3.9 steals last season to earn both All-State and All-5A SIC first-team honors. But her crowning achievement was leading the Mavericks to a state title on a rolled ankle a year after losing in the same game. Slocum will play for the University of Hawaii next season.
“Trinity does a great job of creating opportunities and setting the tempo for her team,” coach Connie Skogrand said.
G Annie Stinar, jr., Centennial
Stinar is well on her way to being the next great Patriot guard and the first Division I player since Colorado State’s Tori Williams left in 2017. The 5-foot-8 playmaker was the fourth-leading scorer in the SIC last season with 14.4 points per game. She also tacked on 2.7 assists and 2.2 steals per game for good measure to earn All-League honorable mention honors. It’s already led to Division I offers from Wyoming and San Jose State.
“Annie is an incredibly fun player to coach. Not only is she incredibly talented, she also has a high basketball IQ to go with it,” Centennial coach Candace Thornton said. “She sees the floor very well, and is just as happy to make a full-court pinpoint pass for the assist, as she is to pull up for a deep three.”
W Alex Stokoe, sr., Eagle
The Mustangs have had one of the most impressive runs in recent history. A run that’s included six straight trips to state, five consecutive semifinal appearances and a state championship in 2019. The architect of that dynasty, Cody Pickett, moved across the hall to coach the boys, so the pressure to keep it all going falls mostly on the shoulders of Stokoe. She averaged 6.9 rebounds, 4.5 points and 1.6 assists per game last year and will be one of the only players with any real varsity experience this season.
F Madi Symons, so., Coeur d’Alene
Symons’ time is coming. Shoot, it may already be here. She averaged a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds per game last season. It resulted in her being the co-MVP of the Inland Empire with Brooklyn Rewers and an All-State Tournament first-team selection as just a freshman. Symons already has a Division I offer from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and is in talks with several others.
“Madi is a natural leader and her work ethic and competitive drive sets a high standard for the rest of the team to try to achieve,” Coeur d’Alene coach Nicole Symons said. “For a coach, when your best player is also one of our hardest workers, you are in a good place.”
G Audrey Taylor, jr., Timberline
Taylor has big shoes to fill — those of Montana State’s Ava Ranson, who was an All-State first-team selection and the co-Southern Idaho Conference Player of the Year last season. But Taylor seems more than up for it. She played alongside Ranson in the backcourt for two years, including last season when she tallied 8.5 points and 3.1 rebounds.
“Audrey has put in a ton of hours playing club basketball and working on her game,” Timberline coach Andy Jones. “We expect her to make a big jump this season.”
G D’Nia Williams, sr., Mountain View
With Trinity Slocum and Naya Ojukwu, it’s easy to forget about Williams. But that would be a mistake. She would be the best player on a lot of other teams. Williams averaged 6.1 points and 2.6 assists per game and earned All-Conference honorable mention honors on a loaded Mavericks’ team, which won it all a year ago. She’ll pair up with Slocum to form arguably the best backcourt in the state this season.
“Her determination, ambition, and work ethic are examples of D’Nia’s character,” Mountain View coach Connie Skogrand said. “She has been instrumental in motivating teammates and achieving team goals over the past 3 years. She is also very relentless on the defensive end, as well.”
W Chloe Wright, sr., Rocky Mountain
Wright’s numbers don’t exactly jump off the page. She averaged five points, four rebounds and 1.5 steals per game last season. But they don’t tell the whole story. Wright’s role last season was to primarily guard the opposing team’s bigs, and at 5-foot-7, she was always undersized in that role. That never seemed to stop her, though. The Grizzlies made a surprise run to the state semis in large part to her play. She’s now fielding offers from Clark College (Washington) and Linfield University (Oregon) with interest from several others.
“She was the glue for our team last year and a player that would do anything for the team,” Rocky Mountain coach BJ Humphreys said. “She is very unselfish and brings great energy on a consistent basis. She had a great season last year. I’m excited to see how she develops and plays this season.”
— Brandon Walton