Here is an inside look at the Top 20 players in Class 1A Division I Idaho high school girls basketball.
There are dozens of standout 1A D-I 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 GIRLS BASKETBALL PLAYERS IN CLASS 1A D-I
W Kiya McAfee, jr., Butte County
McAfee has really been the face of the Pirates for the last two seasons by leading them in almost every statistical category and being a two-time All-High Desert Conference first-team selection. And the 5-foot-7 wing is doing so again. She is averaging 13.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.8 steals and 3.1 assists per game.
“Kiya is a competitor, and she hates to lose, and does everything in her power to make sure that doesn’t happen,” Butte County coach Carla Hansen said. “She sets the stage and mood of the court for our team.”
G Morgan Blazzard, jr., Troy
Double-doubles are somewhat expected for players in the frontcourt. But for a guard? Not so much. Blazzard has been the exception. She averaged a double-double of 10.2 points and 11 rebounds last year before doing so again this season with 12 points and 10 rebounds per game to all but assure her All-League honors for the second consecutive year.
“Morgan is a fierce competitor and is athletic enough to play all five spots on the floor,” Troy coach Aaron Dall said. “She is the difference of whether we are competitive as a team or not.”
C Maniah Clegg, sr., Grace
Clegg was a walking double-double last season with 12.9 points and 12.1 points per game. It led to the Grizzlies placing third at state and another All-State selection for the 6-foot post. The two-time High Desert Player of the Year is averaging a double-double again this season at 11.8 points and 11.6 boards per game for the No. 3 team in the state. It’s a safe bet she’ll be named player of the year again this season.
“She is one of the most unselfish players that I have coached and is the ultimate team player,” Grace coach Kyle Christensen said. “It is a coach’s dream to be able to coach a player like Maniah. She makes everyone around her better.”
G Kaybree Christensen, sr., Raft River
Christensen’s future is in running. She is signed on to run cross country and track at Utah State next year. But that type of athletic ability still makes her a force on the hardwood as well. She has been selected to multiple All-Conference teams and made the All-State Tournament team last year too. Christensen is averaging 10 points per game this season.
“She does a great job running our offense and getting the ball to where it needs to be,” Raft River coach Cody Powers said. “Whether that is kicking out to the open shooter or knocking it down herself, she makes good decisions there.”
G Kambrei Frank, sr., Victory Charter
It’s easy to disregard a player on a struggling program. Yes, Frank never made the state tournament or was on a winning team, but when Liberty Charter coach Brad McCain, whose program has made seven straight postseason appearances, says he wishes he would have had her for the last four years, that’s telling. Frank was still in the discussion for the Western Idaho Conference Player of the Year last season with almost 15.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3 steals per game. She should be in consideration again with nearly 13.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3 steals a game this season.
“Kambrei has created success for herself even though she hasn’t played on a winning team,” Victory Charter coach Mandy Frank said. “She has capitalized on every opportunity presented to her. She has had to work even harder to be successful because she hasn’t had a lot of help.”
G Grace Gerdes, sr., Liberty Charter
Madison Hodnett is the household name — more on her in a second — but Gerdes is really good in her own right. She kind of came out of nowhere to be named to the All-WIC first-team last season. And since then, Gerdes has only gotten more confident and better. She’s averaging 8.7 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game this season.
F Madison Hodnett, sr., Liberty Charter
Hodnett didn’t even know what basketball was six years ago. The 6-foot-2 forward is now one of the most dominant players in the entire classification. She was an All-State first-team selection and the WIC Player of the Year after racking up 20.7 points, 16.4 rebounds and 3.4 blocks per game last season. She’s now being tripled teamed this season, but is still averaging 17.2 points, 11.7 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 1.8 steals. Hodnett received a full-ride to NAIA Corban University (Oregon).
P Ashlee Holt, jr., Lakeside
Holt is the Trojans’ best shooter. That’s translated into her increasing her scoring average from 8.1 points last season — when she was an All-League selection — to 11.6 points per game this season. It’s helped Lakeside make a relatively smooth transition up from the Division II level.
“Ashlee is a very smart basketball player and really has a very high basketball IQ and understanding of the game,” Lakeside coach Chris Dohrman said.
G Jolissa Holt, jr, Lakeside
Yes, you’re seeing double. Ashlee’s twin sister has also seen her production go up from 11.6 points a season ago to 14.3 in 2021. She was also an All-Conference selection last year as well. The only difference between the two is Jolissa is the team’s floor general.
“Jolissa can handle the ball well, is a great scorer and a good defender,” coach Chris Dohrman said. “Jolissa is a fierce competitor that loves to do whatever it takes to win and help her teammates get better.”
G Sami Jewett, sr., Rimrock
Jewett’s older sister and current coach Kyla Jewett was quite the player back in the day with multiple All-Conference and state tournament appearances. But the younger Jewett has carried on the family tradition quite well. Sami’s been the starting point guard the last four years and has several All-League honors herself, including being a first-team selection last season. She’s on her way to doing so again with 10 points, 5.0 assists, 4.2 steals and 3.0 rebounds per game in 2021.
“She gives her teammates any and every opportunity to score, and defensively has the sticky hands to always get the steal,” Kyla Jewett said.
P Anna Knight, jr., Butte County
Knight has really emerged for the Pirates this season. So much so, that she’s already on a lot of college radars, including Walla Walla Community College in Washington. After averaging 6.0 points and 5.3 rebounds per game last season, she’s up to 11 points and 8 rebounds a game in 2021. Knight’s even averaging a block per game at 5-foot-8.
“Anna is the big presence in the middle for our team. She is quick, and works extremely hard,” coach Carla Hansen said. “She is the ‘Big’ difference for our team. With Anna on the court we are stronger and a more balanced team.”
G Bailey Leseman, sr., Genesee
Leseman is one of the best players to step through the doors of Genesee High School. She led the Bulldogs back to the state championship game for the first time in 11 years as only a sophomore. She’s a multiple time All-League and All-State selection, including last season when she made first teams in each with 12.5 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.6 steals per game. And she became just the third player in program history to score 1,000 career points this season. She’s also averaging 10.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game.
“Bailey has been a consistent force in our program since her freshman year,” Genesee coach Greg Hardie said.”I am very proud of her and all the things she has accomplished during her career here.”
P Claira Osborne, sr., Genesee
Arguably, no player in the classification has made a bigger jump this season than Osborne. She has gone from a statline of 8.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.2 steals a game last season, to 17.3 points, 9.1 rebounds and 3.9 points per game. And the Bulldogs are reaping the rewards of their co-captain by being ranked No. 4 in the state.
“She really worked on her game between her junior and senior year and it was clear in the summer time that she was going to have a breakout year,” coach Greg Hardie said. ‘Claira is incredibly strong, athletic, and has unusual quickness for her size making her a tough match up.”
G Kadance Schilling, jr., Clearwater Valley
There isn’t much Schilling can’t do. She lettered in both volleyball and track her freshman year. She’s been up for the school’s Female Athlete of the Year the last two years with a third nomination likely on the way. And she even works for her father’s logging company over the summer. But basketball is where she really thrives, particularly this season. As the team captain, Schilling is putting up 12.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.8 steals and 2.5 assists per game.
“She is a threat to score from all three levels on the floor and tenacious on the boards,” Clearwater Valley coach Darren Yocum said. “Kadance has a complete, all-around game that I believe will transition well to the next level.”
G Madison Shears, sr., Prairie
There were none better in the classification than Shears last season. She averaged 16.2 points, 4.2 steals, 3.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game to lead the Pirates to a runner-up finish at state and was promptly named the Player of the Year for Idaho. And she has a case for that distinction again. Shears has a statline of 12.4 points, 4.0 steals, 3.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game for the second-ranked team in the state.
“I have never coached a kid with so much dedication, desire and determination and drive to make herself better as well as everyone on the floor,” Prairie coach Lori Mader said. “Truly a great kid with lots of heart for the game, a dream kid to coach.”
F Sydnee Smith, fr., Grace
Maniah Clegg is the present, but Smith is the future. The 5-foot-10 freshman is already well on her way to being the school’s next big thing. She is averaging almost 11 points on 48% shooting and 5.0 rebounds per game in her first year.
“Even though Sydnee is just a freshman she plays beyond her age,” coach Kyle Christensen said. “Playing alongside Maniah and the defensive attention that Maniah attracts has opened up a lot of opportunities for Sydnee, which she has taken advantage of. I am looking forward to seeing what else is in store for her as her high school career advances.”
G Glory Sobotta, sr., Lapwai
With the loss of last year’s leading scorer KC Lussoro, who is now playing at Treasure Valley Community College in Oregon, the elder Sobotta knew she needed to up her game, which was already pretty good. She averaged 9.4 points, 1.4 assists and 1.3 steals per game to earn White Pine League first-team and All-State second-team honors last season. But the 5-foot-7 guard has rounded out her game a bit more this year with 9.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. Spokane Community College is looking at her.
G Grace Sobotta, jr., Lapwai
Over the last two years, Glory’s younger sister has already done more than most players do in four. She’s made two All-State teams, including last season when she was on the first team, was the White Pine Player of the Year and helped the Wildcats to another state championship with 10 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.3 steals and 2 assists per game. The 5-foot-8 guard looks like she’ll be padding that already impressive resumé even more with 9.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.4 steals and 2.8 assists per game for the undefeated No. 1 team in the state this season.
F Kynlee Thornton, sr., Lighthouse Christian
Moving up classifications hasn’t slowed the 5-foot-10 forward at all. If anything, she’s better. Thornton is averaging a double-double of 20.4 points — the leading scorer in the entire classification — and 10.2 rebounds to go along with 3.5 blocks per game. That’s up from the 18.8 points, 11.1 rebounds and 3.1 blocks she had last season that earned her All-State first-team and Defensive Player of the Year honors at the Division II level.
“Kynlee is a quiet but powerful leader,” Lighthouse Christian coach Tia Standlee said. “She has a tenacious spirit and her work ethic is inspiring to her teammates and her coaches.”
G Sintia Varela, sr., Rimrock
Varela is on the heels of Thornton with 19.3 points per game. But that isn’t even the half of it. She is also averaging 7.0 rebounds, 4.0 steals, 3.6 assists and even a block per game this season for the Raiders. This isn’t anything new, though. She’s been an All-WIC first-team selection the last two years and was an All-State second-team selection a season ago. She could graduate to being the WIC Player of the Year and an All-State first-team selection with the year Varela is having.
“Sintia is an all-around the court player and reads the ball defensively to put her in the right spot at the right time,” Rimrock coach Kyla Jewett said.