With the 2020-2021 Idaho high school girls basketball season wrapped up, it’s time to hand out some awards.
Brandon Walton has compiled SBLive’s All-State Teams for girls basketball, featuring first team, second team and honorable mention selections. The teams span all levels of IDHSAA competition.
With dozens of worthy candidates, the teams were tough to put together. But these 15 players stood above the rest. Congratulations to all!
FIRST TEAM GIRLS BASKETBALL ALL-STATE
P Naya Ojukwu, jr., Mountain View
There was arguably not a more dominant player in the state, girls or boys, than the 6-foot post. She averaged 24.2 points,10.2 rebounds,1.8 blocks and broke soon-to-be WNBA player Destiny Slocum’s 5A state tournament scoring record (87 points). It all led to Ojukwu leading the Mavericks to back-to-back state titles, being selected the 5A state player of the year and the 5A Southern Idaho Conference first team. It’s no wonder she has the likes of UCLA, Michigan, Syracuse and Gonzaga all after her.
“She is a gifted player with natural athleticism, awareness, and technique in basketball,” Mountain View coach Connie Skogrand said. “Naya is a powerful rebounder and often leads our secondary offense after rebounding the ball. Offensively, Naya is extremely strong and very difficult to stop inside the key.”
G Amari Whiting, so., Burley
The scary part is she’s only 16. The youngster has really played beyond her years and did so again this season. The 5-foot-9 floor general put up 25.4 points, 8.9 rebounds, 3.8 steals and 2.7 assists per game. This included her breaking both the 4A state tournament single-game (37 points in the opener against Middleton) and overall scoring records (27.3 ppg) on her way to guiding the Bobcats to a second consecutive state trophy (third). But the accolades didn’t stop there. She was the 4A State and Great Basin Conference Players of the Year. Oh yeah, Whiting has six, count’ em, six Division I offers from Montana State, Utah Valley, BYU, Utah State, Utah and Boise State.
“Amari is our motor,” said Burley coach and mother Amber Whiting. “She is aggressive on the defensive end and a great rebounder. She knows that defense creates opportunities offensively and she pushes the tempo for us. She is that player that does whatever it takes for her team to win.”
G Trinity Slocum, sr., Mountain View
Arguably, no one had more to live up to over the last four years than the 5-foot-8 point guard. But Slocum rose to the occasion each and every time. It was no more evident than this season. After getting the state title monkey off her back in 2020, Slocum handled the pressure one final time by setting a program record with 6.1 assists per game this season. She added 12.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.2 steals ppg to help the Mavericks defend their crown. The University of Hawaii signee also capped her career by being picked to the All-5A SIC team for the fourth straight season with a first-team nod in 2021, a second consecutive All-5A state first-team selection and an 88-13 career record.
“Trinity does a great job of creating opportunities and setting the tempo for her team as a point guard,” Skogrand said.
G Jaleesa Lawrence, sr., Meridian
It seemed like either Ojukwu or Slocum were going to be the runaway 5A SIC Player of the Year. But in the end, Lawrence snatched it up from right up under both of them. The 6-0 guard did so by tallying 18.6 points, 9.1 rebounds, 3.1 steals per game to get the Warriors back in the state tournament. She also earned All-5A state honors for the first time in her career with a first-team selection. Lawrence is weighing offers from the College of Southern Idaho, Salt Lake Community College and others.
“Jaleesa is one of the most complete players I have ever had the privilege to coach,” Meridian coach Stu Stells said. “At 6-feet tall, she has great ball handling skills and can shoot from the perimeter as well as finish against anyone in the paint. But I’m mostly impressed with her mentality. She has a great understanding of the game and doesn’t have too many highs and lows and just remains focused and in the moment.”
F Brooke Jessen, sr., Timberlake
In an area filled with the likes of a Power 5 Division I signee (Lake City’s Brooklyn Rewers), a Division I prospect (Coeur d’Alene’s Madison Symons) and an all-star teammate (Taryn Soumas), it was Jessen who reigned in the North this past season. She dropped 37 points on Rewers, a Michigan State signee, after all. The 5-11 forward averaged 17.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists on her way to directing the Tigers to repeating at state. She was also named the Co-MVP of the Intermountain League with Soumas and the 3A State Player of the Year. But this is nothing new for the Division I signee. Jessen, who will play for the WAC’s Texas-Rio Grande Valley, made the All-League team four times and the 3A All-State first-team three times in her prolific career.
“I have always thought that she’s been one of the most skilled players in Idaho ever since she started playing in high school,” Timberlake coach Matt Miller said. “But one piece that might have been missing was that consistency, every game knowing what you’re going to get. And she had that this year. She really showed up every game.”
SECOND TEAM GIRLS BASKETBALL ALL-STATE
G Taryn Soumas, sr., Timberlake
There are just some things that stats can’t measure, and the 5-foot-3 point guard’s contribution to the Tigers in 2021 is one of them. Timberlake’s unquestionable leader left a lasting mark by steering the program to back-to-back titles and the fourth in six seasons. She averaged 12.5 points, 4.5 assist and 2.8 steals to earn Co-MVP league honors with Jessen and just finished behind her in the 3A State Player of the Year voting. Soumas just signed on to play at the College of Idaho in the fall.
“It was really her team. And when it became her team, we got to a new level,” Miller said. “A lot of people mainly just look at points and say, ‘Oh, this kid had a good season, this kid had a down season.’ But I think she had just as good if not a better season than last year when she was the player of the year. But her leadership was second to none. You can’t really measure how good of a leader she was, but that was a really big factor for our team.”
G Allison Ross, sr., Boise
The 5-foot-7 point guard leaves as one of the best to ever put on the red and white uniform. And she saved her best for last this season. Ross racked up 11.4 points, 3.6 assists and 2.6 steals to lead the Brave to consecutive consolation titles. Those efforts earned her All-5A SIC first-team honors – the third All-League accolade of her career – and 5A All-State honors for the second time with a first-team selection. Ross will play for NCAA DIvision II Hawaii Pacific next season.
“Allison’s four years on varsity left a lasting legacy within our girls basketball program,” Boise coach Kim Brydges said. “I’ve been fortunate to have coached many outstanding players at Boise High who have gone on to do great things at the collegiate and professional level; Allison’s name belongs among the ranks of our brightest stars of the past.”
G Kate Clark, sr, Melba
The Mustangs have produced many incredible players during their prolific five-year stretch, including Weber State’s Kori Pentzer and Clark’s older sister Emma Clark (Northwest Nazarene). However, the younger Clark made a strong case as not only the best in recent memory, but of all-time, especially with what she pulled off this past season. She broke her sister’s all-time scoring record (1,402 points), set single-season and career 3-point records, was the 2A Western Idaho Conference Player of the Year for the second year in a row and was selected as the 2A Player of the Year with 16.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.1 steals per game. But the real crowning achievement was delivering Melba its first-ever state title after years of coming painstakingly short. She will now join her sister at NNU.
“While some lead with words, Kate led by example, working hard every practice and helping her teammates grow in the process,” Melba coach David Lenz said. “The confidence and calming presence Kate provided our team with over the years will be very hard to replace.”
F Hadley Humpherys, jr., Blackfoot
After seeing former teammate and fellow All-4A State first-team selection Tenleigh Smith move 25 miles south to Century High, Humpherys knew a lot of the pressure was now going to fall on her. She handled it to the tune of orchestrating the Mustangs’ first-ever state title run over Smith and Century by being a walking double-double. The 5-11 junior forward totaled 12 points and 10.7 rebounds per game to earn All-High Country Conference and 4A All-State first-team honors for the second year in a row.
“Hadley is a dominant post under the basket and extremely difficult to keep off the boards,” Blackfoot coach Raimee Odum said. “She was also a great leader and team player.”
G Mattie Olson, jr., Skyline
Skyline hadn’t had a lot to be excited about over the last decade. But then Olson came around and everything changed, especially this season. The 5-foot-7 junior guard not only helped the Grizzlies end a 13-year postseason drought, but led them to a state consolation title in the process. She did so by carving up opposing teams with 20.6 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.0 steals per game. It also led to her garnering All-High Country Conference first-team honors for the second year in a row and graduating from the 4A All-State second to first team. Olson has a Division I offer from Montana State.
“Mattie Olson is an elite player that commands a lot of focus game in and game out,” Skyline coach Tyrell Keck said. “Her ability to find gaps and weaknesses in the opponent’s defense is not very common, and she has an uncanny ability to get the ball to the hole. I have seen very few players in my time as a coach that have put in as much work as she has into her craft.”
HONORABLE MENTION GIRLS BASKETBALL ALL-STATE
C Maniah Clegg, sr., Grace
No matter how late opposing coaches stayed up game planning, the 6-0 senior post just couldn’t be stopped this season, especially when it mattered most. Clegg averaged 18.7 points and 15.0 rebounds during a three-day state tournament run that resulted in the Grizzlies’ first title in 35 years. She tallied 13.0 points, 12.0 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.3 blocks overall to be promptly named both the 1A Division I District 5-6 girls basketball and 1A D1 State Players of the Year. It’s only a matter of time before she signs somewhere with her pick of multiple college offers.
“Maniah is a player that every coach loves to have on their team,” Grace coach Kyle Christensen said. “She is the type that can take over a game at any time. Despite her dominant play, she was the ultimate teammate and leader on and off the court.”
W Lauren Davenport, sr., Thunder Ridge
Thunder Ridge coach Jeremy Spencer got a lot of questions about his star player from recruiters over the years. And he had an answer to every single one of them. Whether it was being able to guard any position on the floor or go from a pick and roll to switching to a 6-2 big, Davenport did it all for the Titans over the last three years. And it all culminated in her leading the first East Idaho team to a 5A state final since 1995 and nearly winning the first championship in 31 years. The 5-11 wing also averaged 12.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, and joined the 1,000-point club for her career to rack up both All-High Country Conference and 5A All-State first-team honors. Davenport is signed on to play Division I basketball at Boston University.
“Her size and strength with her basketball abilities make her one of the best players in Idaho,” Spencer said. “Her strength allows her to body up your big, her athleticism is as good as any point guard out there. Offensively, she’s not just a shooter. She checks the boxes on every category out there. A talent you dream of getting in your program.”
G Kylie Wood, sr., Carey
It doesn’t matter who you’re playing, 27.5 points per game is nothing short of incredible at any level. And that’s exactly what the 5-foot-6 point guard did to lead all players in the state, girls and boys, in scoring this past season. Wood anchored the Panthers to a third consecutive state trophy (third-place) by equaling the state tournament scoring record with 28.7 ppg. Carey’s all-time scoring leader (1,290 points) also repeated as the 1A Division II State Player of the Year and is committed to NCAA Division III’s St. Catherine’s in Minnesota.
“Kylie is deserving of every award she has earned throughout her career. She has worked hard at every aspect of the game,” Carey coach Merrilee Sears said. “She is an amazing person on and off (the court) and is going to continue to do amazing things in her future.”
F Madison Symons, so., Coeur d’Alene
Symons’ numbers could have really been special this year. She has that kind of talent as evident by her 16 points and 12 rebounds per game last season. But that’s not what her team needed her to be. Her ability to share the basketball and leadership resulted in teammates like Skyler Burke being named the Inland Empire Player of the Year and the Vikings being the No.1 ranked team in the state for much of the year. She still averaged a double-double for the year with 13.5 points and 11.3 boards to go along with 4.6 assists per game. And it all earned her spots on the All-IEL and the 5A All-State teams. Symons has a standing offer from NCAA Division I’s Texas Rio Grande Valley.
“Madi brought to our team a competitive spirit, high basketball IQ and the willingness to do what was needed to help her team win,” said Coeur d’Alene coach and mother Nicole Symons. “Madi can play both inside and out, which makes her a tough matchup.”
C Brooklyn Rewers, sr., Lake City
Rewers didn’t get the chance to play on the biggest stage over the last two seasons. But that was through no fault of her own. The 6-foot-4 center did everything in her power to do so, especially this year with eye-popping numbers of 17.7 points, 9.2 rebounds and 3.8 blocks per game – yeah, you read that last part right. She made the All-IEL team yet again and the All-5A State second-team for the second year in a row. And she’s far from done yet. Rewers, one of the biggest recruits in Idaho history, will take her talents to Michigan State next season.
“Brooklyn affects the game so much on both sides of the ball,” Lake City coach James Anderson said. “She provides our team elite rim protection and someone who can score and facilitate offense on the other end of the floor.”
— Brandon Walton