With the 2020-21 Mississippi high school basketball season underway, SBLive is taking a look at the best players, teams and stories across the state.
Here’s a look at the Top 15 girls basketball players in Mississippi. The list was compiled by SBLive reporter Tyler Cleveland based on observations and conversations with college and high school coaches. (Feature photo by Keith Warren.)
(The list is in alphabetical order.)
MISSISSIPPI’S TOP 15 GIRLS BASKETBALL PLAYERS
Zykeria Anderson – Senior Guard – Raymond
Raymond’s 5-foot-4 senior guard Zykeria Anderson is a four-year starter who has gotten better with each season. Last season, Anderson led the Rangers with an average of 23 points per game to go along with 3.8 assists and three steals.
She led the Rangers (18-12) to the 4A semifinals, where Raymond lost to top-seeded Ripley. Anderson earned an invitation to the Mississippi North-South All-Star Game.
Madison Booker – Sophomore Forward – Germantown
Germantown’s Madison Booker is only a sophomore, but she’s already arguably the best player in the state. In fact, the 6-foot small forward is a five-star recruit, currently ranked as the No. 4 player in the country for the class of 2023, according to 247 Sports.
Booker averaged 13.7 points and 7.1 rebounds as a 14-year-old freshman last season and led the Mavericks to the second round of the playoffs. She’s already garnering interest and offers from dozens of college programs.
Samya Brooks – Junior Forward – Pontotoc
Pontotoc’s Samya Brooks is another class of 2022 star who already holds Division 1 college scholarship offers. The 5-foot-10 forward averaged 17.2 points and pulled down 8.7 rebounds a game as a sophomore last season.
She dropped 19 points to help Pontotoc beat Choctaw Central and advance to the 4A Semifinals, where the Warriors lost to Moss Point.
Jackson State, Alcorn State, East Tennessee, UL-Monroe, Mississippi Valley State and UNO have already offered Brooks a scholarship.
Amaya Ford – Senior Guard – Starkville
Starkville’s 5-foot-10 combo guard makes our list after averaging 20 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game and landing a spot on the Mississippi Association of Coaches All-Star team as a junior.
Ford, who committed to UL-Monroe in April and signed her letter of intent on Nov. 12, was picked by the Starkville Daily News as the Player of the Year. The Yellow Jackets got a bye in the first round of the playoffs before getting upset in the second round by Horn Lake.
Jaleah Hickmon – Senior Forward – Newton
Newton’s 5-foot-11 wing Jaleah Hickmon is a player that has been somewhat overlooked because she plays at a smaller school, but she’s a baller.
Hickmon averaged 21 points a game as a junior, and was named Premier Prep’s Player of the Year after leading Newton to a 19-9 overall record and a perfect 9-0 mark in Region 6-2A.
Hickmon signed a letter of intent to play at Jackson State on Nov. 12.
Areyanna Hunter – Senior Guard – Louisville
Hunter is another player who has already signed with a Division 1 program. Louisville’s 5-foot-6 senior guard earned her way onto our list by averaging 19 points, seven assists and three steals per game as a junior.
She has twice been named to the Clarion Ledger’s Dandy Dozen list and was selected to play in the North-South All-Star game last season. Hunter signed her letter of intent to play for coach Tomekia Reed at Jackson State on Nov. 12.
Tariana Greenwood – Senior Guard – Sumrall
Sumrall’s senior guard Tariana Greenwood was one of the most prolific scorers in the state at the 4A level last season. She averaged 20 points and 9.6 rebounds per game as a junior and helped the Bobcats reach the second round of the 4A playoffs.
Greenwood was named region 7-4A offensive player of the year and made the Pine Belt News’ first-team all-area team for her efforts.
Christina James – Senior Forward – Jeff Davis County
Sustaining an average of 20 points and 10 rebounds a game through a whole season is more than impressive, and that’s exactly what Jeff Davis County’s Christina James did last season as a junior.
James actually averaged 22 points and 11 rebounds for the Jaguars, who advanced to the 3A quarterfinals and finished the season with a 24-7 record. James was selected to play in a Mississippi North-South All-Star Game.
Arianna Patton – Senior Guard – Meridian
The first of two Meridian players to make the SBLive Top 15 list is 5-foot-2 guard Arianna Patton. Patton is often overlooked because of her size, but her production is undeniable — she averaged 14.2 points, 3.8 steals, 3.7 assists as a junior and helped Meridian to a 29-2 overall record.
Patton had offers from a slew of junior colleges, and drew some interest from mid-major Division 1 programs, but ultimately signed a letter of intent in early November to play her next two years at Jones County Junior College for coach Missy Bilderback.
Debreasha Powe – Junior Forward – Meridian
Meridian’s 6-foot-1 Debreasha Powe helped win a championship at Lamar School as a freshman before transferring to Meridian for her sophomore year. She made an immediate positive impact for the Wildcats last season, averaging 17 points and 12 rebounds per game.
Powe is known just as much for her defense as her scoring, as she averaged seven steals a game as a sophomore. Powe helped the Wildcats to a 29-2 overall record and a berth in the 6A semifinals. She holds scholarship offers from Ole Miss, Alabama, Vanderbilt and Southern Miss, among others.
Kennedy Ransom – Senior Forward – Madison Central
Madison Central’s 6-foot-1 senior Kennedy Ransom is as consistent a player as we’ve had in Mississippi in years. The two-time Clarion Ledger Dandy Dozen selection averaged 18 points and 13 rebounds a game over her sophomore and junior seasons.
Ransom has led a renaissance of sorts at Madison Central, which improved from 14 wins in her sophomore year to 20 wins last season. She dropped 22 points and hauled down 16 rebounds in a 45-36 win over Oxford to send the Jags to the second round of the playoffs for the first time in over a decade.
Ransom signed with Jackson State on Nov. 12.
Alexis Roberts – Senior Forward – Miss. School for the Deaf
It turned a lot of heads when Jackson State signed 6-foot-2 post player Alexis Roberts from the Mississippi School for the Deaf. But when you look at her production, it makes total sense.
Roberts averaged 17.1 points and 9.1 rebounds a game for the Bulldogs as a junior last season, and was named National Deaf Interscholastic Athletic Association Division II Girls Basketball Player of the Year.
Roberts had other offers, but committed to Jackson State, where coach Tomekia Reed said she’ll have a full-time interpreter until the rest of the team learns to use sign language. The Clarion Ledger reported last week that Roberts is the first deaf player in Mississippi to earn a Division 1 scholarship.
Meloney Thames – Senior Guard – Choctaw Central
While we’re listing Jackson State signees, you can’t forget Choctaw Central’s 5-foot-8 senior guard Meloney Thames. Thames averaged 15.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 3.3 assists as a junior, but she meant so much more to her team than the stats indicate.
Thames was at her best last season when her team needed it the most — she dropped 32 points in the Region 4-4A Tournament finale against Northeast Lauderdale.
Thames played in the Mississippi North-South All-Star Game and signed with Jackson State on Nov. 12.
Macie Walker – Senior G – Belmont
It’s hard to explain how much 5-foot-9 guard Macie Walker meant to Belmont last season. She averaged 20.1 points and 5.4 rebounds to lead the Cardinals to a 28-5 record and a berth in the 3A quarterfinals.
Walker, who earned MVP honors in the Mississippi Association of Coaches’ All-Star game, was a long-time University of North Alabama commit who signed her letter of intent to play college ball there in early November.
Taylor Woodhouse – Senior G – Southaven
Southaven’s 5-foot-6 guard Taylor Woodhouse is the only player on our SBLive Top 15 list who didn’t play in Mississippi last season. Woodhouse, who started her varsity career at Olive Branch, averaged 20 points and eight assists her junior year at Bartlett High in Memphis and earned a spot on the 2020 Commercial Appeal All-Metro team.
Woodhouse was deemed ineligible after playing eight games as an eighth grader at Olive Branch, forcing the Conquistadors to vacate the 2017-2018 state championship. She subsequently transferred to Southaven for her freshman and sophomore seasons before landing at Bartlett for her junior season.
Despite the off-court drama, Woodhouse’s talent was never in question. She is listed as a three-star recruit by ESPN.com and signed with Missouri State on Nov. 11.