The 2020-21 high school basketball season in Washington is scheduled to start on February 1.
Though doubt surrounds when the season will start in its already-delayed form due to to state-issued COVID-19 guidelines, players around the state have worked hard to prepare for the possibility.
We thought we’d do the same.
In the lead-up to the season, SBLive Washington is identifying and assessing state player of the year candidates at every classification based on impact on the high school stage last season and projected impact this upcoming season.
Here are the 2020-21 girls basketball player of the year candidates for Class 4A, listed in alphabetical order:
4A PLAYER OF THE YEAR CANDIDATES
Faith Bergstrom, Camas, 6-3, C, sr.
It’s been a while since this state has seen a back-to-the-basket, either-hand playmaker with Bergstrom’s level of skill. And the Cal Poly commit (14.1 ppg, 8.1 rpg) is ready to lead this group to a 4A GSHL title – and beyond.
MJ Bruno, Central Valley, 5-10, F, sr.
Whatever she is doing – she is constantly in motion. That is what makes Bruno (12.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 2.8 apg, 3.2 steals in 2019-20) so difficult to track. Edgy enforcer and University of Portland commit is Spokane’s best returner.
Aaliyah Collins, Glacier Peak, 5-7, PG, sr.
Glacier Peak applies constant pressure – and this fast-hands 4A Wesco first teamer (12.0 ppg, 5.0 apg, 4.0 rpg, 4.0 steals) plays on-ball defense like no other point guard in Washington.
Mia Hughes, Woodinville, 5-11, PF, sr.
With one goal squared away (signed with Montana State), all that is left for the reigning 4A state player of the year (22.2 ppg, 8.4 rpg) is to lead her team to the promised land of championships – wherever that may be.
Esmeralda Morales, Bethel, 5-5, PG, sr.
With Tiarra Brown graduated, this is Morales’ team moving up to 4A. The 3A PCL offensive player of the year (22.1 ppg, 3.0 apg, 2.3 steals) zig-zags through any defense to make plays. Morales has signed with Portland State.
Veronica Sheffey, Woodinville, 5-10, PG, jr.
Last season’s sophomore-year jump (13.0 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 5.2 apg, 2.8 steals) was remarkable as she emerged as one of the state’s best (and craftiest) point guards. If she takes another big step, watch out.
Talia Von Oelhoffen, Chiawana, 5-11, PG, sr.
If there’s an odds-on favorite for the 4A player of the year honor in 2021 – it would be this Oregon State signee (27.2 ppg, 9.3 rpg), whose all-around scoring prowess is unmatched in the state. She’s a consensus top-10 recruit nationally.