Rising to the hoop...

PikeView’s Laken McKinney goes up for a layup on a fastbreak against James Monroe February 4 at PikeView High School as teammate Shiloh Bailey looks on. McKinney was named to the WVSWA Class AA all-state first team with Bailey being an honorable mention with the Lady Panthers making their first state tournament appearance since 2013.

FAIRMONT — In a 2019-20 season surrounded by uncertainty and unprecedented circumstances, it was a pair of unstoppable individual stars and two impeccable all-around teams who brought a certain degree of night-to-night assuredness to the Class AA girls’ basketball hoops scene all year long. Whether it was making outstanding performances routine, or dominant victories the regular, the collective merits of both forces on each of the individual and team fronts headlined the Class AA all-state teams, as selected by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association.

While Nitro phenom Baylee Goins and Fairmont Senior sensation Marley Washenitz proved themselves to be two of the state’s most powerful singular talents in leading their respective squads to the Class AA state tournament, North Marion and Winfield coalesced its skill across their respective rosters into Class AA’s top two title contenders.

For their phenomenal seasons, Goins and Washenitz were both locks for the Class AA all-state first team, while the Huskies and Generals tied with a state-best three players receiving all-state honors, including senior standouts Taylor Buonamici and Z.Z. Russell, respectively, as first-team selections.

Goins earned the third Class AA first-team nod of her career, and this season, the junior star was also named first-team captain for the first time. For the season, Goins averaged 26 points, 7.4 rebounds, 7.6 assists and 3.5 steals a game as she led Nitro to its first state tournament berth since 2007.

Washenitz put up similarly gaudy numbers to get Fairmont Senior back to the state tournament as she averaged a double-double of 24 points and 10 rebounds, while also tallying six-plus assists and steals per game. Senior guards Buonamici and Russell, meanwhile, were the orchestrators of Class AA’s top two ranked teams. Buonamici, who now has all-state third team, second team and first team honors in her career, finished her senior season at North Marion with averages of 17.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 2.8 steals a game. Russell, who earned her second career all-state first team appearance, scored 18.9 points a game to lead Winfield this season, and she saved her marquee performance for the state tournament, where she poured in a record 41 points in the Generals’ quarterfinal win over Westside.

Also earning spots on the Class AA all-state first team were PikeView’s Laken McKinney, Lincoln’s Victoria Sturm, Wyoming East’s Skylar Davidson, and Herbert Hoover’s Allison Dunbar.

McKinney averaged a double-double of 17.2 points and 11.6 rebounds a game for the Panthers, including a 25-point, 18-rebound effort in the team’s state tournament quarterfinal win over Fairmont Senior. Davidson did it all as the floor general for Wyoming East as she dished 8.5 assists per game to go with 14.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 4.8 steals a game.

On the all-state second team, Braxton County senior forward Jocelyn Abraham was named captain after averaging a double-double of 22.4 points and 10.0 rebounds. Joining Abraham on the second team as fellow senior leaders are Frankfort’s Makenna Douthitt, Lincoln’s Allison Rockwell, Bluefield’s Jaisah Smith, Mingo Central’s Ziah Rhodes, and Winfield’s Lauren Hudson. North Marion junior Karlie Denham and Logan sophomore Peyton Idlerton rounded out the second team.

River View’s Kristen Calhoun was named to the third team with teammate Demi Lester and PikeView’s Shiloh Bailey being named honorable mentions. 

The Class AA Girls All-State Basketball Team as selected by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association

First Team

Baylee Goins, Nitro, Jr: (Captain)

Marley Washenitz, Fairmont Senior, Soph.

Taylor Buonamici, North Marion; Sr.

ZZ Russell, Winfield; Sr.

Laken McKinney, PikeView; Sr.

Victoria Sturm, Lincoln; Jr.

Skylar Davidson, Wyoming East; Jr.

Allison Dunbar, Herbert Hoover; Sr.

Second Team

Jocelyn Abraham, Braxton County; Sr. (Captain)

Allison Rockwell, Lincoln; Sr.

Makenna Douthitt, Frankfort; Sr.

Jaisah Smith, Bluefield; Sr.

Lauren Hudson, Winfield; Sr.

Peyton Ilderton, Logan; Soph.

Ziah Rhodes, Mingo Central; Sr.

Karlie Denham, North Marion; Jr.

Third Team

Rianna Kenneda, Westside; Sr. (Captain)

Paige Humble, Bridgeport; Jr.

Meredith Maier, Grafton; Soph.

Alanna Eves, Wayne; Jr.

Emily Hudson, Winfield; Sr.

Katlyn Carson, North Marion; Soph.

Kristen Calhoun, River View; Sr.

Gabby Reep, Bridgeport; Fr.

Honorable Mention

Shiloh Bailey, PikeView; Kierra Bartholow, East Fairmont; Hannah Blankenship, Wyoming East; Graci Brumfield, Chapmanville; Taylor Brown, Nicholas County; Averi Carpenter, Philip Barbour; Haley Carroll, Nitro; Emma Cayton, Lewis County; Avery Childers, Robert C. Byrd; Kaili Crowl, Keyser; Sydney Farmer, Sissonville; Alyssa Hill, Philip Barbour; Madison Holland, Elkins; Mackenzie Holley, Independence; Sara Hooks, Wayne; Bria Jacobs, Grafton; Rebekah Jenkins, Fairmont Senior; Marcayla King, Oak Hill; Olivia Krinov, Lewis County; Kayla Lantz, Petersburg; Demi Lester, River View; Madi Martin, Lincoln; Carly McComas, Lincoln County; Mara McGrew, Winfield; Sophia Mikula, Weir; Macie Miller, Frankfort; Makayla Morgan, Westside; Shea Miller, Scott; Devin Ord, Poca; Maria Perdew, Frankfort; Kacey Poe, Shady Spring; Taylor Ray, Herbert Hoover; Kierra Richmond, Shady Spring; Peyton Smith, Braxton County; Emily Starn, Fairmont Senior; Somer Stover, East Fairmont; Daisha Summers, Wyoming East; Mackenzie Tennant, East Fairmont; Scarlett Thomason, Mingo Central; Olivia Toland, North Marion; Hannah Toler, Westside; Jill Tothe, Logan; Brynne Williams, Lincoln; Ali Williamson, Chapmanville; Madie Wilson, Bridgeport 

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