Girls basketball must-see players this Arizona high school season

The eight nominees for Arizona High School Girls Basketball

The number of talented girls basketball players in Arizona gets greater every year. This could be one of the best in high school history.

As official practices began this week, with input from high school coaches, let’s look at the must-see players (in no particular order) for the 2018-19 season:

Haley Cavinder, Gilbert, 5-6, PG, Sr.

She is coming off an incredible season in which she averaged 23 points, nine rebounds, six assists and four steals. A Fresno State commit.

Hanna Cavinder, Gilbert, 5-6, PG, Sr.

She is Haley’s twin sister. She also joins her sister in the school’s 1,000-point club. She averaged 21 points, six rebounds, six assists and three sisters. She also committed to Fresno State.

Brynn Wade, Gilbert, 6-1, F/C, Sr.

Had more than 100 blocks last season also averaging 8 points and 12 rebounds. Delaware commit.

Kylie Hearn, Scottsdale Christian, 5-6, PG, Sr.

Three-time all-state performer who has surpassed 1,000 career points. Has committed to Point Loma University. Averaged 16 points, 8 assists and 5 steals last season.

Leilani McIntosh, Phoenix Xavier Prep, 5-6, G, Sr.

She averaged 12 points, five assists and five steals on a 27-win 6A team.

Addy Putnam, Xavier, 5-10, F, Sr.

Averaged 9 points last season and scored 15 points against both Hamilton and Perry, both quality teams.

Amiya Josey, Chandler Basha, 5-11, F, Jr.

Averaged 17 points and nine rebounds on a five-win team, but should help the team improve markedly with her inside presence.

Anna Ostlie, Scottsdale Chaparral, G, Jr.

Leading returning scorer from 5A championship team, she averaged 16.9 points and 3 rebounds last season.

Jess Finney, Chaparral, G, So.

Started as a freshman and showed great ability to knock down 3s. She averaged 11.7 points and 4.1 rebounds.

Kiya Dorroh, Tucson Sabino, 6-0, G/F, So.

One of the state’s top recruits, she transferred from Tucson Tanque Verde, where she averaged 15.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 3.8 steals as a freshman. Has 13 D.I offers.

Kamryn Doty, Sabino, 5-6, G, So.

Led Sabino to 20 wins and quarterfinal finish last season, averaging 18 points, four steals and three assists. Has two Division I offers.

Kam’Ren Rhodes, Sabino, 5-6, PG, Fr.

She already has three Division I college offers, including Kentucky, before playing her first high school game.

Marissa Davis, Surprise Valley Vista, 6-0, F, So.

She was the Newcomer of the Year in 6A last year, featuring a tremendous state championship game against Xavier Prep with 14 points and 16 rebounds. Long, athletic and quick, runs the floor very well. Developed a mid-range shot over the summer.

Alanis Delgado, Valley Vista, 5-5, PG, So.

Logged heavy minutes as a freshman on 6A championship team. Quick, athletic and hands the ball very well, can shoot the 3.

Maggie Herberger, Gilbert Mesquite, 5-9, PG, Sr.

Big shoes to fill with the graduation of three-time All-Arizona player Shaylee Gonzales, but she is strong and can get to the basket and shoot from outside.

Zyan Smith, Mesquite, 5-8, SF, Sr.

Will play inside and out and has improved her shooting range since last year.

Olivia Champion, Mesquite, 5-10, F/C, Sr.

She can play with her back to the basket and hit the 3-point shot. If defenders come out to guard her, she has a terrific spin move with the ability to knock down short jumpers.

Alaya Fitzgerald, Mesquite, 5-8, G, So.

Her confidence on both ends of the court took off in the summer. A leader, she can score.

Madison Magee, Avondale Westview, 6-2, G/F, So.

This versatile athlete can score inside and outside and has a basketball IQ that is off the charts. Not only a great player but an amazing student.

Victoria Davis, Chandler Hamilton, 5-5, PG, Jr.

She was the Chandler Unified School District Player of the Year last season when she averaged 11.6 points.

Zakiirah King, Hamilton, 6-1, C, Jr.

Had a big summer getting Division I college looks.

Raelin Denning, Hamilton, 5-7, G, Sr.

This will be her fourth year on varsity, made first-team all-region last season.

Jennah Isai, Valley Vista, 5-11 G/F, Fr.

She will make an immediate splash. She made first cuts last summer as a 14-year-old at the 17U USA Olympic trials. She recently played on the Nike EYBL 17U circuit on the East Coast. She already has close to 10 Division I offers.

Alexandra Zelaya, Goodyear Millennium, 6-4, F, Jr.

Great defender and shot blocker. Versatile on the offensive end. She can score from inside and out, great passer, high IQ. Has offers from University of Arizona, Michigan, Colorado, UNLV, among others.

Dominique Phillips, Millennium, 5-11, G, Sr.

A fourth-year varsity starter she is second in school history for all-time scoring. Great rebounding guard.  She has committed to Nevada on a full basketball scholarship.

Alaina Diggs, Millennium, 6-1, C, Sr.

Strong inside presence, she should average close to a double-double. Great footwoork and athleticism for a big. Can guard the 1 and the 5. Has an offer from Grand Canyon for basketball and track. Was state champ in the shot put during track and field season.

Alexyss Nance-Newman, Millennium, 6-1, F, Sr

Long, athletic frame, she can defend any position and she can score from a variety of ways. She moved back to Arizona this past year from Washington. Has committed to Eastern Washington.

Jasmine Singleton, Millennium, 5-6, PG, Jr.

One of the best, if not the best, on-ball defenders in the state.  Does a great job creating for her teammates. Very selfless and is willing to do whatever it takes to win. Holds offers from UNLV and GCU.

Trayanna Crisp, Millennium, 6-5, PG, Fr.

One of the best incoming freshmen in the state. Strong defender, great ball-handler and will contribute offensively with her natural scoring and creating ability.

Shane Jordan, Phoenix Shadow Mountain, 5-10, F/C, So.

A transfer who will become eligible at the season’s midway point in late December. She can score, defend, rebound, slash and post up.

Heavenly Greer, Shadow Mountain, 6-3, F/C, Jr.

One of the state’s more athletic players, a transfer from Horizon, she will be eligible at midseason and will give the Matadors a big boost with a renewed emphasis of taking the basketball to the rim. Being heavily recruited by Division I colleges.

Senya Rabouin, Shadow Mountain, 5-3, PG, Jr.

Prolific scorer, she is being recruited by Northern Arizona. High IQ for the game and is very competitive.

Dyamond Butler-Worley, Shadow Mountain, 6-0, F/C, Jr.

A post with great vision who can also handle the ball. She was leading rebounder last year.

Sissy Paloma, Shadow Mountain, 5-5, F, Jr.

Does all the little things that make a talented team click.

Leeaira Willis, Chandler Seton Catholic, 5-3, PG, Fr.

Known as “Lee Lee,” she is a great athlete and a difference maker on the floor. She is strong at the glass and go outside and hit the 3. Tenacious on defense, she will disrupt people on offense. 

Amanda Barcello, Seton, 5-11, G, So.

A big combo guard who is mobile and versatile. She can score in a variety of ways and her length makes her a valuable defender.

Bella DiGiovanni, Seton, 6-0, F/C, So.

Has length and leaping ability. She will bring bigger posts outside as she plays more like a guard.

Loraya Rocha, Tucson Rincon University, 5-8, G/F, Jr.

She has scored 772 points in her first two years on varsity. Will run through a wall, goes 100 percent at all times.

Karina Montano, Goodyear Desert Edge, 5-10, F, Sr.

Has improved after helping team to 21 wins. Could average a double-double, she has strong work ethic and good footwork. She plays as an undersized post but has worked hard to improve her game facing the basket. 

Haley Montano, Desert Edge, 5-8, G, So.

After averaging 8.1 points and 5.8 rebounds as a freshman, she has improved her court vision and outside shooting.

Heidi Poole, Phoenix Thunderbird, 5-11, G/F, Sr.

Versatile, strong athlete, she can run the point and post inside for baskets. Should be team’s top rebounder and shot blocker. She made first-team all-region last year.

Alyssa Alvarez, Scottsdale Horizon, 5-10, G, Sr.

Great ballhandler who sees the court well and utilizes her size to make sharp passes.   She can shoot from the perimeter and finish at the hoop. High basketball IQ.

Deion Abalos, Safford, G, Sr.

A fourth-year starter in the program, she has been all-region her first three years. Can do it all.

Pilar Rivera, Phoenix Horizon Honors, 5-4, PG, Sr.

In reach of her 1,000th career varsity point. One the of best passers and shooters in 3A.

Alyssa Brown, Tucson Sahuaro, 6-1, G/F, So.

She has added an outside shot to her inside presence. Unselfish leader.  She was region Player of the Year as a freshman when she had 460 points and 231 rebounds.

Alyssa “Lucky” Franke, Sahuaro, 5-5, G, So.

Averaged 8 points and shot 40 percent from the arc her freshman season.

Lourdes Heslep, Sahuaro, 5-9, G, Sr.

Could double her points output after averaging 7 points.

Alex Brown, Florence, PG, Jr.

Good ballhandler and shooter.

Aliya Brown, Florence, PG, Jr.

Floor general.

Sielle Neal, Florence, G/F, Jr.

Fast and quick, she led team in scoring last year.

Sierra Martin, Mesa Skyline, G, 5-6, Sr.

She was the East Valley Region Offensive Player of the Year last season when she averaged 15.1 points and led the region in 3-pointers and was second in assists.

Shaila Mays, Phoenix Pinnacle, 5-9, F, Sr.

A fourth-year starter who has committed to San Jose State. She can do it all, defend girls much taller than her because of her athletic ability, and score from everywhere on the court.

Ally Stedman, Pinnacle, 5-9, PG, So.

She led team in scoring as a freshman. Offered by the University of Denver, she is on the radar at Oregon State, UCLA, and San Diego State.

Kennedy Basham, Pinnacle, 6-6, C, Fr.

Already has received an offer from Arizona, and has incredible upside.

Mina Rodriguez, Rio Rico, 5-6, PG, Sr.

Has a powerful left hand and is a tremendous ballhandler.

Haylin Mendoza, Rio Rico, 5-8, G, Sr.

Great passer and defender.

Luisa Chavez, Rio Rico, 5-7, PG, Jr.

Fundamentally sound, she is a tremendous passer and leader.

April Martinez, Rio Rico, 5-2, PG, So.

Great 3-point shooter, she has all the skills that makes the game come easy.

Faith Diggs, Phoenix Mountain Pointe, So.

Should help the Pride reload after graduating so many experienced players.

Madison Chappell, Holbrook, G/F/C, Jr.

A two-time 3A East Region POY, she can play all five positions. Led team in scoring, rebounding and steals both her freshman and sophomore seasons.

Justine Butterfield, Winslow, C

Might be the best pure post player in the strong 3A East.

Tianna Carter, Oro Valley Canyon del Oro, 6-1, F, Sr.

Dominating player in the paint, she was among the state’s best last year for rebounds, blocks and points. She  had 20 double-doubles, and was the Kino Region POY. Committed to UNLV.

Myka Taliman, Page,5-10, PG, Sr.

Maybe the best point guard in the tough 3A North that is loaded with talented point guards.

Madison Conner, Gilbert Perry, 5-11, G, So.

Long, athletic, great scorer, great shooting range. Was voted the 6A Premier Region Offensive Player of the Year as a freshman.

Tatyanna Clayburne, Perry, 5-9, G, So.

High basketball IQ, one of the best on-ball defenders in the state. Can take over a game on both ends of the court at anytime.

Shayla O’Neil, Perry, 5-11, G, So.

Can play any position on the floor and defend any position. Can hurt opponents in the post and outside.

Grace Oken, Perry, 5-7, PG, So.

A true point guard, she is one of the best at knocking down clutch 3-pointers.

Mariah Clark, Tucson Pueblo, 5-5, G/F, Jr.

Graduation and transfers took a heavy toll on team, but she will be ready to lead what is still a talented team.

Summer Fox, Pueblo, 5-5, G/F, Sr.

Relentless on defense and aggressive on offense, great all-around player who will be active on the boards.

Jakaree Harris, Glendale Apollo, 6-1, C, Sr.

Athletic, runs the floor well, should average a double-double for points and rebounds. She already has 24 college course credit hours.

Haylee Weathersby, Apollo, 6-1, C, So.

Started as a freshman, another potential double-double player.

Daija Sample, Gilbert Leading Edge, 5-8, G, Sr.

All-region player from state championship team. Long and athletic, an exceptional defender.

Mariah Estrada, Leading Edge, 5-5, G, Sr.

Another returning all-region player, she led the team in 3-pointers. Averaged 14 oints and five steals.

Carlee Smith, Leading Edge, 6-1, C, Jr.

Lefty post player is recovering from a torn ACL but is expected to return in time for the season and make a strong contribution.

Maya Rubio, Buckeye Verrado, 5-10, G/F, So.

Should take off from where she left last season when she made second-team all-region.

Alicía Marquez, Verrado, 5-7, G, Fr.

A strong guard who can go inside and plays both ends of the court well.

To suggest human-interest story ideas and other news, reach Obert at richard.obert@arizonarepublic.com or 602-316-8827. Follow him at twitter.com/azc_obert.

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