HoopGurlz's McDonald's Picks

with Chris Hansen
Posted Feb 20, 2007

We don't (yet) have a vote, but if we did, these would be our choices for the West and East teams of the McDonald's All-American Game, to be played March 28 in Louisville.

We've seen all the players and continued to track them, as we must to make our Gatorade Player of the Year finalist selections. But, for now, all we have for the McDonald's All-American Game, are opinions.

That's because we don't have a vote.

We'd love to, of course, but we don't blame anyone that we don't. And we'll still cover the game because we believe it is the premier event in the sport.

PAmy Jaeschke6-5New TrierIL
PTa'Shia Phillips6-6Brebeuf JesuitIN
FVicki Baugh6-4SacramentoCA
FRachel Rentschler6-1Ft. Worth ChristianTX
WStefanie Gilbreath6-1Cinco RanchTX
WAlex Montgomery6-1LincolnWA
WKayla Pedersen6-4Red MountainAZ
GAngie Bjorklund6-0UniversityWA
GBrittany Johnson5-11East OlneyIL
GItalee Lucas5-8CentennialNV
GJeanette Pohlen5-11Brea-OlindaCA
GTyra White6-0Hickman MillsMO

At center, Jaeschke is closing in on 2,000 career points and Phillips has led Brebeuf to a sectional championship. At forward, Baugh is averaging 16.5 points and 11.7 rebounds and Rentschler recently scored 49 points in a Texas sub-district game. The wings may be the strength of this squad, especially if you included Baugh in the group. Gilbreath is averaging 15 points and will lead Cinco Ranch against Westside and Sydney Colson in a highly anticipated Texas Class 5A Region III quarterfinal matchup on Wednesday, Montgomery has vastly improved her ballhandling and perimeter shooting and Pedersen recently surpassed Nichole Powell's Arizona Class 5A career scoring record of 2,486 points. In the backcourt, Bjorklund broke a league record held by the NBA's Adam Morrison in Spokane, Wash.; Johnson has more than 4,000 points during her career and this year set the Illinois state record for points in a season (1,192 and counting); dazzling Lucas has the best dribble moves in the country; all-around performer Pohlen is averaging 22 points, 9.3 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 3.4 steals and 1.6 blocks, and White makes Hickman Mills a bonafide challenger to Lee's Summit for a Missouri state title.

PKelley Cain6-5St. PiusGA
PJantel Lavender6-4Central CatholicOH
FDrey Mingo6-2MaristGA
FKrystal Thomas6-4The First AcademyFLA
WIasia Hemingway5-11ShabazzNJ
WMaya Moore6-Collins HilGA
WMarah Strickland5-11Towson CatholicMD
GCetera DeGraffenreid5-5Smoky MountainNC
GLorin Dixon5-4Christ the KingNY
GJence Rhoads5-11Slippery RockPA
GKhadijah Rushdan5-10St. ElizabethDE
GJasmine Thomas5-9OaktonVA

The posts, Cain and Lavender, are undeniably the top two in the country at this position. Cain has St. Pius ranked No. 1 and on track to defend its Georgia AAAA title and Lavender is the most polished low-post player in the nation. At forward, Mingo has Marist poised for a run at a state championship in Georgia and Thomas has averaged nearly 19 points and 12 rebounds and has The First Academy in the Florida State 2A semifinals. Moore, the nation's top player and indomitable winner, leads the wings. Hemingway is averaging about 17 points and 12 rebounds and is the most powerful player at this position and we fudged on Strickland as a wing because she is one of the smoothest scoring guards in the country. In the backcourt, hyper-kenetic DeGraffenreid is averaging nearly 26 points and eight steals per game, Dixon has kept two-time defending national champion Christ the King in the national rankings, Rhoads became Slippery Rock's all-time leading scorer and is averaging more than 20 points this season, Rushdan has lifted St. Elizabeth's to a national ranking, and Thomas has led Oakton to a third straight district championship.

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Glenn Nelson is the publisher of HoopGurlz.com and the edito r-in-chief of Scout Media (www.Scout.com), an online sports network and magazine-publishing company and subsidiary of Fox Interactive Media. Glenn also founded and coached the Dragons and Northwest HoopGurlz select girl's basketball teams. He previously was a longtime, national-award-winning basketball columnist and writer for The Seattle Times. His work also has appeared in several national magazines and books. He is co-author of "Rising Stars: The Ten Best Players in the NBA" (Rosen Publishing, 2002). He can be reached at hoopgurlz@comcast.net.

Chris Hansen is the National Director of Scouting for Women's Basketball at HoopGurlz.com and Scout.com. He leads the panel that evaluates and ranks girl's basketball prospects nationally for HoopGurlz and Scout.com. Chris has been involved in the women’s basketball community since 1998 as a coach, trainer, evaluator and reporter. He can be reached at chansen@scout.com.

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