Stokes wins third straight WDN honor

Published 7:43 pm Monday, April 9, 2007

By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
PLYMOUTH — The third time is the charm. Then again, so were the first and second times.
For the third straight season, Plymouth High School star Whitney Stokes has been tabbed the Washington Daily News’ Girls Player of the Year. It’s believed that Stokes is the first three-time winner of the award.
Stokes, a 5-7 guard who averaged 27.9 points per game, was named to the Second Team on the 2006-07 Associated Press All-State prep basketball teams for North Carolina. The senior was also named to the Third Team on the 2006-07 NCPreps.Com All-State girls basketball team.
Stokes, the daughter of Wesley and Diane Stokes, was more than just a scoring machine for the Vikings. She also averaged 7.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 3.2 steals per game in helping lead her team to a sectional championship and a 19-3 overall record.
With Stokes leading the way, the Vikings won four straight regular-season conference championships and three consecutive conference tournament titles.
Stokes scored 20 points in her final game at Plymouth, coming in a 46-45 loss to Pender in the Class 1-A regionals. She scored 30-plus points multiple times throughout the season.
It wasn’t by accident. Stokes continually worked at her game, playing some 100 games of AAU ball in the summer.
Stokes also works hard in the classroom, where she carries a 3.6 GPA.
Stokes said she didn’t do it by herself.
In winning her first Player of the Year award, Stokes averaged 16.5 points as a sophomore. She duplicated the feat in her junior season, when she averaged over 20 points per game and led the area in scoring and rebounding.
She’ll take her game to the next level in the fall. Stokes is hoping it doesn’t stop there.
After being a star at Plymouth for the last few years, Stokes is ready to show her game to the college world.
The future certainly looks bright for the Plymouth star.
WDN All-Area Girls Team
By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
Like a Whitney Stokes crossover, another prep basketball season has flown by with immense quickness and left area fans wishing they could see it again just one more time. While the Washington Daily News can’t bring back the exciting 2006-07 season, it can honor the athletes that made it possible with its All Area team.
Katie Paschal, PG, Williamston
In any other season Katie Paschal would have been the player of the year. Unfortunately, for Paschal, this season she was princess to Stokes’ queen of the court. Stokes was a scoring machine, tallying nearly 30 points per game, while leading Plymouth to an appearance in the NCHSAA 1-A East Regional playoffs.
However, the senior Stokes is graduating this year leaving, the crown up for grabs. Right about now, Paschal should be getting her head measured.
The freshmen phenom took the Atlantic Conference by storm this season with her 26.6 points per game average, along with 119 assists and 108 steals on the season.
Paschal, named to the NCPreps.Com All-State Third Team, is deft at dribbling with both hands. She shot a sensational 48 percent from the floor despite seeing numerous box-and-one's and triangle-and-two’s throughout the season.
Though coaches threw all kinds of gimmick defenses at her, often they were not effective as the cerebral Paschal used picks properly or relied on her superior court vision to find the open teammate.
A student of the sport, Paschal incorporates many skills of the all-time greats into her game. As far as comparisons, her ability to play as a scoring point guard most resembles that of a female Isaiah Thomas.
Jordan Cantrell, PG, Terra Ceia
In the 2005-06 season Jordan Cantrell displayed flashes of greatness throughout her freshman campaign, but this year the sophomore point guard blossomed into one the best backcourt players in the area.
Like Paschal, Cantrell has a good mind for the game along with the ability to beat defenders off the dribble with either hand.
The Tarheel Independent Conference Player of the Year and NCISAA All-State honoree, Cantrell averaged 17 points, four assists and five rebounds a game to lead the Knights to a 23-6 overall record and a perfect 12-0 conference record.
Cantrell’s 17 points per game become even more impressive when considering that Terra Ceia lacked a true number two scorer throughout the season.
The super sophomore showed tremendous progression from last year to this year as she added more consistency to her outside jumper and limited her turnovers. It will be exciting to see what she can do in her junior year.
Sakina Brown, PG, Plymouth
The best defender in the area, Sakina Brown spearheaded a devastating Vikings’ press that smothered opposing offenses and created several scoring opportunities for her and her teammates.
The pesky point guard wasn’t all defense though, as the junior put up 15 points per game on the strength of a quick dribble and smooth jumper.
Her offensive contributions were a vital key to the Vikings’ success, as Brown often made teams pay for paying too much attention to Stokes.
Statistics aside, Brown was a warrior on the court and flexes one of the biggest hearts in boys’ or girls’ prep ball. Brown hit big shot after big shot all throughout Plymouth’s postseason run, and did so on a bad ankle.
Quiesha Miller, F/C, Southside
Perhaps the most underrated player in the area, Southside’s Quiesha Miller steadily had an outstanding year for the Seahawks. Buried beneath the hype of Stokes and Paschal, Miller averaged a double-double for the season with her 15.6 points and 13 rebounds a game.
An extremely versatile player, Miller was capable of playing all five positions on the court. Many times throughout the course of the game Miller could be seen bringing up the ball one play, and banging in the paint on the next. Miller finished the season handing out four assists a night.
While Miller was a monster in the post, she was deceivingly quick on the wing and had a great first step.
The Southside forward was asked to fill many roles this season, and excelled at each task.
Andrea Moore, G/f, Roanoke
It may be a surprise selection to some considering that Andrea Moore was Roanoke’s third leading scorer, playing third fiddle on offense to Shale Dolberry and Redskins’ rising star Emoni Jones. However, stats aren’t everything.
Roanoke coach Greg Exum praised the four-year starter, citing her as the team’s most valuable player because of her leadership and defense.
On plenty of occasions, Moore sacrificed and created shots for Dolberry, Jones and the rest of the Redskins.
The senior has excellent basketball skills, and played every position for Roanoke throughout the season. Exum called her, “The most versatile girl I have ever coached and a true team leader.”
Moore averaged six points per game, while pulling down six boards a night and led the Redskins during their exciting run in the Atlantic Conference tournament.
Emoni Jones, G, Roanoke
Stephanie Holton, G, Columbia
Samantha Smith, F/C, Washington
Rakim Jordan, F/C. Northside
Khadija Young, F/C, Plymouth
Bear Grass
Kelly Wynne
Kenda Spencer
Elizabeth Ange
Suzanne Lee
Lauren Rodriguez
Raquel Wilson
Ashley Dance
Shale Dolberry
Mary Baker
Resla Penn
Haley Stowe
Presley Roberson
Michelle Bracey
Monee Jones