KT’s look at the best of the best in high school girls basketball

Published 12:26 pm Thursday, July 24, 2008

By Staff
Commentary by KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
Since I’ve been covering sports for the Washington Daily News, several student-athletes have definitely left their marks.
Several of those athletes went on to play in college, while a couple are now playing professionally. I could easily make a “Dream Team” of the “best of the best.”
I know there were plenty of greats before my time as sports editor, and plenty of outstanding athletes who could make the team now. But this list is about those athletes I’ve covered who have already graduated.
Here is my “Dream Team” for girls basketball.
It starts with Deborah Cherry, probably the most complete basketball player I’ve covered in my 16 years in the business. Cherry was a phenomenal player for the Roanoke Redskins. She could score; she could dish; she could rebound; she could steal.
In fact, Cherry set all kinds of steal records while with the Redskins. She also helped Roanoke reach the state championship game.
Cherry went on to play college basketball at Charleston Southern.
Whitney Stokes also makes the team, easily. Stokes, who played at Plymouth High School, is a three-time WDN Female Basketball Player of the Year. Like Cherry, Stokes is superb is many facets of the game, though she is mostly known as a big-time scorer. Also a class-act off the court, Stokes is now playing with the Elizabeth City State University Lady Vikings.
One of the first athletes I got to know when I took the job in Washington was Bear Grass High School great, Mandy Coltrain, and she’ll always be one of my favorites. Coltrain, who recently became a new mom, was a terrific talent who had a sweet jumper, and a sweeter demeanor. She took her jump shot, and head band, to St. Andrews Presbyterian College.
Sharkeysha Midgette, a former standout at Southside High School, was one of the hardest working players I’ve covered. Midgette could score, but she was also relentless on the boards and fearless on defense. Midgette played college ball at UNC-Pembroke.
Hunter Johnson rounds out the “Dream Team” girls hoopsters. The former Pungo standout is now playing at Meredith College. Johnson is another scorer, who is also an outstanding rebounder and team player. Somebody who does plenty of missionary work and is always putting others first, Johnson would be a terrific role model for any team.
A list of highly capable bench players on the “Dream Team” are former Southside stars Diamond Campbell and Marquida Coward, Columbia’s Stephanie Holton, Raquel Phillips and Sakina Brown of Plymouth, and Washington’s Samantha Smith.
Dream Team starters
Deborah Cherry, Roanoke
Mandy Coltrain, Bear Grass
Whitney Stokes, Plymouth
Sharkeysha Midgette, Southside
Hunter Johnson, Pungo
Dream Team bench
Diamond Campbell, Southside
Stephanie Holton, Columbia
Marquida Coward, Southside
Raquel Phelps, Plymouth
Sakina Brown, Plymouth
Samantha Smith, Washington
Kevin Travis is the sports editor of the Washington Daily News. You may reach him at 940-4217, or by e-mail at Kevin@wdnweb.com.