NEPA Sports Nation

Girls Basketball Players To Watch

GLORIA ADJAYI, Wilkes-Barre Area

Adjayi is a physical presence as a power forward who can block shots, control the boards and demand plenty of attention from opposing defenses on the inside. She can ignite and keep pace with the running game that helped the Wolfpack win the District 2 Class 6A championship. As a freshman at GAR, she was a second-team division all-star. Since the creation of the Wolfpack, she earned second-team recognition in Wyoming Valley Conference Division 1 as a sophomore, then became the team’s main weapon and a first-teamer last season as a junior.

MARIA BELARDI, Scranton Prep

Belardi combines being a dangerous 3-point shooter with the athleticism to operate closer to the basket, particularly in transition. An outstanding shot blocker for her size (5-foot-9), Belardi was a second-team Lackawanna League Division 1 all-star choice by last season while helping the Classics go unbeaten within District 2.


Dougherty was the WVC Division 2 Player of the Year last season when the Lady Knights won the division title. The 6-1 forward/center has shooting range to go with a strong post game that also made her a second-team, all-District 2 selection. Dougherty is committed to a scholarship to play at Holy Family University, a National Collegiate Athletic Association school.

TRINITY JOHNSON, Wyoming Valley West

Aside from three games missed for an injury last season, Johnson has started every game in the post for Wyoming Valley West for three seasons and is the biggest reason the Lady Spartans are considered a top contender for the WVC Division 1 title this season. Johnson was a first-team division all-star last season after being a second-teamer each of her first two seasons. She is committed to play NCAA Division III basketball at the University of Rochester.


Kranson earned first-team, all-state in Class 2A after leading Holy Cross to the District 2 title and a Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association quarterfinal battle that went down to the final second with eventual state champion Mount Carmel. Kranson rebounds, distributes and is strong and versatile enough to score in many different ways.


Lavelle was an early commit and has now signed her NCAA Division I Letter of Intent to play on a scholarship at Drexel University. The two-time, all-stater is another returning first-teamer, in Class 3A, where she led the Lady Vikes to the District 2 title. Lavelle not only can, but does play every position on the floor, offensively and defensively. Frequently a point guard, she can also dominate inside either after rebounds or in the post. She was named Lackawanna League Division 3 Player of the Year last season, then set a Mohegan Sun Arena District 2 championship game scoring record with 30 points.


Murray is within range of a rare achievement, first-team, all-state in all four high school seasons. She has the first three in hand, twice in Class 3A, then last year in Class 4A. Another Drexel scholarship commit, “range” is used to describe her in a different way. An accurate 3-point shooter with incredible range, she showed throughout the summer with the NEPA Elite Clark 17U AAU team how much of a playmaker she can be, if required. Murray’s state-wide reputation was built, in part, by producing her best games in the biggest of settings against the most-feared opponents.


Neville first established her place on championship teams at Scranton Prep with her hard-nosed defensive approach. Even on a team with two future NCAA Division I teammates, since graduated Rachael Rose and Cecelia Collins, Neville became more of a force offensively last season and earned Lackawanna Division 1 first-team, all-star recognition. She is committed to play NCAA Division III basketball at Franklin & Marshall.

CHASE PURDY, Lake-Lehman

Purdy combines the height to help Dougherty and others form an imposing frontline for Lake-Lehman with the speed and energy that is tough to handle in the open floor. She is a returning WVC Division 2 all-star after finishing second on the team in scoring for the District 2 Class 4A finalists.


Smith was named Lackawanna Division 4 Player of the Year after helping the Lady Meteors carry an unbeaten overall record into the postseason. A scorer and playmaker on the other end, she also leads the intense, defensive pressure that is the team’s trademark. Smith’s speed is confirmed with her status as a state medalist in track and field.


Romanowski was named Lackawanna Division 2 Player of the Year for the second straight time when she led the Lady Wildcats to the division title last season. While running the team’s offense as point guard, she is also a 1,000-point career scorer. Another speedster, she uses that asset to spearhead the defense for last season’s District 2 Class 3A finalists, creating turnovers and easy baskets. Romanowski was a second-team, all-District 2 choice.


One of the nation’s most sought-after high school players among the current junior class, Toomey is a two-time, all-state player, who made the first team in Class 4A last season. Toomey is a nightmare matchup at 6-foot-3 with an accurate shooting touch around the basket, at the 3-point arc and just about anywhere in between. She also uses the height well as a premier shot blocker and improving rebounder. When teams overcompensate to try to stop Toomey, she has the court sense and the approach to effectively set up the many shooters that surround her on the defending Lackawanna Division 3 champ Lady Bucks.

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