Recently, I’ve been out and about in the glorious Garden State covering high school girls basketball. During that time, I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing some of the better female players in New Jersey, some of whom have been garnering a lot of attention while others haven’t as much.
But whether they’re scoring points in a bunch, playing tenacious defense, or just helping the players around them get better every game, they deserve the same praise regardless.
Maddie Hartnett, Guard, Chatham
When Hartnett is at the top of her game, there’s no stopping the Chatham Cougars (13-2).
She can score, especially via the three-pointer, play defense, and is a vocal leader, on and off the hardwood. Additionally, the D-III University of Scranton-commit is coachable and a fine young lady.
Hartnett, a clutch player, drained a career-high 24 points in a 54-44 win over Manasquan on Saturday and dropped a buzzer-beater in a 46-45 overtime victory against Morris Catholic on Thursday.
Erin Martin, Guard, Morristown Beard
The 6’2” junior guard is very athletic, possesses good shooting range, and is a solid post player, with good decision-making skills to boot.
Plus, she is young and improving all the time. Martin’s long arms make her a formidable rebounder and a fierce shot blocker, with a team-best 160 boards and 54 blocks. She also leads the Crimson (10-5) with 69 assists through 15 contests.
Shannon Donohoe, Forward, Chatham
The 6’1” Donohoe is an excellent athlete, playing three sports at one time. But when she’s on the court, make no mistake about it, she can change the course of a game.
On defense, Donohoe often forces opponents to alter their shots, much to their demise.
The senior’s long arms and relentless, intense effort help her snatch rebounds and cause turnovers. Donohoe leads the Cougars with six blocks across14 tilts.
Karin Brett, Guard, Villa Walsh
Brett is a good shooter, with the ability to knock down the three-pointer. The senior guard is second on Villa Walsh in scoring with 150 points through 14 games.
But the 5’7” senior is known for her defense, evident by her remarkable team-leading 76 steals. Brett can also rebound, with 80 boards (second on her team), and is a good decision-maker, with a squad-best 53 helpers.
Additionally, she’s coachable and a total team player, with a fiery attitude.
Makoye Diawara, Bayonne, Forward
Diawara is a dominant, beast of an offensive player, scoring a team-leading 341 points for the Bees through Sunday. The senior also paces Bayonne with 250 rebounds.
Those excellent numbers have Diawara regarded as one of the best players in the state of New Jersey by several high school girl hoops insiders. The 5’11” forward, who’s Norfolk State University-bound, has helped the Bees to a 16-2 mark and has the team realistically thinking of a state title this season.