This past week saw me back out and about on the New Jersey high school girls’ basketball circuit. And things are really starting to kick into a higher gear as the end of the regular season draws near, with county tournaments mixed in, while players make their case for who deserves to get more hardwood shine.
Here are five New Jersey high school basketball players that are kicking up their claim for more basketball love.
Daniella Jambrina, Guard, Villa Walsh
Jambrina is one of the reasons why Villa Walsh Academy is enjoying a terrific season at 14-4.
She has 10 double-digit scoring outputs in 18 games and scored a team-high 20 points in a 52-40 loss against Morris Catholic last week.
Jambrina is long and strong, with the ability to knock down shots from three-point land.
The senior guard does a lot of little things well: plays solid defense, fights for the rock, and is a good team player.
Tess Ford, Guard, Chatham
Ford is one of those players that stats don’t always tell the true story of just how good of a player she is; the junior possesses a lot of intangibles that have helped the Lady Cougars to a 14-4 mark.
But the 5’, 6” guard can ball; she can score, pass, and always has her motor running, fighting for the ball at every turn. She’s also a good three-point shooter and is a smart player.
Kylee Watson, Forward, Mainland
When it comes to great New Jersey female basketball players, Watson comes to the minds of several people in the high school basketball know all over the country.
The six-foot-three senior is a McDonald All-American and ranks among the top players in the nation.
The muscular forward, who’s committed to Oregon, guided the Mustangs to their first-ever Group 3 championship last season, averaging 18.1 points, 11 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game.
Additionally, Watson is one of Mainland’s most decorated hoopsters, boys or girls, to ever step foot on the hardwood. She owns the school’s career mark for points in both categories.
It’s no wonder that Watson’s such a gifted athlete, though. Her father, Tim, played in the NFL, and the Seattle Seahawks selected him in the sixth round — the 185th overall choice, 14 spots ahead of Tom Brady — in the 2000 NFL Draft.
He’s currently the head football coach at Cedar Creek in Egg Harbor City.
Brielle Junda, Guard, Hanover Park
Junda is one of those hoopsters that can easily get overlooked due to her diminutive stature.
But she can play. Cunning and quick, Junda slices and dices through opposing defense to either launch a successful shot from behind the arc or drive to the hoop for the two points.
Addisyn Ibrahim, Forward, Morristown-Beard
Ibrahim is one of the most complete players in Morris County, if not all of the Garden State. The senior forward can score, rebound, pass the ball and block shots.
Ibrahim, who is tall with long arms, has posted a team-leading 267 points, 114 boards (2nd), 29 assists (3rd) and 22 blocks (2nd) in 19 tilts this year.
She can also play some solid defense, with 31 steals thus far.
— Jerry Del Priore