The spring sports season has yet to get underway in Nevada, which got us thinking. If we could start a high school basketball team with players from the state, who would we choose?
Think of it as the unofficial all-state team, from all four classifications. But no Findlay Prep on the boys side. The Pilots are too good anyway.
G - Bobby Hunter, Bishop Manogue (Reno): The senior was the top player in northern Nevada as he helped the Miners to their first appearance in the 4A state tournament. Hunter averaged 23 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 4.5 steals, but his dunk at the end of the first quarter of the Northern Region title game against McQueen (Reno) was his signature moment and will be talked about in the Reno area for years. The 5-foot-10 Hunter signed with NAIA Division II power Oregon Tech.
G - Johnathan Loyd, Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas): The 5-foot-9 senior was the sparkplug and leader for the Gaels (30-2), who captured their second straight 4A state championship and are No. 12 in the latest MaxPreps Xcellent 25 national rankings. Loyd averaged 14.1 points and 8.2 assists, and influenced games with his quickness on defense and in the open court. He currently has scholarship offers from Northwestern, Southern Methodist, Virginia, Texas Christian, Creighton and Oakland (Mich).
F - Moses Morgan, Palo Verde (Las Vegas): The DePaul signee averaged 20.8 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists while helping the Panthers to the Sunset Region title game for the second consecutive season. The 6-foot-6 Morgan was able to use his height to post up smaller defenders and showed off the shooting range that will make him a swingman for the Blue Demons.
G - Kevin Olekaibe, Cimarron-Memorial (Las Vegas): There's usually one player that blows up as a senior, and this season it was Olekaibe. The 6-foot-1 standout led the state in scoring at 34.3 points per game and also chipped in with 6.9 boards and 4.6 assists for the Spartans. His emergence has garnered recruiting attention from several mid-major schools.
G - Dantley Walker, Lincoln County (Panaca): The debate with Walker is always how he would do against 4A schools, but with the junior's shooting stroke and feel for the game, it wouldn't matter. Think Stephen Curry when he was at Davidson. Walker was recently named MVP of the 2A all-state team after averaging 32.5 points and 9.6 assists while leading the Lynx to the state final.
6th man - G/F Shabazz Muhammad, Bishop Gorman: One of the toughest things to do is live up to the preseason hype, but Muhammad did just that by averaging 19.5 points and 10 rebounds for one of the nation's top teams. If the 6-foot-5 sophomore continues to develop at his current rate, Muhammad will be the fourth McDonald's All-America from the state (not including Findlay Prep players) and arguably the top prospect to ever come from Las Vegas.
Reserves - F Brandon Glanz, Coronado (Henderson); F Tre Johnson, Hug (Reno); G Evan Roquemore, Foothill (Henderson); G Michael Thompson, Canyon Springs (North Las Vegas); G Anson Winder, Bishop Gorman.
G/F Alexis Byrd, Centennial (Las Vegas): The player of the year in the Northwest League, Byrd was the first option for the Bulldogs. The senior averaged 25.8 points to go along with 7.1 rebounds and 3.5 assists while helping Centennial to the Sunset Region title game, where it fell to eventual state champion Bishop Gorman. Byrd has signed with Portland.
G Aaryn Ellenberg, Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas): The McDonald's All-America helped the Gaels (27-5) to their fourth 4A state title in five seasons and cemented her legacy as one of the best guards ever to play in Nevada. Ellenberg averaged 22.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.6 steals and 2.2 assists as a senior and finished as her school's all-time leader in scoring with 2,144 points. She signed to play at Oklahoma.
C Danielle Peacon, Reed (Sparks): The top post player in the state, Peacon lifted the Raiders all the way to the 4A state title game. The 6-foot-1 senior averaged 22 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals, and even showed the ability to step out and hit 3-pointers in the state semifinals against Liberty (Henderson). She signed to play at Pacific.
G Stephanie Rovetti, Reno: The senior was the catalyst on both ends of the floor for the Huskies, who went undefeated in the High Desert League and captured the Northern Region title before falling to Bishop Gorman in the state semifinals. Known for her aggressiveness, Rovetti did a little bit of everything, averaging 13.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 4.3 steals per game.
G Danika Sharp, West Wendover: After being known primarily as a jump shooter, Sharp added another dimension to her game as she was able to score more off the dribble this season. The 5-foot-9 senior averaged 35.5 points per game, which was second in the nation, and finished as Nevada's all-time leading scorer with 2,803 points, including a 54-point outburst in her final game. She signed to play at Nevada.
6th woman - F Emily Burns, Galena (Reno): The junior is expected to be among the state's top prospects next season after helping the Grizzlies reach the Northern Region semifinals. The 6-foot Burns averaged 14.9 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game and was the Sierra League player of the year after helping Galena finish unbeaten in league play.
Reserves - Amanda Delgado, Liberty (Henderson); G Courtney Hayes, Centennial (Las Vegas); G Jeanette Jackson, Sierra Vista (Las Vegas); G Jazmine Jarvis, Green Valley (Henderson); Sarah Pickus, Green Valley (Henderson).
ARBOR VIEW MAKES HISTORY
Sophomore Kallyn Redona's header in the 61st minute gave Arbor View (Las Vegas) a 1-0 win over Coronado (Henderson) in the 4A Southern Nevada girls state soccer championship match last week.
The victory by the Aggies (18-1-1) was the school's first state championship in any sport since it opened in 2005.
Senior goalkeeper Alex Luevano-Harden, who signed with Akron, made two saves to notch her 14th shutout of the season for Arbor View. Senior Dakota Olson notched her 18th assist when Redona was able to head in her corner kick. Olson has signed with Charlotte.
The title erased a year's worth of disappointment for the Aggies. Last season, Arbor View reached the Sunset Region final before the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association had to replay the region playoffs due to a regular-season forfeit that caused a change in the standings. Arbor View was eventually eliminated in the semifinals and used that as motivation this time around.
"It was something that we needed, whoever it was,” Arbor View coach Jay Howard told Nevadapreps.com about the school's first championship. "We support every program, but we felt like we were getting close."
The best scoring opportunity for Coronado (15-3-3) came in the 69th minute when Luevano-Harden was forced to make a save on a shot from forward Breanna Robinson. It was second straight season the Cougars have reached the title game.
David Schoen works at the Las Vegas Review-Journal, and is a former Associate Sports Editor and Turn2 columnist for the Oakland (Calif.) Tribune. You can reach him at ByDavid1@aol.com.