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POY WATCH: Kaylee Johnson avenged state final loss, looks for POY repeat


The window on the Gatorade State Girls Basketball Player of the Year race is closing, and the search for elite student-athletes is in full swing. The award recognizes not only athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. Here are two top candidates who meet the basic award criteria as determined by our USA TODAY team that administers the program’s selection process.

Kaylee Johnson
Junior post/point guard, Natrona County (Casper, Wyo.)

2012-13 Team record: 11-2 (Class 4A)
2012-13 Team standing: Ranked No. 1 in Wyoming by USA TODAY
2012-13 Points per game: 20.2
2012-13 Rebounds per game: 16.4
2012-13 Blocks per game: 6.4
2012-13 Assists per game: 2.0

Collegiate destination: Undecided

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: The reigning Gatorade Wyoming Girls Basketball Player of the Year, Johnson led the Fillies to the Class 4A state championship game as a sophomore, averaging more than 20 points and 12 rebounds per game in 2011-12. Earlier this year, the 6-foot-1 junior point guard and post amassed 28 points and 16 rebounds in a 63-20 win against defending Class 4A state champion Laramie (Wyo.), avenging a loss in last year’s state final.

Madison Legerski
Senior wing, Laramie (Wyo.)

2012-13 Team record: 9-4 (Class 4A)
2012-13 Team standing: Ranked No. 7 in Wyoming by USA TODAY
2012-13 Points per game: 14.8
2012-13 Rebounds per game: 6.9
2012-13 Steals per game: 2.9

Collegiate destination: Undecided

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Legerski currently leads all Class 4A East Conference players in scoring in addition to ranking third in rebounding this winter. The Laramie senior helped lead the Plainsmen to the Class 4A state title as a junior last season.

Make no mistake, the Gatorade State Girls Basketball Player of the Year race isn’t over yet. Time remains for one standout student-athlete among thousands to rise to the top of our list. Here are some more of many who’ve been in the conversation throughout the 2012-13 campaign.

Shonda Post : Senior wing, Lander Valley (Lander, Wyo.)
Mariah Smith: Senior forward, Rock Springs (Wyo.)
Sierra Toms: Senior guard, Campbell County (Gillette, Wyo.)

 

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