The stars came out and shined brightly during the recent midday 2022 Suburban Classic girls high-school basketball competition.
Many of the 17 players who participated in the 17th annual event, which included a three-point shootout and an all-star game of seniors at Madison High School on March 20, had strong individual performances.
Langley High School senior point guard Annabeth Holsinger won the three-point shooting contest with a winning total of 18.
The game was between the 6D North Region and the Occoquan Region. The 6D North Region won 74-50, as Madison’s Alayna Arnolie made seven three-pointers, scored a game-high and single-game career-high 33 points to go with nine rebounds and two steals, and was chosen as the Most Valuable Player of the winning squad. Lake Braddock’s Skylar Thomas (14 points, five rebounds) was the MVP for the Occoquan team.
“It was awesome playing in a game like this with so many players I have known and played with or against for so long,” Arnolie said. “Really? I didn’t know I scored 33 points. Wow.”
Arnolie’s twin sister, Grace, had three points, six rebounds, three steals and three assists for the winning side. Also for the 6D North squad, Yorktown’s Ana Bournigal scored 12 to go with six rebounds and three steals; Oakton’s Sophia Zinzi scored eight and had three rebounds; Madison’s Kiera Kohler scored five and had 10 rebounds and two assists; McLean’s Mia Fitzgerald had four points, three rebounds and two assists; Langley’s Caitlyn Shumadine had five points and two rebounds and finished second in the three-point shootout; Marshall’s Rylie Hughes had five rebounds and two steals; and Holsinger had six assists with two points and a steal and a block.
“In a game like this there was no pressure. Just a lot of fun and a good time, and a great final goodbye to high-school basketball,” said Bournigal, who will not play in college.
For the Occoquan team, Krstina Tan of Hayfield scored nine, Isabela Lujan-Gonzales scored eight with W.T. Woodson’s Eunice Yoon and Hayfield’s Ayana Gillen having seven each.
Occoquan’s last lead was 10-8, then the North Region put together a 13-0 run to take control for the rest of the game.
The Classic, sponsored by the Northern Virginia Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, was not held the last two seasons because of COVID.
“This was a great way to get back on track, so to speak,” said longtime NVWBCA president and event organizer Fred Priester, who has 761 career wins as a high-school girls head coach, many at his current position at Oakton High.
A scholarship is given to a senior annually at the Classic. This year a $500 grant was awarded to Lake Braddock girls basketball player Genevieve Forrer. The NVWBCA has awarded more than $25,000 in scholarships in the past 20 years.
Recipients of the various district Players and Coaches of the Year were recognized following the game, along with the Players and Coaches of the Year from the two regions.
The Arnolie sisters were the co-Concorde District Players of the Year with Madison’s Kirsten Stone the Coach of the Year. Stone coached the 6D Region all-stars. Holsinger was the Liberty District Player of the Year with Yorktown coach Devaughan Drayton the Coach of the Year. The Arnolie sisters were the co-Region Players of the Year, with Drayton the Region Coach of the Year.
Lujan-Gonzales was recognized as the National District and Occoquan Player of the Year. Robinson head coach T.J. Dade coached the Occoquan all-stars. He was that region’s Coach of the Year.
NOTE: By coaching the 6D North Region all-stars to a victory, Stone won a grand slam of coaching during the 2021-22 season. She first coached Madison to district, region and state-tournament championships.