Girls High School Basketball

Eight must-see players at the girls basketball state tournament this weekend

Highlights: Middleton girls basketball wins 4A District 3 title

The Middleton High girls basketball team beat Caldwell 38-30 for the 4A District 3 championship.
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The Middleton High girls basketball team beat Caldwell 38-30 for the 4A District 3 championship.

Idaho has cranked out plenty of Division I girls basketball players in recent years. This season was no exception.

Four signed with a Division I program, and another has committed to play at that level for the class of 2020.

Here are a select few players to keep an eye on this weekend as Idaho hosts its state tournaments in all six classifications.

[Related: State brackets | Title predictions | Scouting reports on all 48 teams]

DARIAN WHITE, MOUNTAIN VIEW

The lightning-fast guard feasts on lazy passes and weak ball handlers, leading the 5A SIC with 3.6 steals per game and turning all those extra possessions into 15.4 points per game. Her elite defensive skills, killer instinct and nose for the basket have the 5-6 senior signed with Montana State.

Boise Peyton McFarland.JPG
Boise junior Peyton McFarland remains one of the states’ toughest matchups inside the paint. Katherine Jones kjones@idahostatesman.com

PEYTON MCFARLAND, BOISE

An injury sidelined the 6-4 junior post midway through the season. But since returning, she’s gone back to dominating the paint with size, strength and shot-blocking prowess. Opponents have to cook up special defenses to contain her, but she’s still averaging 11.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.6 blocks.

AVA RANSON, TIMBERLINE

The 5-10 junior guard is a threat all over the floor for the Wolves. The Montana State commit led the 5A SIC in scoring at 18.0 points per game after ranking second last year. She can pick apart defense with 3.0 assists per game. And she has the size and strength to mix it up in the paint.

Eagle Meghan Boyd
Eagle senior Meghan Boyd has led the Mustangs to back-to-back state runner-up finishes. Kyle Green kgreen@idahostatesman.com

MEGHAN BOYD, EAGLE

The Denver signee has spent more time off the ball this season as the Mustangs have found other options to run the point. She’s turned that extra space into 16.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists. But the ball always seems to find the 5-11 senior’s hands come crunch time.

CHINMA NJOKU, CENTURY

The 6-3 senior forward demands a constant double team, at minimum. The reigning first-team All-Idaho selection is a double-double machine for the undefeated Diamondbacks. Opponents should consider anything less than a double-double success.

MADISON JACKSON, PARMA

The 5-9 guard and Montana State signee already has earned a spot on the All-Idaho first team the past two years and will surely make it again as a senior. She’s pouring in 16.9 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.4 steals per game and is trying to finally lead Parma to the Idaho Center after years of state disappointment.

EMMA CLARK, MELBA

With two-time 2A state player of the year Kori Pentzer graduated, the 5-5 senior and Northwest Nazarene signee stepped out of her shadow and has stuffed the stat sheet all season. The 10-time state track champ enters the weekend averaging 15.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 7.3 steals per game.

BELLA MUREKATETE, GENESIS PREP

Washington State signed the 6-4 center in November, and the senior has no match in Idaho’s smallest classification. She had 25 points, 30 rebounds and seven blocks in last season’s state final. She also led Rwanda to a fourth-place finish at the FIBA U18 Women’s African Championship last summer, earning a spot on the all-tournament team, and was named the tournament’s best rebounder.

Michael Lycklama has covered Idaho high school sports since 2007. He’s won national awards for his work uncovering the stories of the Treasure Valley’s best athletes and investigating behind-the-scenes trends.

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