All-Area girls basketball: Danielle McCray, small schools player of the year
Monday, March 28, 2011
by Matt Porter
Watching Danielle McCray play defense near the basket, you get the sense that she has seen every move that's coming at her.
Throughout her career at Trinity Christian, the power forward made opposing players think twice about putting up shots. On the other end of the floor, she had a wide array of shimmies and shakes.
McCray has come a long way from age 10, when she spent a tearful Saturday at Gaines Park in West Palm Beach trying - and failing - to learn how to complete a basic drop-step move.
"I couldn't get the concept that all I had to do was drop my leg back and put the ball up," she recalled.
With the patient help of her father, Trinity Christian coach Luke McCray, she eventually nailed the drop step, and it became the foundation for her game.
"After I got that, I became a quick learner," she said. "We'd do a move with a hook shot, then go up and under, and that's when he taught me the spin move. I really liked that one."
She estimates she now has 15 or so moves in the post. It's an arsenal that helped her set Trinity Christian career records in points (2,531). Her quickness and savvy in the paint also led to school records in rebounds (1,633) and blocks (602).
It also helped the Warriors get to the Class 1A state final three of the past four seasons.
McCray, the two-time Small Schools Player of the Year, put up 23 double-doubles in her senior season, averaging 20.1 points, 13 rebounds, 4.1 blocks and 2.3 steals per game.
McCray will head to Mississippi, where she will study graphic design and play in a challenging conference.
"I know I'm going into the SEC being an undersized post," the 6-foot-1 McCray said. "I know they're bigger than me. But my advantages are being quicker and faster. I have to work twice as hard to beat them."
COACH OF THE YEAR
Led the Warriors to a 23-5 record and a second consecuitve state Class 1A runner-up finish.
St. Andrew's, Junior
The 5-foot-10 inside presence led small schools in rebounds per game (16.6) and was second in points (19.8).
American Heritage, Freshman
The 6-foot-1 center averaged 12 points and 12.4 rebounds per game and had a double-double in 26 of 27 games.
American Heritage, Senior
The talented ball-handler was at her best in big games (26 points, five assists and four steals in district title victory).
Key ball distributor for the Buccaneers was fourth in small schools scoring (15.3) and hit 30 three-pointers.
Jupiter Christian, Senior
Small (5-feet-2) and quick, she averaged 14.9 points, 4.2 assists and several steals per game.
F: Crystal Connors, Trinity Christian, Sr.
F: Alicia McCray, So., Trinity Christian
G: Samie Lesperance, Sr., Berean Christian
G: Riley Burke, Fr., Benjamin
G: Neydja Petithomme, Fr., American Heritage
American Heritage: Jonika Garvin, Jessica Newman, Lynzey Williams.
Benjamin: Jessica Armstrong, Savannah Logan, Arden Pettit.
Berean Christian: Emily May.
Boca Raton Christian: Beatrice Domond.
Cardinal Newman: Daisy DeRooy, Myranda Nadal.
Donna Klein: Taytum Orshan.
Glades Day: Abbie Jo Schlechter.
Inlet Grove: Chelsea Woodson.
Jupiter Christian: Stephanie Kumler.
King's Academy: Sierra Lowe, Cat Urso, Kathleen Wiggs.
Lake Worth Christian: Sam Cantwell,
Pope John Paul II: Emily Kissel.
St. Andrew's: Allie Russo.
Summit Christian: Ambra Martin.
Trinity Christian: Tacarra Morrison, Amber Shuler.
Village Academy: Deandra Akins.
Wellington Christian: Stephanie Wilson.
BEST OF THE TREASURE COAST
Centennial: Shaneece Stephens; Fort Pierce Central: Larnique Collins; Fort Pierce Westwood: Kaneisha Atwater, Kashella Saint-Jean; Jensen Beach: Hannah Cohen, Ashley Robinson; Lincoln Park Academy: Brandy Montgomery, Dyana Pierre, Stephanie Ball; Martin County: Kaila Callender, Taryn Richard; South Fork: Mariah Newkirk; Treasure Coast: Amber Lallo, Marriah Nunnally, Rosemarie Julien; Coaches: Wendell Adams, Lincoln Park Academy; Kindell Rivers, Martin County. MVP: Kanesha Atwater, Fort Pierce Westwood.