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All-time Northern Nevada high school girls basketball team

Gabby Willliams
Gabby Willliams won a state title at Reed, two national titles at UConn and is the only local to play in the WNBA. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)

Last week, we created the all-time Northern Nevada boys basketball team, and this week we unveil the all-time girls basketball team. Each player's entire playing career was considered, including high school, college and pro. Relatively equal weight was given to prep accomplishments and post-high school accomplishments. We're going with a traditional 12-player team, with five starters and seven reserves. Given the depth of great high school players who went on to college careers, the girls list was much more difficult than the boys list. We'd like to give honorable mentions to Morgan McGwire, Carissa Meyer, Anita Burdick, Taylor Altenburg, Laura Ross, Kelly Ashby, Gigi Hascheff, Danika Sharp, Sarita Jo Condie, Johnna Ward, Timi Brown, Rachel Chism and Jessica Collins. Here's our team of 12.

All-time Northern Nevada basketball team

Starting five

PG Shalen Shaw: Shaw was one of four future Division I players at Reno High during her high school tenure, so she might have been easy to overlook. But she was a driving force behind the Huskies' success during her tenure, which included back-to-back large-class regional and state championships in 2013 and 2014. Reno went 57-4 during those seasons and was 106-14 in her four-year career, making her one of the winningest prep player in state history. She was the Northern 4A player of the year her senior season while averaging 10.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 1.7 blocks and 1.2 steals per game. She was a three-year starter at Boise State who earned All-Mountain West honors her sophomore season and led the Broncos to four conference titles, including three MW tournaments and one regular-season crown. She played in three NCAA Tournaments, too. Shaw became the first Boise State player to tally 1,000 points, 800 rebounds and 200 assists in a career while adding 155 steals and 82 blocks. She is one of the most versatile players to come out of Northern Nevada, and her ability to play multiple positions and contribute to winning was elite. With two state titles in high school and four conference crowns in college, few are more accomplished.

SG Gabby Williams: The best girls basketball player to come out of Northern Nevada, Williams was an athletic freak at Reed High (she almost made the Olympics at age 15 in the high jump). At Reed High, she was a two-time Nevada Gatorade Player of the Year in track and field but somehow never earned the honor in basketball, although torn ACLs ended her junior and senior seasons prematurely. She led the Raiders to a state title her sophomore season with a win over Reno High. As a junior, she was averaging 30 points, 11 rebounds, six assists and seven blocks per game before the torn ACL, which she re-tore in her senior season. But she was still named McDonald's All-American (the only girls basketball player in Reno's history to do so) and committed to national power UConn. Williams was a five-star recruit and won two national titles while reaching four Final Fours with the Huskies, where she went 148-3 in her career. Williams averaged 10.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.0 steals per game in college and was a first-team All-American and the national defensive player of the year. She also made the All-NCAA Tournament team. The No. 4 pick in the 2018 WNBA draft, Williams is in her third pro season and the only local to play in the league.

SF Ashlee Orndorff: A high school phenom, Orndorff led Mineral County to state titles in 1997, 1998 and 2000 and was the Nevada Gatorade player of the year during her senior season. She also averaged 24 points, 11 rebounds and five assists during her junior campaign. At 6-foot-2, she could play on the perimeter and in the post with uncommon versatility for her size. Her 2,436 career points were a state record (she now sits in fourth place) and she still holds the career rebounding mark in state history (1,724). She finished her career first in state history in blocks and second in made free throws. Orndorff holds the state record for single-game rebounds (30) and assists (15), too. She was a USA Today Honorable Mention All-American in 1999. As a top-30 recruit nationally, she enrolled at Nevada over big-name schools and played for the Pack for half a season. She eventually gave birth to a child before transferring to Portland and was the WCC Newcomer of the Year after averaging 11.6 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 1.5 steals per game in her first season. She played one more half season at Portland, averaging 12.2 points and 8.5 rebounds, before giving up the game. There's no doubt Orndorff's high school career is among the best in terms of local players.

PF Kate Smith: Smith was the driving force behind the McQueen High dynasty in the late 1990s. The Lancers won the large-class championship in each of her four seasons at the school, running the table from 1996-99 while teaming with Courtney Moore in the best 1-2 punch in local girls basketball history. Smith was the Nevada Gatorade Player of the Year in 1998 and 1999 and is one of only two players in state history to win the award in back-to-back years (Reno High's Mallory McGwire did so in 2014 and 2015). For some reason, scholarship offers were not plentiful as Smith picked Nevada over Long Beach State and Denver, her two other offers. She continued her stellar production in college and was the 2000 Big West freshman of the year before earning honorable mention Kodak All-America honors in 2001. She was a three-time All-WAC first-team selections (two first teams, one second) and ranks second in school history in scoring (1,942), third in rebounding (785), fourth in free throws made (464) and 10th in blocks (82) and is one of two players in school history with 1,500 points and 500 rebounds. She signed a professional contract with Helios and played professionally in college in Switzerland after her great career in Northern Nevada.

C Lauren Beckman: This was the toughest choice in the starting five with Beckman, Mallory McGwire, Laura Gonsalves and Jennifer Gray each deserving the starting center spot (Northern Nevada has produced a ton of great girls basketball post players). I opted for Beckman by a hair over Gonsalves, but if you want to flip-flop those two I would understand (and McGwire has time to catch them if she can forge a WNBA career). The 6-2 Beckman moved from Mississippi to Elko for her sophomore season and had a great career with the school. She led Elko to back-to-back state title game berths in her junior and senior seasons (both losses to Smith's McQueen teams) and was the Nevada Gatorade player of the year in 1997 when she averaged 17.1 points per game. She ranks third in large-class history in career blocks and sixth in rebounds. In college, she led Utah to two NCAA tournaments, including one Sweet 16. She was a three-time All-MW pick, including two first-team honors and one second team. She also was an honorable mention Kodak All-America. She ranks first in Utah history (and fourth in MW history) in blocks, ninth in rebounds and free throws made and 15th in scoring. During her Utes career, she averaged 11.4 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game.

Reserves

G Dyann Rogers: These reserve spots were tightly contested, and we don't want to be too lopsidedly in favor of players from the last 15-20 years, so we're including Rogers, who is considered by long-time Elko coach Lynette Davis the best player in program history. Rogers played for Elko from 1983-86 and tallied 1,671 career points, which at the time was a state record. Her 815 rebounds were the second most in state history when she graduated. And her 341 steals were a state record, too. She led Elko to the 1983 and 1984 state championships, going 50-0 in the process, before winning state again as a senior in 1986. Elko went 95-8 in her career, and Rogers played two seasons of college at Washington State. She was Northern Nevada's first great girls basketball player.

G Laura Baker: We'll stay in the 1980s and add Baker to our backcourt. The 1987 Nevada Gatorade player of the year played for two local high schools. She began at Incline High where she led the Highlanders to a state title in 1985 during her sophomore season when she averaged 29.9 points per game, including games of 60 points and 52 points (both remain top-five marks in state history). That state title was the only one not won by Rogers and Elko during a five-year period. Baker then transferred to Reno High for her final two seasons of high school, leading the Huskies to state titles in back-to-back seasons in the large-class division. Baker was one of the best pure scorers in state history, and she and Rogers paved the way for future stars.

G Tracy Graham: This was an awfully difficult spot to fill (it was our 12th and final spot), and it came down to a handful of local prep players who went on to play for the Wolf Pack, including Danika Sharp, Kayla Williams, Carissa Meyer and Johnna Ward. We ultimately went with Graham, the only one on the above list who earned postseason all-conference honors in college. Graham starred at McQueen High in the early 2000s before moving on to Nevada (she is second in Lancers history in scoring behind Kate Moore and first in steals). With the Wolf Pack, Graham earned one All-WAC honor and ranks second in school history in steals, sixth in scoring and assists and seventh in made 3-pointers.

F Courtney Moore: Moore was a part of three McQueen High championships (in her sophomore, junior and senior seasons), including a memorable 1998 tournament when she scored 62 points at the state tournament, the second most ever in the large class. She was recruited to the Pac-10 by Oregon where she had a short-lived career, playing for the Ducks for only two seasons (1999-2001) before giving up the game. The Ducks went 23-8 overall and beat five Top 25 teams during Moore's freshman season, losing in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in overtime.

C Laura Gonsalves: The 1991 Nevada Gatorade player of the year, Gonsalves led Reed High to a state title during her senior season, the first of three straight crowns for the Raiders. She was a Parade and Gatorade All-American who ranks 10th in Nevada large-class history in rebounds. Her 143 blocks as a senior are second in a single season. She played in college for nationally ranked Washington and was a four-year starter who scored in double-figures 28 times. The Huskies reached three NCAA tournaments in her tenure and won the 1994 WNIT. She played overseas from 1996-2003, including in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Portugal, China and Switzerland. Gonsalves, who had the best pro career of any local outside of Gabby Williams, is currently an assistant coach for the Wolf Pack.

C Mallory McGwire: A 6-5 center, McGwire led Reno to back-to-back state championships and was the Nevada Gatorade player of the year in her sophomore and junior seasons, making her one of two multi-time recipients in the North. She averaged 15.4 points, 10.9 rebounds and 3.9 blocks per game as a senior and was the No. 98 recruit in her class. Among large-class players, McGwire ranks 10th in state history in points (1,729), first in rebounds (1,219) and first in blocks (491). She played in three state championship games in her career. McGwire played at Oregon for two seasons, averaging 7.3 points and 4.2 rebounds per game as a freshman, and reached back-to-back Elite Eights. She then transferred to Boise State where she averaged 11.4 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game as a junior last season.

C Jennifer Gray: Gray was the anchor of Carson High's run of three straight state championships from 1988-90, which included a streak of 61 consecutive wins, which is the third-best mark in state history. Gray was the 1990 Nevada Gatorade player of the year as a senior and was recruited to the SEC where she played for Kentucky. Gray led the Wildcats in blocks for three straight seasons and was a two-year starter for Kentucky, averaging career best in points (7.8) and rebounds (4.4) as a junior. She's the only player from the state to letter at Kentucky. Gray played in one NCAA Tournament, was a team captain her senior season and made the All-SEC academic team three times.

Sports columnist Chris Murray provides insight on Northern Nevada sports. Contact him at crmurray@sbgtv.com or follow him on Twitter @ByChrisMurray.

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