Eye on POY: Oregon girls basketball

March, 4, 2012
3/04/12
9:51
PM ET
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 ESPNHS team that administers the program’s selection process.

Jaime Nared
Sophomore forward, Westview (Portland, Ore.)

2011-12 Team record: 18-7
2011-12 Team standing: Play Southridge in Class 6A state quarterfinals March 7

2011-12 Points per game: 18.6
2011-12 Rebounds per game: 10.2
2011-12 Assists per game: 2.4
2011-12 Blocks per game: 1.0
2011-12 Steals per game: 3.0

Academics: A-minus average
Collegiate destination: H.S. sophomore

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Metro League Player of the Year; 2011 USA Basketball Women’s U16 National Team Trials roster.

Mercedes Russell
Junior center, Springfield (Ore.)

2011-12 Team record: 23-3
2011-12 Team standing: Play Wilsonville in Class 5A state quarterfinals March 7

2011-12 Points per game: 25.9
2011-12 Rebounds per game: 15.4
2011-12 Assists per game: 4.7
2011-12 Blocks per game: 6.6
2011-12 Steals per game: 2.0

Academics: B average
Collegiate destination: H.S. junior

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: 2011 USA Basketball Women’s U16 National Team; 2011 Class 5A State Player of the Year; 2011 Midwestern League MVP.

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 2011-12 campaign.

Kailee Johnson: Junior forward, Central Catholic (Portland, Ore.)
Jenae Paine: Junior forward, Oregon City (Ore.)
Johanna Paine: Junior center, Oregon City (Ore.)
Tess Picknell: Senior center, South Medford (Ore.)
Jordan Reynolds: Junior guard, Central Catholic (Portland, Ore.)

Think we're missing a deserving Gatorade State Player of the Year candidate in your state? Let us know via e-mail at ESPNHS_GPOY@ESPN.com.

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