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Eye on POY: Connecticut girls basketball

3/2/2012

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.

Morgan Olander

Senior Center, E.O. Smith High (Storrs, CT)

2011-12 Team record: 22-1

2011-12 Team standing: Plays Windsor in second round of Class L tournament, 3/2

2011-12 Points per game: 14.5

2011-12 Rebounds per game: 8.5

2011-12 Assists per game: 2.1

2011-12 Blocks per game: 3.2

2011-12 Steals per game: 2.3

Academics: A average

Collegiate destination: Undecided

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: 22 straight wins to start season; Third Team All-State in 2011; Two-time All-Conference; Selected to Jewish Community Center and and Connecticut High School Coaches Association All-Star Games.

Casey Smith

Senior Center, Danbury High (Danbury, CT)

2011-12 Team record: 25-0

2011-12 Team standing: Plays Newtown in Class LL quarterfinals, 3/5

2011-12 Points per game: 17.6

2011-12 Rebounds per game: 9.2

2011-12 Assists per game: 1.7

2011-12 Blocks per game: 2.5

2011-12 Steals per game: 1.7

Academics: B average

Collegiate destination: St. Joseph's

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Three-time All-State choice; Selected to Jewish Community Center and and Connecticut High School Coaches Association All-Star Games; Only unbeaten team in state.

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.

Bria Holmes: Senior Forward, Hillhouse High (New Haven, CT)

Kristin Schatzlein: Senior Guard, Tolland High (Tolland, CT)

Ashley Perez: Senior Guard, Manchester High (Manchester, CT)

Olivia Levey: Junior Forward, Lauralton Hall (Milford, CT)

Aaliyah Robinson: Senior Guard, Wilbur Cross High (New Haven, CT)

Nicole Anderson: Senior Guard, Career Magnet High (New Haven, CT)

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.