Despite a global pandemic and a significantly shortened season, New Jersey high school girls basketball fans were still treated to incredible performances and top-notch talent across the board in 2021. Throughout the year, we saw New Jersey’s best shine on the hardwood in a season unlike any other. That brings us here – the end of the road – where the very best of the Garden State’s top talent are recognized as JSZ’s 2021 Miss Hoop Zone Player of the Year finalists.
The Miss Hoop Zone balloting
Voting for the 2021 Miss Hoop Zone is underway. Numerous coaches from conferences spanning the entire state – along with JSZ’s staff of MMJ’s and other reputable, credentialed media – are casting ballots for the top player. Every ballot has a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place vote with three points awarded for 1st, two for 2nd and one point for 3rd.
The winner will be announced on March 19 and will join a talented collection of players to bring home JSZ’s annual girls basketball honor. So, here are the finalists, listed in alphabetical order!
Meet the 2021 JSZ Miss Hoop Zone Finalists
Destiny Adams, Manchester, Senior
What’s left to say about Destiny Adams that already hasn’t been said? The 6-3 Manchester product is a skilled technician in the paint, has handles like a guard and is a competitor like no other. It’s a shame New Jersey high school basketball fans weren’t able to see Adams suit up for the full compliment of 30-plus games in 2021, because she was on pace to score 900 points in her senior season. Yes, you read that right. Adams was a walking, living, breathing double-double who averaged 30 points and 18.7 rebounds per game this season, helping lead the Hawks to a 10-5 record in the uber-competitive ranks of the Shore Conference. Destiny, a North Caroline signee, was New Jersey’s lone selection to the 2021 McDonald’s All-American Game, following in the footsteps of previous Miss Hoop Zone winners Diamond Miller (2019) and Kylee Watson (2020).
Zoe Brooks, Trenton Catholic, Sophomore
You could tell Zoe Brooks was on a mission in her sophomore season with Trenton Catholic. Following the news that TCA would close at the end of the 2021 scholastic year, Brooks propelled the Iron Mikes to one of the dominant and impressive seasons in program history. Only a sophomore, Brooks led Trenton Catholic in scoring for the second consecutive season after putting up 290 points (19.3 points per game) on the hardwood. Her all-around game as a point guard shined in various other departments, too, where her 68 assists and 58 steals were both team highs. Trenton Catholic impressed weekly and went 14-1 over a shortened season. Anyone who saw them play knew Zoe Brooks was the captain of the ship.
Katie Hill, St. John Vianney, Senior
Her stats might not jump off the page, but go ahead and watch the highlight reel below to see why Katie Hill deserves to be a JSZ Miss Hoop Zone finalist. The Richmond commit clearly came into 2021 as an ascending player, and throughout the season, continued to get better and better. Hill averaged 12.4 points and 5.9 rebounds per game on the best team in New Jersey, yet arguably her biggest asset was the vital senior leadership she provided to a team that also finished among the best in America. Katie Hill is a winner, through and through, and her legacy at SJV will be as such.
Madison St. Rose, St. John Vianney, Junior
What didn’t Princeton commit Madison St. Rose accomplish in 2021? That list is incredibly short. The St. John Vianney star truly shined on a nightly basis for the Lancers, a team that was no doubt No. 1 in New Jersey when it was all said and done. St. Rose, a seriously proficient scorer, stuffed the box scores as SJV ransacked their competition all year. Let’s not forget that the Lancers did play the absolute toughest schedule in New Jersey. Notable wins came over Rumson-Fair Haven (twice), Red Bank Catholic (twice), Manasquan, Saddle River Day, Paul VI and Trenton Catholic. In each of those games, St. Rose was the best player on the floor. She averaged a team-best 19.4 points per game and also eclipsed the 1,000 point mark March 2. The sky is the limit for Madison St. Rose.
Alexa Therien, Cherokee, Senior
Alexa Therien is an absolute winner, plain and simple. Cherokee experienced some of the best basketball in school history when Therien was on the court, evidenced by a 92-11 career record in her four years with the Chiefs. In 2021, Therien was the best player on one of the best teams in South Jersey who averaged a team-best 16 points per game on a 12-2 squad. Alexa is youngest daughter of longtime Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Chris Therien, and is the last Therien sister to suit up for the Cherokee Chiefs. She’ll be bringing her talents to New England where she’s signed to play at Boston University.