After finishing the season with a 22-10 record, the Miller School of Albemarle varsity girls basketball team went on to win the Blue Ridge Conference Championship for the sixth year in a row and, by way of a grand finale, claimed its fourth straight Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association Division II state championship title.
According to head coach James Braxton, the bulk of the team’s losses came early—with three dished out by eventual state champions from other divisions—and were the result of shaky teambuilding. “We had just three starters returning, so it took us a little while to settle in and gel,” he said. “Combine that with a tough preseason schedule and we were looking at a 3-8 start before going on to win 19 of our last 21 games.”
The team was led by seniors Secret Bryant, Hannah Woodard and Yasmine Taylor. “Secret was a captain and our go-to player, averaging 12 points and five assists per game,” said Braxton. “Her efforts led her to be recognized as the [BRC] Player of the Year as well as the VISAA Division II State Player of the Year.”
While the Lady Mavericks featured a quintet of strong underclassmen including Jalyn King, Olivia Wagner and Kianna Johnson, only one starter will be returning. “We’ll be leaning heavily on them as well as Hannah to form the backbone of next year’s team, but we’ll need to add a few pieces to the mix if we’re to going to continue to be successful,” said Braxton.