Eye on POY: D.C. girls basketball

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.

Katie Gillespie

Senior guard, Georgetown Visitation Prep (Washington, D.C.)

2011-12 Team record: 22-4

2011-12 Team standing: Independent School League AA quarterfinals on Friday

2011-12 Points per game: 21

2011-12 Rebounds per game: 11.3

2011-12 Assists per game: 4.9

2011-12 Steals per game: 3.1

Academics: A average

Collegiate destination: Holy Cross

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: 2011-12 Team MVP, 2010-2012 First Team All-League, 2012 Washington Post All-Met Watch List.

Mooriah Rowser

Senior guard, St. John's (Washington, D.C.)

2011-12 Team record: 21-7

2011-12 Team standing: Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championships second round on Thursday; No. 36 on ESPNHS FAB 50

2011-12 Points per game: 18.5

2011-12 Rebounds per game: 5.5

2011-12 Assists per game: 2

2011-12 Blocks per game: 1.5

2011-12 Steals per game: 2

Academics: B-plus average

Collegiate destination: Memphis

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: 2010-11 Gatorade District of Columbia Girls Basketball Player of the Year; 2011 Washington Post First Team All-Met; 2011 First Team All-Met

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.

Lindsay Allen: Junior guard, St. John's (Washington, D.C.)

Jephany Brown: Senior forward, Woodson (Washington, D.C.)

Nadiya Holley: Sophomore guard, Ballou (Washington, D.C.)

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.