Eye on POY: Virginia 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.

Caroline Coyer

Senior guard, Oakton (Va.)

2011-12 Team record: 29-0

2011-12 Team standing: Play Woodside in Group AAA state semifinals March 7

2011-12 Points per game: 14.8

2011-12 Rebounds per game: 4.2

2011-12 Assists per game: 5.2

2011-12 Blocks per game: 0.3

2011-12 Steals per game: 3.6

Academics: A-minus average

Collegiate destination: Villanova (NLI)

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Two-time Northern Region Player of the Year; Two-time Concorde District Player of the Year; 2011 Group AAA First Team All-State selection.

Breyana Mason

Junior guard, Forest Park (Woodbridge, Va.)

2011-12 Team record: 17-10

2011-12 Team standing: Lost in Group AAA Northwest Region semifinals

2011-12 Points per game: 24.0

2011-12 Rebounds per game: 6.1

2011-12 Assists per game: 1.9

2011-12 Blocks per game: 0.2

2011-12 Steals per game: 2.2

Academics: A average

Collegiate destination: Virginia (H.S. junior)

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Three-time First Team All-Cardinal District selection; Two-time Northwest Region First Team selection; ESPNHS Class of 2013 No. 44-rated recruit.

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.

Logan Battle: Senior guard/forward, West Springfield (Springfield, Va.)

Ariana Freeman: Sophomore guard, Paul VI Catholic (Fairfax, Va.)

Merritt Hempe: Senior forward, Stafford (Fredericksburg, Va.)

Adrienne Motley: Junior guard, Woodside (Newport News, Va.)

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.