Sunday, January 27, 2019

Haley Jones surpasses Kerri Walsh as Archbishop Mitty girls basketball’s all-time leading scorer

Julie Jag,, January 25, 2019

Need something to measure just how good a basketball player Haley Jones is? Something more than the Santa Cruz resident’s status as the No. 1 recruit in the nation, more than her selection Wednesday to the McDonald’s All-American game, more than her ability to score just shy of half her team’s points in an 89-26 win over St. Francis of Mountain View, which is ranked No. 21 in the state and No. 93 in the nation?
Well, here it is.

With a 37-point performance Friday night against Valley Christian, Jones surpassed Kerri Walsh as Archbishop Mitty’s all-time scoring leader.


McDonalds All American Stories Continued

Carly Grenfell,, January 25, 2019
The 2019 McDonald’s All-American rosters are set

The girls’ McDonalds All-American roster has been released and is set for March 27 on ESPN. In two short months, some of the most talented high school girls basketball players in the country will be showcased for the world to see.

It’s East versus West, but some might look at the roster and say it’s Stanford versus South Carolina or the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation (South Carolina) versus the No. 2 recruiting class in the nation (Stanford). Each will have three commits apiece taking the floor...

Justin Adams, CBS Denver, January 25, 2019
Two Colorado Basketball Stars Highlight McDonald’s All American Team

Two Colorado basketball stars will get to showcase their talent amongst the best players in the country. Francesca Belibi from Regis High School and Ashten Prechtel from Discovery Canyon High School will play in the 42nd Annual McDonalds All American Game.

Friday, January 25, 2019

More McDonald's All American Stories

Joe Nguyen,, January 24, 2019

Colorado’s Ashten Prechtel, Fran Belibi named 2019 McDonald’s All-Americans

Seniors Fran Belibi of Regis Jesuit High School and Ashten Prechtel of Discovery Canyon were named to the McDonald’s All-American Game’s West roster on Thursday. They’re the first Colorado players to be named since former Grandview and now UCLA forward Michaela Onyenwere was selected in 2017.

Darren Sabedra,, January 24, 2019

Haley Jones chosen for McDonald’s game

Stanford-bound Haley Jones, a Santa Cruz native who plays for Archbishop Mitty in San Jose, and USC-bound Angel Jackson of Salesian were named Thursday to play in the McDonald’s All-American Game on March 27 in Atlanta.
They are among the 12 players on the West team, a squad that also includes two more Stanford commits: Francesca Belibi of Aurora, Colorado — a 6-foot-1 forward who consistently dunks — and 6-5 Ashten Prechtel of Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Mitty’s Sue Phillips and her staff will coach the East — yes, the East.
Courtney Oaks,, January 24, 2019
Dunking sensation and Stanford signee Fran Belibi has been on a national stage all season and she’ll get another venue as the latest McDonald’s All-American selection from a local program.
The 6-foot-1 forward — who scored a career and Regis Jesuit program-high 40 points Wednesday night— was among the 24 girls players from across the country selected to play in the 2019 McDonald’s All-American Game March 27 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta.
Mitch Stephens,, January 24, 2019
Bay Area girls basketball owns a big chunk of history at the McDonald’s All-American Game.

Thursday, January 24, 2019


Incoming freshmen Fran Belibi, Haley Jones and Ashten Prechtel will participate in the 18th annual McDonald's All-American Game on March 27 in Atlanta.
The three future Cardinal, who signed with Stanford in November, all landed on the 12-member West Team. Of the 24 girls selected to be McDonald's All-Americans, Stanford and South Carolina have the most players suiting up next fall with three commits each. The girls' game begins at 2 p.m. PT and will be televised live on ESPN2.
Belibi, Jones and Prechtel will add their names to an exclusive list of 21 Cardinal women's basketball alumnae to be featured in the nation's premier high school basketball all-star event, including six current Stanford players in DiJonai CarringtonNadia FingallAnna WilsonMaya DodsonKiana Williams and Jenna Brown.

Dan Olson,, January 24, 2019

A different perspective for Jones

Haley Jones has seen pretty much everything on a basketball court. Except, perhaps, this. The No. 1 prospect in the country, who owns a gold medal with USA Basketball, a national title with Archbishop Mitty and a boatload of individual accolades, will be playing against her high school coach and mentor, Sue Phillips of Archbishop Mitty. Jones, a 6-1 wing and the anchor of the West team, is as complete as they come. She can score, pass and will her team to wins. Perhaps the one person who can slow her down is Phillips, who also has struck gold with USA Basketball as a coach. This will be one out-of-the ordinary matchup to keep an eye on.

See Fran dunk?

If you need proof that the women's game is evolving, look no further than Jones' future Stanford teammate Fran Belibi. The high-flying 6-1 forward most recently hit the highlight shows with an alley-oop dunk during a game this month for Regis Jesuit (Aurora, Colorado). A year ago, Olivia Nelson-Ododa gained legions of fans for her performance in the Powerade Jam Fest. Can Belibi take it up another notch by dunking in the actual game? Don't be surprised if she does.

epsnw, Janaury 24, 2019
Three Stanford recruits are among the 24 players on the rosters for the McDonald's All American Games. No. 1 prospect Haley Jones will join future Stanford teammates Fran Belibi, who has gained national fame for her dunking ability, and Ashten Pretchel on the West team.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Hannah and the Panthers send a message

Pinewood’s Hannah Jump lays up a shot in Friday’s victory over Menlo. The senior scored a game-high 35 points.

Pete Borello,, January 23, 2019

Friday night, the Pinewood School girls basketball team seemed to silence any talk of Menlo challenging the Panthers for supremacy in the West Bay Athletic League this year. If the Knights are indeed gaining ground on Pinewood, it’s by inches – not feet.
The Panthers dismantled Menlo 75-36 to break the first-place tie between them. The game was close for a quarter, but host Pinewood – which routed the Knights by 39 and 47 points last year – pulled away in the second period and the lead ballooned from there.
Pinewood sharpshooter Hannah Jump nearly outscored Menlo, pouring in 35 points. The Stanford-bound senior made eight of the Panthers’ 17 3-pointers.

Several future Cardinal players making a run for Colorado girls basketball players of the year

Daniel Mohrmann,, January 22, 2019

Led by Stanford commits, the Colorado girls basketball player of the year picture is starting to take shape.

Things are looking up for the Stanford Cardinal. As the 2018-19 girls basketball season hits the second half, the top performers in each classification are establishing their position as player of the year candidates.

Three of the players to make the list will be playing for Stanford University in the next two years, showing that girls basketball in Colorado is certainly filled with high-level players. So, how does one figure out who is in the running for POY honors?

It takes an analytical balance to see how personal success figures into the overall success of the team. There are individuals who can certainly make the list even if the team isn't dominant in the class. Just think, how would that team be playing if they didn't have a POY candidate on the floor every night?

As the playoff picture starts to clear up with February just right around the corner, plenty of familiar faces are back in the POY conversation. Some new faces are also making noise. This list of candidates to this point is by no means official, but as the race for the award starts to heat up, these are certainly some players worth looking into.
Francesca Bellibi, Sr., Regis Jesuit (Aurora) – Belibi's ESPN highlights aren't the reason that she makes this list, but they're good frames of references to show what she is capable of. The Regis Jesuit senior and Stanford commit averages 22.2 points per game, which is second in all of 5A. She also pulls in 12.4 rebounds a game,  top-three in the class. She was dominant in a 79-55 win over defending state champion Grandview as she scored 32 points, grabbed 16 rebounds and blocked three shots. Thanks to solid guard play..., Belibi can't be the only focal point for opposing defenses. With Belibi paving the way, the Raiders are looking to win a state title that eluded them a year ago.

Jana Van Gytenbeek, Jr., Cherry Creek (Greenwood Village) – Just a junior, Van Gytenbeek has worked her way into the top five when it comes to scoring and assists in 5A. Her 19.1 points a game is a team best for the Bruins, but Van Gytenbeek is far from selfish. She records 4.6 assists a game, showing that she has the ability and desire to get her teammates involved in the action. And in doing so, she's not careless. Her 1.83 assist to turnover ratio is fifth best in 5A. Like Belibi, Van Gytenbeek will play collegiately at Stanford, but the Bruins will get to enjoy her presence on the court for another year before she heads west.
Ashten Prechtel, Sr., Discovery Canyon (Colorado Springs) – It's not hard to find Prechtel on the basketball court. Just find the tallest head on the floor and that's her. The Stanford commit certainly knows how to use her height to her advantage. She's second in 4A for scoring at 21.5 points per game. That average, however, accounts for more than 50 percent of the Thunder's point total each game. She grabs 15.2 boards per game, which is the best in 4A and second in all classifications. She's also keen on blocking shots as she turns away 5.2 a game, second best in 4A. She has two triple-doubles this year and has recorded a double-double in 12 games, tied for second this season.

click to story

Sunday, January 20, 2019

KOAA News5 Athlete Of The Week: Ashten Prechtel, Discovery Canyon Basketball

Grant Meech,, January 15, 2019

Height runs in the Prechtel family.
“My dad is 6’5″ mom is 6’1″ and I have two brothers that are tall for their ages, so….”
Standing at 6’5″, Ashten Prechtel is the tallest on the Discovery Canyon girls basketball roster and among the tallest girl basketball players in the state. She said she thinks she hit six-feet tall when she was in the seventh grade and she’s been on the basketball court even before that.
Ashten averages a double-double for the Thunder (6-6) right now and the offense runs through her.

Belibi ... nominated for McDonald’s All-American Game

Courtney Oakes,, January 16, 2019

Regis Jesuit senior Fran Belibi, center, has drawn a crowd on the basketball floor all season and could be on her way to Atlanta to play in the McDonald’s All-American Game. Belibi is one of five Colorado girls players to receive nominations and could be one of the 24 selected to play in the annual game.

Two seniors from the undefeated Regis Jesuit girls basketball team were included in the list of nominees for the 2019 McDonald’s All-American Games.
Dunking sensation and Stanford signee Fran Belibi and teammate ... were part of a handful of Colorado nominees — all girls — for the annual McDonald’s All-Star festivities set for March 27 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta.

First Girl To Dunk In High School Basketball Game Is First In U.S. To Alley-Oop

Eric Christensen,, January 17, 2019

She’s back! The first girl to dunk in a high school basketball game in Colorado — Fran Belibi — is now the first high school girl in the country to throw down an alley-oop.

“I was thinking to myself like, ‘Wow I was so high I could do this,’” said Belibi, a senior at Regis Jesuit High School. “Then I got it in my hand and was like just put it in, just put it in. Don’t even worry about grabbing the rim so I did, it went in and it was crazy.”


Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Fran Belibi and the Dunk Heard Round the World

Two years ago, a sophomore from Regis Jesuit became the first female to throw down in a Colorado high school basketball game. Here’s how the moment became a viral sensation.

Shane Monaghan,, January 14, 2019

When Fran Belibi began playing basketball during her freshman year at Aurora’s Regis Jesuit High School, she wasn’t aware that women almost never dunk. That naïveté served her well. During a January 2017 game against Grand Junction High School, the then sophomore became the first female to throw down in a Colorado high school game. After the contest, which Regis won, the dunk became a viral sensation, with many designating Belibi as the future of women’s basketball. (Her hype went supernova this month, when on January 12 the 6-1 senior became the first high schooler in the country to catch and finish an alley-oop during a game). Before Belibi heads off to Stanford later this year, those
who were there take a look back the phenom’s first historic slam.


Sunday, January 13, 2019

Stanford recruit Fran Belibi dunks on alley-oop in Regis Jesuit win, Janaury 12, 2019

We already knew Fran Belibi could dunk. But we didn't know she could dunk like that.
The Regis Jesuit senior put down a one-handed alley-oop off a sweet assist from sophomore Avery Vansickle. It even had the coach who has seen Belibi dunk time and time again out of his seat .
"It was absolutely insane," Regis Jesuit coach Carl Mattei said. "I had goose bumps."
The alley-oop counted for just two of the 23 points the Stanford signee had Saturday in a 90-14 Regis Jesuit (Aurora, Colorado) win over league opponent Heritage (Littleton, Colorado).
The 6-foot-1 Belibi also had 23 rebounds.

Fran's and her Girls' high school basketball team pulls off incredible fast break alley-oop

Michelle Matinelli,, January 12, 2019

Francesca Belibi became a high school dunking sensation when, as a sophomore two seasons ago, she was the first girl to dunk in a Colorado high school basketball game, according to espnW. Now a senior committed to Stanford, the 6-foot-1 five-star recruit continues to impress, and her latest jaw-dropping play came Saturday during a game with her Regis Jesuit (Aurora, Colo.) team.
Belibi’s teammate, Avery VanSickle, had the ball for what seemed like an easy lay-up against Heritage. But instead, VanSickle tossed the ball up in the air as Belibi came flying in for a stunning one-handed alley-oop — a first in girls’ high school history, USA TODAY High School Sports reported.
Also according to USA TODAY High School Sports, Belibi has been practicing this move for a while, and clearly, she’s perfected the move.
And her one-handed dunking has become famous, recently making this incredible play in Decemeber when she finished with a career-high 32 points, according to The Sentinel newspaper in Aurora.
When Belibi made history with her first in-game dunk, she hadn’t even been playing basketball for a year and a half, and at the time of espnW’s 2017 profile on her, she had a 6-8 wingspan and an estimated vertical leap of 30 inches. She can also palm a men’s basketball.
“It was amazing,” said Belibi, who grew up playing tennis and took up basketball less than 16 months ago. “I’ve tried dunking in practice but never in a game. To do it in a game and get it on film to show the world was a great opportunity.”