1. Brayden Gault
Battlefield High School’s all-time leading scorer goes for his third straight two-ball title. If he wins, he’ll tie Woodbridge graduate Hanna Oliver for most Hoops Fest championships. Oliver won her third consecutive girls 3-point title last year at Hoops Fest 22.
Gault, who finished his career with 1,629 points, will team with Linden Beasley at this year’s event. Last year, Gault and teammate Danielle Harrington won after totaling 81 points in the championship round.
2. Josie Rodas
The Hylton High School sophomore finished as the girls 3-point runner-up last season to Woodbridge’s Hanna Oliver. Rodas advanced to the finals after scoring 17 points, including eight after sinking four money balls (worth two points apiece).
For the second straight year, Rodas led the area in 3-pointers (74 for an average of three a game.). She has a total of 142 3-pointers over two seasons.
She’ll face stiff competition from Christ Chapel’s Kelly Luck (second in the area with a 2.4 average), Stonewall Jackson’s Alyssa Sweeney (1.8 a game) and Colgan’s Gabby Cadle (1.5) among others.
Cadle competed last year.
3. Boys 3-point shootout
This event is wide-open with most of the area’s top shooters participating. John Paul the Great’s Ryan Wheatley (area-high 89 3’s for a 3.7 average), Patriot’s Jay Villani (56, 2.4) and Stonewall Jackson’s Jordan Gibson (40. 1.8) are among the favorites. Of the four, Gibson is the only returner from last year.
John Paul’s last 3-point champion was in 2015 (Brandon Edmond) and Hylton’s in 2009 (Carlton Johnson). Stonewall and Patriot have never won the boys 3-point shootout.
4. The dunk
This is another wide-open competition after defending champion Kaeleb Carter from Colgan opted to participate in the two-ball event instead.