To no one’s surprise, Janna Holley is SBLive’s LA City chapter Women’s Basketball Player of the Year. Holley, who the Section voted Player of the Year, led Birmingham to a LACS Open Division Championship – and that’s just the start.
Holley finished third in the section (among reported results) and first among Open Division teams with 18.4 points per game, while playing in all 26 games for the Patriots. She led the section in making leaps and bounds free throws with 130 of them while achieving one of the highest marks in the section at 80%. Her 4.2 assists per game ranked fifth in averages reported in the section, and only one of the four players ahead of her would also average an assist turnover ratio above 1.5.
And she could also have been the best defensive player in the section. Its 3.9 SPG was third among Open Division teams, but doesn’t begin to tell the whole story. There was no more coverage and harassing a perimeter defender than Holley, who held the majority of his high-profile matchups below their season averages. His interceptions came more from the opposing ball handlers spitting the rock with elite defense at the attacking point than from playing on the passing lanes. And when the other team’s best playmaker was a bigger winger, she didn’t hold back. Additionally, Holley’s ability to transition from attacking play to single-handedly rushing opposing point guards from marks and misses was a secret weapon in Birmingham’s outstanding transition defense. She also led the team with 87 deflections, four charges, 3.6 defensive rebounds per game and three offensive rebounds as well.
Not only did Holley post bulky averages, but she was very consistent and clutch too. For example, she had at least 10 points in all but two games, at least 12 points in all but four games, and at least five rebounds in all but four games, even as a 5-4 guard. And as Birmingham’s Championship trophy would suggest, she had a penchant for showing up at important times and raising her game against Birmingham’s top competition.
His performance of 32 points, six steals, six rebounds and five assists on a career-high 6-9 3FG to defeat Palisades in the Divisional Semifinals was one of the most memorable individual best performances in recent memory. of City Section. And he followed a career-high 34 points in a November game in which Birmingham ended Pali’s City side winning streak of more than two years. Holley also averaged 19 points, seven rebounds, eight assists and six steals per game in two Western Valley League games against eventual Division 1 champion El Camino Real to secure the second-place finish. the conference. She had the worst shooting night of her career in the title match against Westchester but still manufactured 18 runs on 13-16 FT to lead all scorers and take the win.
The list continues.
“As soon as she walked into the Birmingham gymnasium, she made an impact. She went from a shy and lowly rookie to the most decorated player in our programme’s history,” said the coach- Chef Victor Koopongsakorn.
“It was amazing to witness her journey, still working on her craft and improving year after year. Janna has been our cornerstone for the past four years and everything she brings to our team will be missed. But she leaves a lasting impression with her returning teammates and future players a foundation and work ethic of what it takes to achieve our team’s goals at the highest level.”
All told, Holley had a clear MVP case as a player averaging 18/6/4/4 on the championship team. But her contributions are so much more than that nice line of stats, it’s why Birmingham won their first Open Division title and why Holley is our CIFLACS Player of the Year.