P.K. Yonge trio leads All Area big school girls basketball team

P.K. Yonge's Ashlyn Young (left) and Buchholz's Jamison Cardwell were selected to the 2024 All Area big school girls basketball team.
P.K. Yonge's Ashlyn Young (left) and Buchholz's Jamison Cardwell were selected to the 2024 Bosshardt Realty All Area big school girls basketball team.
Graphic by Seth Johnson/Photos by C.J. Gish

This is the third of five stories unveiling the 2024 Bosshardt Realty All Area Basketball Teams. Click here to read about the Small School girls team and the Small School boys team.


Willie Powers has coached a lot of great teams and talented players during his long-time tenure as head coach of the P.K. Yonge girls basketball team.

Powers has won two state titles and watched plenty of his players go off to play at the Division 1 level. And while the 2023-24 Blue Wave didn’t end up in Lakeland playing for the 3A state title, they still lead the way with three selections to the Bosshardt Realty All Area first team for big schools (3A-6A) girls basketball team.

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P.K. Yonge's Reniyah Clark averaged 10.2 rebounds, 8.3 points and 3.2 steals per game for the Blue Wave.
Photo by C.J. Gish P.K. Yonge’s Reniyah Clark averaged 10.2 rebounds, 8.3 points and 3.2 steals per game for the Blue Wave.

P.K. Yonge finished 14-9 this past season and while they came up short of another district title, dropping the District 2-3A championship game to Trinity Catholic (Ocala), but the Blue Wave once again advanced to the state playoffs. P.K. Yonge edged Bradford, 42-38, in the Region 1-3A quarterfinal before seeing its season come to an end with a loss at eventual final four participant Providence (Jacksonville) in the second round.

The Blue Wave was led by sophomore guard Ashlyn Young, who is a first-team selection. Young led the Blue Wave with 16.5 points per game, 3.6 assists and 3.5 steals per contest, and was third in rebounds with 8.3 ppg.

“Ashlyn was a do-it-all player who played over 30 minutes a game for us,” Powers said. “She could score on all three levels and was a very unselfish player.”

Two Blue Wave players were chosen for the second team, freshman guard Taylor Powers and senior forward/center Reniyah Clark.

Taylor Powers was second on the team in scoring with 11 points and seven rebounds along with nearly three steals per contest.

“Taylor was one of our shooting guards who could score the ball, rebound and play hard on defense,” Willie Powers said.

Clark scored 8.3 points and was second for the Blue Wave with 10.2 boards per game.

Eastside's Aniya West averaged 15 points, 10 rebounds, vie assists and one block per game for the Rams.
Photo by C.J. Gish Eastside’s Aniya West averaged 15 points, 10 rebounds, vie assists and one block per game for the Rams.

“Reniyah was the glue for us playing all 32 minutes a game at multiple positions,” Willie Powers said. “We don’t win if she’s not in the game.”

Another success story in the 2023-24 season was Eastside, who went 15-9, won the District 5-4A title and advanced to the 4A state playoffs in the Rams’ first season under head coach Lonna Turner.

Representing Eastside on the first team is senior guard/forward Aniya West. West led a balanced Rams scoring attack averaging 15 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and one block per game.

‘The growth West has shown on an athletic scale was beyond our measure,” Turner said. “Dominating in the paint, each game she brought tremendous leadership to the team. Not only was she a leader on the court, she also excelled in the classroom. Throughout the season, I knew failure was not an option for her.”

Senior guard Precious Marshall represents the Rams on the second team. She averaged 10 rebounds, eight points, five assists, three steals and two blocks per contest.

“Even with obstacles Precious Marshall gave us an outstanding performance this year,” Turner said. “Marshall has displayed leadership not only through our guards but as well as a post player. She is an all-around team player. She also excelled in the classroom maintaining an above average GPA. I can count on Precious to be my multi-talented player.”

Bradford's Ar’Nayshia Griffin averaged 17.2 points, 11.2 rebounds, 3.3 steals, 2.6 assists and 1.7 blocks per game for the Tornadoes.
Photo by C.J. Gish Bradford’s Ar’Nayshia Griffin averaged 17.2 points, 11.2 rebounds, 3.3 steals, 2.6 assists and 1.7 blocks per game for the Tornadoes.

Bradford also has a player on both the first team and second team. The Tornadoes finished the season 14-9 and dropped the District 2-3A semifinals game as well as the Region 1-3A quarterfinal to P.K. Yonge.

Sophomore forward Ar’Nayshia Griffin is a first-team selection. Griffin averaged a double-double with 17.2 points and 11.2 rebounds a game. She added 2.6 assists, 3.3 steals and 1.7 blocks per contest.

“She’s the type of player any coach would love to coach,” Bradford coach Sampson Jackson said. “She plays hard, focuses on game plans, and really gives the game a lot. She was due for a big season with the offseason she had. Her frame at 6’0″ and long arms made her an issue for many teams to deal with on the boards this past season and I think that’s only going to improve.”

The Bradford representative on the second team is senior guard/forward Jada Hankerson. Hankerson was second for the Tornadoes in scoring, averaging 13.9 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.8 steals and two assists per contest.

“Jada is the motor of our machine,” Jackson said. “She was an instant game changer for us. Whether it was getting a stop on defense or getting to the basket for a layup she was able to do it. She led the team in minutes played and was very productive for us as a point guard. She’s left her mark on Bradford basketball for sure. We will miss having her here.”

Gainesville's Jayden Terry led the Hurricanes with 15.8 points per game.
Photo by C.J. Gish Gainesville’s Jayden Terry led the Hurricanes with 15.8 points per game.

Rounding out the All Area Big School first-team is Gainesville junior guard/forward Jayden Terry and Buchholz junior guard Jamison Cardwell.

Terry stood out for a Hurricanes team that finished at 9-13, as she led Gainesville with nearly 16 ppg.

“Jayden is a great person and player,” said GHS coach Jazlynd Rollins. “She has contributed a lot to the program on and off the court. I believe she will continue to do so as she continues to develop her game. Glad she is a part of our journey on the road to success.”

Cardwell is on the team for the third straight season. She led the Bobcats in scoring with nearly 18 points per game, as Buchholz finished 11-9 but missed the state playoffs after losing to Gainesville in the District 2-6A semifinals.

Rounding out the second team is Columbia junior guard/forward Jolena Gardner. Gardner averaging 11.5 points, nine rebounds, 4.3 steals, 2.2 assists and 1.9 blocks a game for a Tigers team that finished 14-11 and just missed the 5A playoffs after losing to Ridgeview (Orange Park) in the District 2-5A championship game.

“Jolena was a true leader this season,” Columbia coach Anthony Perry said. “She started to transition into the player that we knew she could be. Her grit was evident, and she led the area in double-doubles. We were able to run the offense through her at times which is a luxury. We are looking forward to a dynamic senior season from Jolena in 2025.”

GIRLS – BIG SCHOOL (3A-6A) (1st Team)

G – Ashlyn Young, P.K. Yonge (Sophomore)

G – Jamison Cardwell, Buchholz (Junior)

G/F – Jayden Terry, GHS (Junior)

G/F – Aniya West, Eastside (Senior)

F – Ar’Nayshia Griffin, Bradford (Sophomore)

GIRLS – BIG SCHOOL (3A-6A) (2nd Team)

G – Taylor Powers, P.K. Yonge (Freshman)

G – Precious Marshall, Eastside (Senior)

G/F – Jolena Gardner, Columbia (Junior)

G/F – Jada Hankerson, Bradford (Senior)

F/C – Reniyah Clark, P.K. Yonge (Senior)

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Buchholz – Taylor Booth (So.), Kennedy Wyckoff (Jr.), Tionna Wilkinson (Fr.)

Columbia – Mariah Cox (So.), Eriel Baker (Jr.), Ayesha Broxey (Jr.), Zuri Hollie (Fr.)

Eastside – Trinity Cooper (Jr.), Merveille Namusura (So.), Akira Martin (Jr.)

Gainesville – Jocelyn Wallace (Sr.), Taylor Mullins (Jr.)

P.K. Yonge – Summer Barnett (Sr.), Da’mar Wims (Sr.), Jorryn Dye (8th)

Santa Fe – Haleigh Richburgh (So.), Natalie Chohan (Jr.)

Suwannee – Janeah Mitchell (Jr.), Shadavia Jones (Sr.), Kiera Jelks (So.)

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