Here are some of the best girls’ high school basketball performances of past 40 years

There have been a lot of girls’ basketball games, and a lot of stars, in The Charlotte Observer’s coverage zone since The Sweet 16 poll began 40 years ago.

In order to make our list of the top 10 individual performances, the game had to be seen by an Observer reporter and chronicled by the media outlet.

(1) Konecka Drakeford, Providence Day, Dec. 19, 1992: Drakeford has more high scoring games than any N.C. player in Observer history, but it’s one of her many 40-point games that stands out the most. Playing against a North Iredell team that was then a 3A public school state power, Drakeford led the Chargers to an 86-72 road win against the previously unbeaten Raiders.

Drakeford, battling a cold, finished with 47 points, 31 rebounds, six steals, five assists and a block. “She is,” North Iredell coach Doug Chilton said at the time, “definitely an an All-American.” Said North Iredell’s Jeannie Williams, who guarded Drakeford during most of the game: “I was nervous. I wasn’t really thinking. I was worried about playing her because I’m not used to guarding someone like that.”

(2) Andrea Stinson, North Mecklenburg, March 22, 1986: There are so many Stinson games to pick from — like when she scored 49 points against Morganton Freedom in her final high school game in 1987 — but this one delivered a state championship for the Vikings. Playing against a Fayetteville Pine Forest team that had won 23 straight games, Stinson led North Meck to a 61-54 win for the school’s first and only 4A state championship. She had 35 points, nine steals and six rebounds. “She is one of the best I’ve ever coached against,” Pine Forest coach Tom Jackson said. “She can do anything with a basketball but make it talk. And I’m not so sure about that.”

Later that summer, Stinson would lead her AAU Junior Olympic team to state and national titles. She was named a second team Parade All-American after her junior season. After her senior season, she was named Parade’s national player of the year.

(3) Javarus Abraham, West Charlotte, March 6, 1999: As a sophomore, Abraham averaged 22 points and four rebounds per game. She led the Lions to the first conference championship in school history and their first conference tournament championship since 1992. That season, Abraham was coached by Sonya McRoberts, who was two-time Parade All-American at Drewry Mason in Virginia.

As a junior, Abraham had her best game: 36 points, four steals and two blocks in a 4A Western Regional championship loss to McDowell. She made 10 3-point shots, a new regional record and just one short of the team record of 11.. Abraham’s 36 points were second-most in regional history at the time, trailing Mitchell’s Leslie Burleson (38 in 1997).

(4) Greta Tamasauskaite, Grace Academy, Jan. 24, 2012: A year after playing at Oak Ridge Military Academy for former Wake Forest men’s basketball star Delaney Rudd, Tamasauskaite came to Charlotte. Oak Ridge eliminated its program and she had a friend who was from Lithuania, Tamasauskaite’s home country, in a foreign exchange program at Grace Academy, a small private school in southern Mecklenburg County.

The move went well. Tamasauskaite — who played for the Lithuanian U18 Division A team in the European Championships the summer before she moved — averaged 28 points, seven steals and five assists. That was 22 points more than she averaged at Oak Ridge. And, in an 83-57 win against (now defunct) Kennedy Charter, during her senior season, Tamasauskaite scored 57 points, the second-most, at the time, that any Mecklenburg County male or female player had scored. Providence Day’s Konecka Drakeford held the record with a 65-point outburst in 1991.

(5) Mallorie Haines, Davidson Day, Jan. 29, 2018: Trained by former UNC star Jeff McInnis, Haines began her career at Catawba’s Bandys High School. In her second game, as a freshman, she had 48 points, 10 rebounds and nine steals. That output was the most by any Bandys girls’ player, breaking the previous mark set 31 years earlier. Haines later had 45 points against West Iredell.

She transferred to Davidson Day during Christmas break of her freshman year, and led the Patriots to a 90-67 win against Langtree Charter. She had 51 points, seven rebounds and six steals. She made nine 3-pointers and set a Mecklenburg County scoring record for a freshman, male or female. Haines, whose also won a state volleyball championship in high school, helped lead her team to three straight NCISAA 2A state championships and scored 2,440 career points.

(6) Devin Long, Olympic, Jan. 20, 2023: Long averaged 8.6 points per game in the 2021-22 season and upped that to 16.4 points as a sophomore in 2022-23. But on a Friday night in Charlotte, during her sophomore season, Long had a school-record and career-high 48 points in a 67-57 win against Harding.

She made 18 field goals. It was a highlight in a season where the Trojans won three of 24 games and averaged about 45 points per game as a team. Long’s performance ranks sixth in Mecklenburg County history.

(7) Ivory Latta, York Comprehensive (S.C.), Feb. 27, 2003: Before she became a star at North Carolina and in the WNBA, Latta played six varsity seasons at York and tore the state record book to shreds. She left high school with a plethora of state records including most career points (4,272), most 40-point games in a career (20) and most points in season (1,201). S.C. athletes were allowed to play varsity in seventh grade.

As a senior, Latta scored a career-high 70 points in a 110-71 win against Belton-Honea Path in the 3A Upper State championship game, or state semifinal. She made 14-of-19 shots from 3-point range and went 23-of-44 for the game in breaking a 16-year-old state record.

(8) Stephanie Watts, Weddington, Jan. 9, 2015: This game was a few weeks before Watts was named to play in the McDonald’s All-American game. She would also go on to sign with North Carolina and win the state’s biggest award, Ms. N.C. Basketball. Watts produced many performances that could challenge for inclusion here, but this one stands out.

In a win against Concord’s Cox Mill, Watts put up one of 13 girls’ basketball quadruple-doubles recorded by the N.C. High School Athletic Association. Watts had 36 points, 11 rebounds, 11 steals and 10 assists. She also had a quadruple-double during her sophomore year against Union County rival Marvin Ridge: 25 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists and 10 steals.

(9) Allison Feaster, Chester (S.C.), Dec. 12, 1993: Feaster was named to every All-American team imaginable after her senior year, when she left with a state record 3,427 points during a six-year career. S.C. athletes were allowed to play varsity in seventh grade.

One of her most memorable games was at the end of her junior season. Feaster — now an executive with the Boston Celtics whose daughter Sarah Strong has been Ms. N.C. Basketball the past two seasons at Grace Christian — led her high school to the 1993 4A state championship. Feaster had 35 points and 16 rebounds in a 56-41 win against Summerville. “I’m just glad everyone here was able to see Allison tonight,” Chester coach Sue Misenheimer said. “That was vintage Allison.”

(10) Chrystal Baptist, Charlotte Christian, March 4, 2000: Baptist had 38 points and 25 rebounds in an 65-63 win against Raleigh Ravenscroft in the NCISAA 3A state championship game. The Knights won the first girls’ basketball state championship in school history in triple-overtime. Baptist scored 28 of her team’s final 46 points, including the game-winner at the buzzer.

Baptist went onto be named Ms. N.C. Basketball after averaging 20 points and 15 rebounds as a senior. She moved to Charlotte before her senior year, transferring from Farmville Central, where she was a three-time conference player of the year.