DES MOINES — It can be argued that the Metro has never been stocked with so many big fish at one time.
Kiah Stokes, Morgan Paige and Jade Rogers and high-level Division-I players, one and all.
First-team all-staters, too.
Sportswriters selected the trio — and four others from the area — to the top team in their respective classes during Iowa Newspaper Association girls’ basketball all-state voting Saturday.
Stokes, a junior at Linn-Mar with a state championship and college offers galore, was named to the Class 4A first team. So was Rogers, a Cedar Rapids Kennedy senior who has signed with the University of Iowa.
Paige, a Marion senior and a Wisconsin signee, was tabbed to the top squad in 3A.
“Her name speaks for itself,” said Sioux City Heelan’s Carli Tritz, who was selected as Miss Iowa Basketball 2010. “(Paige is) very hard to guard. She can shoot from outside. She can drive. She can draw fouls.”
Paige averaged a 3A state-high 25.0 points per game, tallying 34 points in the Indians’ loss to Heelan in the 3A state quarterfinals.
Stokes enjoyed a happier ending. The 6-foot-3 post registered 20 points, 18 rebounds and six blocks as Linn-Mar edged Des Moines East, 38-35, for the 4A crown.
Linn-Mar finished 26-0.
“It was all I thought it would be, and more,” said Stokes, who posted 19.3 points and 12.8 rebounds per game.
Rogers averaged 18.3 points and 11.4 boards per game as Kennedy went 21-3 and reached the 4A state semifinals.
Tritz earned the top honor after leading Heelan to the Class 3A championship, its second in three years.
A 5-foot-11 guard who has signed with Creighton, Tritz averaged 23 points, 6 assists and 6 steals per game and set a single-game state-tournament record with 11 steals in the Crusaders’ win over Waukon in the final.
Other area first-team picks were Virginia Johnson of Iowa City High in 4A, Mary Halvorson of Waukon in 3A, Taylor Dicus of state-champion Mount Vernon and Ali Browning of Iowa City Regina in 2A.
Dicus was the 2A all-tournament captain as unranked Mount Vernon (25-3) completed an unlikely run to the title. The 6-1 junior was 10-of-11 from the field in a 22-point, 15-rebound performance in the Mustangs’ championship victory over Manson-Northwest Webster.
Waukon (25-2) reached the state tournament two straight years behind a senior class piloted by Halvorson, a 5-11 post.
She probably enhanced her standing among recruiters after a strong state-tournament run.
“Right now, it’s Luther or Coe unless something bigger opens up,” said Halvorson, who averaged 17.3 points and 8.9 rebounds. “I think I’m underrated.
“I’m going to go with the flow, but I might need to think about other options.”
An Iowa commitment, Johnson averaged 22.0 points and 10.3 rebounds per game as City High went 14-9 and reached the regional finals in 4A.
Browning averaged 18.6 points and 8.4 rebounds per game as Regina (18-5) won the Cedar Valley Conference title.