Just two years into her high school career, Wheeling Park standout Alexis Bordas has built an impressive list of accomplishments.
She has helped lead the Patriots to the state tournament in both of her seasons, including a spot in the Class AAAA title game this year. She has earned first-team All-State honors two years in a row and was named first-team captain on the 2023 All-State team announced on Friday.
Bordas has already eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for her career and has been named the WV Gatorade Player of the Year and the MaxPreps Player of the Year.
Today she adds another accomplishment to her resume as she has been named the 2023 Mary Ostrowski Award winner, given annually to the state’s top girls’ basketball player by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association.
The honor also puts her in some exclusive company as she is just the third sophomore in the history of the state to win the Player of the Year award.
The current namesake for the award Mary Ostrowski (the Player of the Year Award was known as the Russell Thom Award until 2012) won it at Parkersburg Catholic in 1977 as a sophomore as well as her junior and senior seasons with Catholic.
Alexis Hornbuckle won co-Player of the Year honors as a sophomore at Capital in 2002, sharing the award with North Marion’s Jessica Sell. Hornbuckle was also named Player of the Year in 2003 and 2004 at South Charleston.
“I really wasn’t expecting this,” Bordas said. “I’m honored, especially knowing all of the past players who have won this award and even the current players in the state that are great players; to be picked from them and named with all the past winners is definitely an honor.
“It means a lot winning it as a sophomore. I’m so young and hopefully I have more left in front of me in my career. I’m very thankful for all my teammates and coaches. I couldn’t have gotten here without them. I work really hard and it shows that it pays off and I’m going to keep working even harder.
“I also want to thank all of the sports writers for voting for me.”
Bordas entered this year’s state tournament averaging 20.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 3.6 steals per game. In three games in Charleston she put up 78 points (an average of 26 per game), and had 13 steals, the most of anybody in the tournament in either category.
“She is very deserving of this award,” Wheeling Park coach Ryan Young said. “She puts in so much work. She’s a great teammate, an easy player to coach. She’s the leader of our team and she deserves the recognition and our program does as well.
“She’s an elite scorer but she can start the offense with the ball. She’s just a very versatile player. She’s very smart and she doesn’t force a lot.”
When you reach 1,000 career points as a sophomore or when you pour in 34 points in a state tournament quarterfinal game, it’s hard to ignore Bordas’ ability to score, but she says it is important to her that her skill set is about more than just points.
“My scoring is obviously the thing that people notice the most,” she said. “But, if someone was to ask me what the best part of my game is I think it’s definitely my basketball IQ. I just watch so much basketball, watch so much film from women’s college, men’s college, NBA, WNBA. I look for little details to help make myself better.
“I love this game. Every time I step on the court, I don’t take it for granted. I’m definitely a gym rat. If I can be in a gym working on my game that’s where I’m going to be. I’d live in a gym if they would let me.”
A prime example of the way Bordas’ mind works in the flow of the game came right before halftime of the title game against Morgantown, when she had an open lane to the basket but pulled up and hit a 3-pointer that beat the buzzer.
“If there was more time on the clock I would have drove with the ball but I knew time was winding down,” Bordas said. “I looked at the clock when I got the pass and I saw there were 4 seconds left and there was definitely enough time to get to the basket, but the way my momentum was going and I knew the defender was a couple feet off of me so I would have a clean look at the basket so I pulled up and it went in.”
Bordas also is not the type of player to rest on her laurels. She already is gearing up for another busy AAU season with the West Virginia Thunder and she still has at least one more goal in her sights for her high school career at Wheeling Park, perhaps the one that means the most to her — winning a state championship.
“It’s been my biggest goal since I entered high school and it still is,” Bordas said. “I’m very grateful for all the individual awards I won last year and this year but the state title is the biggest goal and it’s going to be the greatest feeling if we can get that.”
Other players who received votes for the 2023 Mary Ostrowski Award were Bordas’ teammate Lala Woods, Morgantown’s Lily Jordan, Bridgeport’s Gabby Reep, North Marion’s Olivia Toland, Cameron’s Ashlynn Van Tassell, Webster County’s Sydney Baird and Pendleton County’s Ana Young.
Bordas will be presented with the Mary Ostrowski Award at the 76th annual Victory Awards Dinner on May 7 at the Embassy Suites in Charleston.
BY CHRIS JOHNSON/For The WVSWA