Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Memphis area girls basketball: Preseason Dandy Dozen

From Commercial Appeal

1. Houston
Coach: Ben Moore
Last year: 28-4 (lost to Riverdale in the Class AAA semifinals
The Mustangs return four starters. Leading the way is junior Jayla Hemingway, who averaged 18.4 points and 5.5 rebounds and has surpassed 1,000 career points. She'll have help from 5-9 guard Madison Griggs (10.8 points), 5-6 point guard Destinee Wells (9 points, 4.6 assists) and 5-9 junior Melissa Carter (7.5 points, 5.1 rebounds).

2. Whitehaven
Coach: Lynn Smith
Last year: 17-9 (lost to Houston in the Region 8-AAA semifinals)
An already solid team thanks to returnees like Shmya Ward (13.5 ppg) has been upgraded significantly thanks to transfers Vertonia Bady (Mitchell), Carleesia Austin (Westwood) and Mericle Hall (Ridgeway). The key is freshman point guard Se'Quoia Allmond, who had 10 points, 7 assists and 7 steals in a victory over Melrose last week.

3. Arlington
Coach: Wes Shappley
Last year: 23-10 (lost to Houston in AAA sectional)
The Tigers have the talent to get to state. Taylor Lattimore and Caitlyn Wilson each averaged 14 points while 6-4 junior Lanetta Williams pitched in with 11, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks. Lanetta's twin sister, Lanyce, also returns and Shappley has another pair of promising twins in 5-9 freshmen Carmen and Charmen Taylor.

4. Olive Branch
Coach: Jason Thompson
Last year: 33-1 (won MHSAA 6A championship but later forfeited it due to using an ineligible player)
Three-time Commercial Appeal player of the year Myah Taylor is now at Mississippi State, but the Quistors still look like the best team in DeSoto County. South Alabama signee Mahogany Vaught averaged 13 points, 5 assists and 4 steals, while 6-1 center Katie Blackmon averaged 11 points and 13 boards.

5. Central
Coach: Rashad Haynes
Last year: 30-7 (lost to Riverdale in the Class AAA title game)
Haynes' team has one of the best 1-2 punches in the state in senior guards Jireh Washington (Arkansas State signee) and Johne' Stewart and will be even better once Brianna Cooks and Kynadi Kuykendoll return from injury.

Coach: Tracy Rice
Last year: 30-11 (won homeschool national championship)
The Eagles won the national homeschool championship for the third time and reached the title game for the seventh time in eight years. They will be led by 5-8 senior Annaliese Burnett, 5-7 senior Lindsey Vaughn and 5-8 senior Kylie Loadholt. Gigi Ford is the distributor while Ashley Carson is back after missing last year with a torn ACL.

7. Munford
Coach: Steve Poindexter
Last year: 26-7 (lost to Central in Class AAA sectionals)
Gabby Crawford is back for one final season and the Cougars couldn't be happier. The 6-2 senior, who has signed with Alabama, averaged 19 points and 12 rebounds as Munford advanced to within one game of state. She'll get plenty of help from 5-11 senior Deja Carter.

8. Northpoint
Coach: Barry Gray
Last year: 29-2 (won the Division II-A championship)
Miss Basketball winner Ashtyn Baker, Lindsey Whiteside and Hannah Shaffer have graduated, but the cupboard isn't bare. Sharpshooter Lauren Gross has signed with North Florida while Jade Wells is one of the best inside players in Division II. Amara McKay will also be a big contributor.

9. White Station
Coach: Tommy Warren
Last year: 26-4 (lost to Central in the Region 8-AAA semifinals)
With several key contributors having graduated, much of the Spartans' hopes will rest on Tennessee-Martin signee Brittni Moore, who averaged 12 ppg. Warren welcomes in one of the best freshman classes in the city led by Demiya Bess, Lyric Cole and Kyla Mason.

10. Harding
Coach: Becky Starks
Last year: 24-8 (lost to Northpoint in Division II-A semifinals)
There will be a big hole in the paint where South Alabama freshman Antoinette Lewis used to dominate, but the Lions will still be hard to handle. Starks welcomes back Sage Hawley (6-3 sophomore); Jacaila Davis (5-2 junior); Hadley Horner (5-10 junior) and Alexandria Ellis (5-5 junior) while adding promising 5-8 sophomore Hailey Smith.

11. Covington
Coach: Katrisha Glass
Last year: 20-10 (lost to Haywood in Region 8-AA semifinals)
The Chargers have a good mix of veteran and young talent and can contend for a trip to Murfreesboro once more. Lamia Udley and Tia Bland are seniors with potential to cause trouble in the paint while Trinity Taylor is a 5-6 point guard with lots of promise.

12. Mitchell
Coach: Derek Hunter
Last year: 28-4 (lost to Trinity Christian in the Region 8A semifinals)
The Tigers are moving up to AA and lost a couple of very good players in Derenisha Taylor (graduated) and Vertonia Bady (transferred). Miata Borders (11 ppg) will be the leader while Tashun Bryson and Ravann Rogers should do well in bigger roles.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.