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2014-15 Girls Basketball Capsule Previews

BASIC

Head coach: Teresa Gallegos, 12th season

2013-14 record: 10-13 (5-5 Southeast, third)

Returning letter winners (starters): Three (two)

Top players: C Jayla Brown (Sr.)

Outlook: Brown, who averaged 14 points and eight rebounds per game last year, has the potential to be one of the Sunrise Region’s top players.

She leads a short list of returnees for the Wolves, who are hoping to compete for a postseason berth.

BISHOP GORMAN

Head coach: Sheryl Krmpotich, 17th season

2013-14 record: 21-6 (9-1 Southwest, first)

Returning letter winners (starters): Eight (four)

Top players: F Madison Washington (Jr.), G Megan Jacobs (Jr.), F/C Raychel Stanley (Jr.), F Alaysia Robinson (Sr.)

Outlook: The Gaels return eight letter winners from a team that advanced to the Division I state semifinals last year.

Stanley (16.0 points, 10.0 rebounds per game) and Washington (14.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg) are among the best post players in Southern Nevada, and Jacobs (10.0 ppg, 3.0 apg) gives the Gaels a scoring threat and size on the perimeter.

“We are an uptempo team and excited about this year,” Krmpotich said.

BONANZA

Head coach: Dan Savage, fourth season

2013-14 record: 13-10 (4-6 Southwest, fourth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Three (one)

Top players: G Brooklyn Savage (Sr.), C Monei Williams (Sr.), F Alexis Harris (Jr.)

Outlook: Graduation hit the Bengals hard as only one starter returns, and the three returning letter winners combined to average 16 points per game.

“With only three returning players, the Bengals will be looking for a spark from the upcoming underclassmen,” coach Savage said. “The return of Alyssa Powers should dramatically increase the team’s offensive output.”

CANYON SPRINGS

Head coach: Freddie Banks, first season

2013-14 record: 20-3 (10-0 Northeast, first)

Returning letter winners (starters): Six (four)

Top players: G/F Daijhan Cooks (Sr.), G LaKiya Yarber (Sr.), G/F Alexia Thrower (Jr.)

Outlook: Banks will coach both the boys and girls teams at Canyon Springs and inherits a squad that must find a way to make up for the loss of Cherise Beynon, arguably the best player in the program’s history.

Four starters are back, led by Cooks (12.5 points per game), Thrower (13.5 ppg) and Yarber (10.5 ppg).

“This team is going to be pretty good with the leadership of Daijhan Cooks, LaKiya Yarber and Alexia Thrower,” Banks said. “The addition of freshman Dre’ona Edwards who has played a lot of ball will help.”

CENTENNIAL

Head coach: Karen Weitz, 17th season

2013-14 record: 24-6 (9-1 Southwest, second)

Returning letter winners (starters): Two (one)

Top players: G/F Karina Brandon (Sr.)

Outlook: Brandon, who averaged 10 points and six rebounds per game last year, is the lone returning starter for the Bulldogs, who advanced to the Division I state semifinals last year.

Centennial has just two returning letter winners, yet seems never to have a down season.

CHAPARRAL

Head coach: Christopher McFarland, second season

2013-14 record: 9-17 (4-8 Sunrise, fifth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Six (four)

Top players: G Marcia Hawkins (Jr.), G Rosa Richardson (Sr.), G Abigail Delgado (Sr.)

Outlook: Hawkins, who has the potential to be one of the Sunrise League’s top players, averaged 16 points per game last year and returns along with Delgado (10.0 ppg) and Richardson (8.0 ppg.).

The Cowboys finished only one game behind Desert Pines for the league’s final postseason berth.

“We want to play solid, hard-nosed defense all 94 feet the entire season,” McFarland said. “We hope to be a top contender in the playoffs and surpass all accomplishments and achievements from last season.”

CHEYENNE

Head coach: Monique Desargant, first season

2013-14 record: 5-12 (3-7 Sunset, fourth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Seven (three)

Top players: C Bria Buchanan (Sr.)

Outlook: Buchanan (12.0 points, 10.0 rebounds per game) leads a list of seven returnees for the Desert Shields.

Desargant has spent three years as Cheyenne’s junior varsity coach and will guide a varsity team that is hoping to show improvement and again qualify for the Southern Region playoffs.

CIMARRON-MEMORIAL

Head coach: Tim Resch, first season

2013-14 record: 4-22 (0-10 Southwest, sixth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Five (three)

Top players: G Ashli Tyus (Jr.), G Shauntel Efferson (Sr.), F Zaquae Downton (Sr.)

Outlook: Resch takes over a program that is in need of a spark, but should get a boost from three returning starters.

“We look to rebound from a disappointing 2013-14 season and regain a berth in the regionals,” Resch said. “The Spartans have taken on a ‘junkyard dog’ mentality when it comes to the way they approach the game.

“The program has been hard at work since April and now preaches fundamentals, effort and uptempo intensity,” Resch said. “The future looks bright as the Spartans have eight underclassmen who will see significant minutes.”

CLARK

Head coach: Mike Moulchin, fifth season

2013-14 record: 15-9 (8-2 Sunset, second)

Returning letter winners (starters): Six (two)

Top players: G/F Bobbi Floyd (Sr.), G Karlicia Stroughter (Jr.)

Outlook: Floyd, a Delaware State signee, has the potential to be one of the top players in Southern Nevada.

She and Stroughter are the lone returning starters for the Chargers.

“Having lost three starters, we have a lot of competition for starting positions,” Moulchin said. “The return of Bobbi Floyd for her senior year and a new and talented front line should help us in our efforts to return to the playoffs and pursuit of being a state contender.”

CORONADO

Head coach: Rich Santigate, first season

2013-14 record: 17-12 (5-5 Southeast, fourth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Seven (three)

Top players: C Samantha Green (Sr.), G Karlie Thorn (Sr.), G Dajah Washington (Sr.), F Kayla Watterson (Sr.)

Outlook: Santigate led Liberty to the Division I state final last year and takes over a program that returns seven letter winners.

Dajah Washington averaged 13.2 points and 2.8 rebounds per game last year. Green added 7.7 ppg and 4.6 rpg, and Thorn scored 7.0 ppg last season.

“With the potential eight seniors on the roster, experience will not be a problem,” Santigate said. “However, with a new coach and new system, it will take some time for this team to gel.

“Leadership will be the key. This group expects to battle in the very competitive Southeast League of the Sunrise Region and looks forward to being a regional and state contender.”

DESERT OASIS

Head coach: Laurie Evans, sixth season

2013-14 record: 9-15 (2-8 Southwest, fifth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Six (four)

Top players: G Mikala Kirby (So.), G Ashlynn Sharp (So.)

Outlook: Evans returns after a one-year hiatus and inherits a team with plenty of potential.

Kirby led the team in scoring last year with a 17.4-points per game average. Sharp, the team’s top 3-point shooter, averaged 7.8 ppg.

“We are looking to improve from last year,” Evans said. “We are still young, starting a freshman and two sophomores, but we are excited about our guard play and are ready to compete.”

DESERT PINES

Head coach: Lonnie Cambell, second season

2013-14 record: 8-22 (5-7 Sunrise, fourth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Six (four)

Top players: G Chrystian Myles (Jr.), G Jordan Bailey (Jr.), C Adrienne Jackson (Jr.), F Sie’Airrah Evans-Collins (So.), G Deisy Lozano (Sr.)

Outlook: The Jaguars won just six regular-season games last year before surprising nearly everyone outside the program with a strong postseason run that carried them to the state tournament.

Four starters are back from that team.

“We hope to be able to compete from start to finish,” Cambell said. “Hopefully we can get back to state this year.”

DURANGO

Head coach: Bill Thompson, third season

2013-14 record: 17-8 (8-2 Northwest, second)

Returning letter winners (starters): Seven (three)

Top players: F Jazmin Chavez (Sr.), G Brittany Romo (Jr.), F Vonie Thomas (Sr.)

Outlook: Chavez (16.2 points, 6.7 rebounds, 5.5 steals per game), Romo (11.6 ppg) and Thomas (5.1 ppg, 4.4 rpg) lead a list of seven returnees for the Trailblazers, who finished one game out of first place in the Northwest League last year.

“We have three returning starters and are looking forward to competing in our new league,” Thompson said.

FAITH LUTHERAN

Head coach: Jennifer Karner, ninth season

2013-14 record: 18-10 (9-1 Sunset, first)

Returning letter winners (starters): Five (three)

Top players: G Haley Vinson (Sr.), F/C Morgan Hill (Sr.), G Kim Munro (Sr.)

Outlook: Three starters return from last year’s Sunset League championship squad.

Hill (10.1 points, 9.4 rebounds per game), Vinson (8.1 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 3.9 steals per game) both have three years of varsity experience, and will be among the team’s leaders, as will Munro (4.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg).

“This team looks to capitalize on senior leadership and hopes to return to postseason play,” Karner said. “As the league has grown, Faith Lutheran expects the competition to grow as well and is excited for the season to get under way.”

FOOTHILL

Head coach: Eric Kruger, third season

2013-14 record: 23-7 (8-2 Southeast, second)

Returning letter winners (starters): Seven (three)

Top players: G Taylor Turney (Jr.), F Gabby Doxtator (Jr.) G Mikayla Yeakel (Sr.), G Katey Roquemore (Jr.)

Outlook: Turney, who averaged 15.8 points and 3.0 assists per game last year, is one of a small handful of players in Southern Nevada who can take over a game and is a huge weapon from the perimeter.

She leads a list of seven returnees that also includes Doxtator (6.6 ppg), Yeakel (6.5 ppg) and Roquemore (6.3 ppg).

“Although young on paper, Foothill returns four players with 50-plus games of varsity experience to a team with only two seniors with significant experience,” Kruger said. “Look for the Falcons to compete for a postseason berth.”

GREEN VALLEY

Head coach: Eric Johnston, fourth season

2013-14 record: 19-10 (8-2 Northeast, second)

Returning letter winners (starters): Seven (three)

Top players: G/F Ellee Barton (Jr.), G/F Brooke Haney (So.), G Gracie Garcia (Sr.)

Outlook: The Gators return three starters, but graduated their top two scorers.

Haney averaged 9.2 points and 4.7 rebounds per game, and Barton chipped in 7.4 ppg and 5.6 rpg.

“We are looking forward to competing for playoff seeding in a tough conference and continuing to grow as a team and as a program every week throughout the season,” Johnston said.

LAKE MEAD

Head coach: Karen Yamzon, fourth season

2013-14 record: 3-17 (2-12 Division III Southern, sixth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Four (three)

Top players: Savannah Schmidt (Sr.), Marybeth Bruninga (So.)

Outlook: With three starters back, the Eagles are hoping to show improvement this season.

LAS VEGAS

Head coach: LaShondra Rayford, third season

2013-14 record: 4-23 (1-9 Northeast, fifth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Eight (three)

Top players: G Bianca Matlock (Jr.), G Teconna Dyer (So.), G Jada Williams (Sr.), F Tavaija Bennett (Jr.), G Adrina Collins (Jr.), F Briteny Buckley (Jr.), C Armonnie Byrd (So.)

Outlook: The Wildcats bring back eight letter winners and hope for a far more successful season.

Dyer (9.0 points, 8.0 rebounds per game), Bennett (8.0 rpg, 2.0 blocks per game), Buckley (6.0 ppg, 11.0 rpg) and Matlock (4.0 assists per game) should be among the leaders.

“This team brings back nearly all of its players from last year, however we only bring back 15 percent of our total game output,” Rayford said. “One of our biggest challenges will be scoring and limiting turnovers.

“Our strengths will be our rebounding and defense. We are long and athletic, but lack confidence at the moment. Our only weakness is trying to find a leader that can help us overcome on the court.”

LEGACY

Head coach: Tiffany Richardson, ninth season

2013-14 record: 17-10 (6-4 Southwest, third)

Returning letter winners (starters): Three (zero)

Top players: G Aviona Clark (Sr.), F/C Ashley Sandifer (Jr.), F/C Zania Watkins (So.), C Otilia Price (So.), G TaEha Pankey (Fr.), G C’Aree Stevenson (Fr.), F/C Dar’Juanah Harris (Fr.)

Outlook: Only three letter winners return for the Longhorns, who will be searching for players to fill scoring and rebounding roles.

Sandifer (7.0 points, 3.0 rebounds per game) and Clark (6.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.0 assists per game) are expected to be among the leaders.

“After losing eight players to graduation last year, the Longhorns will be new and young this season,” Richardson said. “But with four freshmen and two sophomores on the team, hopefully we have great building blocks for the future.”

MOAPA VALLEY

Head coach: Stuart Humes, third season

2013-14 record: 4-19 (2-10 Sunrise, sixth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Nine (three)

Top players: F DaniElle Russo (Sr.), G Makayla Jackson (Sr.), G Emily Mills (Sr.)

Outlook: The Pirates return nine letter winners from a squad that struggled at times last season.

“We are led by our three senior captains, Russo, Jackson and Mills,” Humes said. “We have a great supporting cast of younger players.

“We are looking for a bounce back season after a disappointing 2013-14 campaign.”

MOJAVE

Head coach: Learnell Wesley, second season

2013-14 record: 5-21 (1-9 Sunset, sixth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Three (two)

Top players: G Rayena Rael (Sr.), F Darria Gray (So.), G Kiara Lemon (Fr.)

Outlook: The Rattlers have only three letter winners back but hope to show significant improvement in Wesley’s second season.

“We hope to make the playoffs for the first time in six years,” Wesley said.

PAHRANAGAT VALLEY

Head coach: Amy Huntsman, 21st season

2013-14 record: 25-4 (8-0 Division IV Southern, first)

Returning starters: One

Outlook: The Panthers captured their third state title in four years last season, but will have some work to do after losing four starters to graduation.

PALO VERDE

Head coach: Phil Clarke, seventh season

2013-14 record: 11-16 (7-3 Northwest, third)

Returning letter winners (starters): Nine (three)

Top players: G Brooklyn Cruz (Jr.), G Paulina Silcox (Jr.)

Outlook: The Panthers return three starters, including Cruz (14.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.8 assists per game) and Silcox (11.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg).

“The girls have been working hard,” Clarke said. “We look to improve on last year’s third-place finish in league play. There is a nice core back from last season’s team that we will look to lead the way this year.”

RANCHO

Head coach: Ashley Vossen, second season

2013-14 record: 20-9 (5-5 Northeast. third)

Returning letter winners (starters): Five (four)

Top players: G/F LaKissa Martin (Sr.), F/C Jada Wilson (Sr.), G Maureen Macato (Jr.), G Tatianna Lee (Jr.)

Outlook: Four starters return from a team that opened some eyes with its defense last year.

Developing depth beyond the returning starters may be the key for Rams.

“The Rams have a lot of work to do to be ready for this season,” Vossen said. “Even though, they are returning four veteran players, the rest of the team is young and inexperienced.

“The Rams will rely heavily on the guard play of Maureen Macato, Tatianna Lee and LaKissa Martin. The hope is that the four returning starters will be able to lead this young team to the playoffs.”

SIERRA VISTA

Head coach: Lindsay Whalen, 11th season

2013-14 record: 5-22 (1-9 Northwest, fifth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Nine (three)

Top players: F Kennedy Nieves (Jr.), F Danielle Morrow (So.), G Kelsey Jimenez (Sr.)

Outlook: The Mountain Lions struggled to find success last season, but bring back nine letter winners.

Nieves (9.7 points, 5.4 rebounds per game), Morrow (5.4 ppg, 3.5 rpg) and Jimenez (5.2 ppg) are expected to be among the leaders on a team that should be in contention for a postseason berth in the Sunset League.

“We had a very young team last year and are hoping to see improvement,” Whalen said.

SILVERADO

Head coach: Dean Bosch, fourth season

2013-14 record: 5-21 (1-9 Northeast, fifth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Eight (five)

Top players: G Deja Siaki (Jr.), G/F Monet Salazar (Sr.)

Outlook: The youth movement Silverado experienced last year could begin to pay off this year.

All five starters return, led by Siaki (10 points, 1.3 assists per game) and Salazar (9.0 ppg, 1.4 apg).

“We return a number of players that gained valuable varsity experience last year,” Bosch said. “We will have a decent combination of size and speed and should be much improved over last season.

“We believe we have a team that will be able to compete for a playoff spot.”

SPRING VALLEY

Head coach: Billy Hemberger, second season

2013-14 record: 1-24 (1-9 Northwest, fifth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Five (one)

Top players: F/C Jessica Rafay (Jr.), F Alana Walker (Jr.), G/F Kayla Harris (Fr.), G/F Essence Booker (Fr.)

Outlook: Rafay, who averaged eight points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots per game last year, is the Grizzlies’ lone returning starter.

In Hemberger’s second season and after a move to Division I-A, the Grizzlies should be in a better position to compete.

“I fully expect to be in the postseason for the first time in several years at SVHS,” Hemberger said. “The goal is to host a playoff game and compete for a region title. I do feel with the talent and style of play, we should be able to compete at the state level as well.

“Last year my varsity team was in a transitional year, learning from a new coaching staff. It is important that we come out fully prepared to play tough basketball starting Nov. 28. Since taking over the program, work ethic, discipline and togetherness all have been a major focus.”

TECH

Head coach: Diane Hernandez, first season

2013-14 record: 5-17 (2-10 Sunrise, sixth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Seven (three)

Top players: G Clarissa Szluha (Sr.), C Christine Sweet (Sr.), C Leslie Williams (Jr.)

Outlook: Hernandez ended a highly-successful run as Silverado’s coach after the 2007-08 season and is hoping to turn around a Roadrunner team that struggled last year.

“We look to be competitive as we progress through the season,” Hernandez said. “We feel we have a good nucleus to work with, and we are looking forward to the season.”

VALLEY

Head coach: Orlando Glover, first season

2013-14 record: 14-8 (5-5 Northeast, fourth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Six (zero)

Top players: G/F Eimanei Thomas-Palmer (Jr.), G Kate Bordenave (Jr.), G/F Melissa Rangel (Sr.)

Outlook: Eight players from last year’s squad graduated, taking with them most of the team’s offense.

Thomas-Palmer (5.0 points, 8.1 rebounds per game) is the only player back who averaged at least two points per game last season.

“We are in a rebuilding year,” Glover said. “We have an interesting mix of players returning from last year’s varsity, junior varsity and freshmen teams and a couple playes straight from middle school.

“We have a lot of potential, and the sky is the limit. We have some speed, length, size and a little experience. We are working hard, and with a little luck we plan to return to the playoffs this season.”

VIRGIN VALLEY

Head coach: Chimane Creer, 10th season

2013-14 record: 15-10 (9-3 Sunrise, second)

Returning letter winners (starters): Seven (four)

Top players: F Becca Bramlage (Sr.), C Kourtney Metzger (Sr.), G Spencer Green (Jr.), G Emma Barnum (So.), F Bernice Fiso (So.)

Outlook: The Bulldogs have plenty of size down low in the 6-foot-4-inch Metzger (6.3 points, 5.3 rebounds per game) and 6-0 posts Bramlage (7.4 ppg, 7.1 rpg) and Fiso (5.2 ppg, 4.8 rpg).

Virgin Valley must make up for the loss to graduation of sharpshooter Abbie Barnard, the team’s leading scorer for each of the past two years.

“Virgin Valley is looking to capitalize on its good season last year,” Creer said. “Our goal is to get to the finals this year.

“We have seven returners and hope that this will develop a good nucleus to be a strong contender this year.”

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