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2015-16 Girls Basketball Capsule Previews

BASIC

Head coach: Teresa Gallegos, 14th season

2014-15 record: 5-17 (0-10 Southeast, sixth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Four (two)

Top players: F Happy Butler (Jr.), G Destiny Byrd (Fr.), G Amanda Sanchez (Sr.), F Zoila Piee (Sr.)

Outlook: The Wolves bring back just four letter winners and are ready for a fresh start.

“The 2014-15 season was a disappointing one for the Lady Wolfpack to put it mildly,” Gallegos said. “We expect a much better effort and favorable results as our girls have worked really hard and are starting to jell at just the right time.”

Butler had a breakout freshman season, but was injured for much of last season.

“We have a potential star,” Gallegos said of Butler. “She can play all three frontcourt positions and is a tenacious rebounder and lights-out shooter from all over the floor.”

Gallegos also expects big contributions from Sanchez.

“Despite a very short rotation, the strength of the team will be defensive pressure and flexibility as our young, inexperienced players gain confidence,” Gallegos said. “I have not been this excited about the outlook of Wolfpack basketball in a long time. The additions to our program have added a very positive forecast to our current, intermediate and long-term future.”

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BEAVER DAM

Head coach: Charles Hurley, first season

2014-15 record: 7-5 (5-4 IV Southern, sixth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Three (one)

Top players: G Jailene Hernandez (Jr.), G Rebecca Garlick (Sr.), F Maricela Sandoval (Sr.)

Outlook: Hernandez averaged 14.6 points per game last year and is one of only three returnees for the Diamondbacks, who qualified for the Division IV Southern League playoffs last year.

Along with varsity experience, the Diamondbacks also lack size as the three returnees all are 5 feet, 5 inches tall or shorter.

“The team will depend on a tight man-to-man defense to overcome the lack of scoring,” said Hurley, who starts his 42nd season of coaching but his first with Beaver Dam’s girls. “It should be a fun season, and if we can only focus on the ‘one game at a time’ idea, good things will happen for us as the end of the season nears.”

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BISHOP GORMAN

Head coach: Sheryl Krmpotich, 18th season

2014-15 record: 24-6 (8-0 Southwest, first)

Returning letter winners (starters): Seven (four)

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

Outlook: Few teams have three Division I commits, but the Gaels can boast that in Stanley (16 points, 9 rebounds per game), Washington (14 ppg, 9 rpg) and Jacobs (10 ppg, 6 assists per game).

Jackson (9 ppg, 5 rpg) also started last season and should contribute significantly.

“Having four returners back along with a bench will help the Lady Gaels this season,” Krmpotich said. “We love the uptempo style of play and will have the depth to so just that this year. We will be more uptempo but can also slow the game down as needed.

“The Lady Gaels have strength, versatility, speed, depth and players that can play a variety of spots on the court. We’re looking for this veteran squad to mix things up and finish the job.”

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BONANZA

Head coach: Dan Savage, fifth season

2014-15 record: 10-17 (0-8 Northwest, fifth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Two (one)

Top players: F Alexis Harris (Sr.)

Outlook: Harris, who averaged 6.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game last year, is the lone returning starter for the Bengals, who have just two returning letter winners.

“This will be a full-blown rebuilding year,” Savage said. “With only one returning starter, the team will have spots open for newcomers to the program. This year’s team will be scrappy and have fun doing it.”

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BOULDER CITY

Head coach: Paul Dosch, third season

2014-15 record: 18-9 (12-2 Sunrise, second)

Returning letter winners (starters): Five (two)

Top players: F Megan Morton (Sr.), F Julia Worrall (Jr.)

Outlook: Morton averaged 17 points and 9 rebounds per game last season and is one of the top post players in the Division I-A Southern Region.

She and Worrall return to lead the Eagles, who likely will compete for the Sunrise title.

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CALVARY CHAPEL

Head coach: Doug Lee, second season

2014-15 record: 6-14 (3-13 III Southern, eighth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Seven (two)

Top players: F Malia Lee (Jr.), F Sara Hernandez (Jr.)

Outlook: The Lions struggled last season with eight freshmen and sophomores on an 11-player roster. They’re aiming for more success this season.

“We’re still very young, but hope to be competitive,” Lee said.

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CENTENNIAL

Head coach: Karen Weitz, 17th season

2014-15 record: 31-2 (8-0 Northwest, first)

Returning letter winners (starters): Ten (four)

Top players: G Justice Ethridge (So.), G Pam Wilmore (Jr.), F Sam Thomas (Jr.), G Bailey Thomas (Sr.)

Outlook: The defending Division I state champions bring back 10 letter winners and added two transfers in the Thomas sisters.

Ethridge (14 points, 4 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 assists per game) and Wilmore (10 ppg, 5 rpg, 4 apg, 4 spg) are among four returning starters for Centennial, which should contend for another state title this season.

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CHAPARRAL

Head coach: Christopher McFarland, third season

2014-15 record: 19-7 (12-2 Sunrise, first)

Returning letter winners (starters): Six (three)

Top players: G Marcia Hawkins (Sr.), C Jade Hazelton (Sr.), F Alexis Vanstory (Sr.), G Tiana Martin (Jr.)

Outlook: Hawkins (11.8 points, 3.8 rebounds per game) was a first-team All-Sunrise League honoree, and Vanstory (10 ppg) earned second-team all-league honors. They’re among six returnees for the defending Sunrise champions.

Hazelton (5.8 ppg, 9.3 rpg) is 6 feet, 1 inch tall and could be a force in the middle.

“Our team outlook is to build our players on and off the court,” McFarland said. “It’s always our goal to get our starters to continue on with their education and basketball careers after high school.

“Our team is looking fierce this year. We look forward to competitive basketball as well as defending our Sunrise title.”

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DESERT OASIS

Head coach: Laurie Evans-Gygax, seventh season

2014-15 record: 11-11 (3-5 Northwest, fourth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Eight (five)

Top players: G Mikala Kirby (Jr.), G Ashlynn Sharp (Jr.), F KePatriot Simpson (Sr.), C Dajaah Lightfoot (So.), C Sierra Mich’l (Fr.), F Ahmaya Smith (Fr.)

Outlook: Kirby, who averaged 18.6 points per game last year, has the potential to be one of the top players in Southern Nevada.

She’s one of five returning starters for the Diamondbacks, who, despite the large amount of varsity experience, remain young.

“With all five starters returning, expectations are high,” Evans-Gygax said. “We are hoping to make a strong playoff appearance and compete with every team in the league. We are still young, but looking forward to this year.”

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DESERT PINES

Head coach: Lonnie Cambell, third season

2014-15 record: 9-18 (7-7 Sunrise, fifth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Eight (five)

Top players: G Chrystian Myles (Sr.), G Jordan Bailey (Sr.), F See’Airrah Evans-Collins (Jr.)

Outlook: The Jaguars narrowly missed the playoffs last year, finishing with the same record as fourth-place Sunrise Mountain, but losing the tiebreaker.

With five starters back, including Myles (11.5 points, 2.5 assists per game), Bailey (11.9 ppg) and Evans-Collins (9.5 ppg, 14.4 rebounds per game), Desert Pines is set up for a big season.

“We’re looking to make the playoffs and finish in the top three of our league,” Cambell said. “We’re looking for a great season.”

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DURANGO

Head coach: Bill Thompson, fourth season

2014-15 record: 8-14 (3-5 Southwest, fourth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Four (three)

Top players: G Brittany Romo (Sr.), F Rianne Lu (Jr.)

Outlook: Romo (14.0 points per game) was the team’s leading scorer last year, but the Trailblazers lost their next three most potent scorers to graduation.

Lu (4.3 rebounds per game) probably will play a bigger role this year.

“We will be a young team, including two freshmen and four sophomores,” Thompson said. “We are looking forward to being competitive and gaining some much-needed experience during our preseason and tournament season so that we can challenge for a position in the league.”

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FAITH LUTHERAN

Head coach: Jennifer Karner, 10th season

2014-15 record: 23-7 (12-2 Sunset, second)

Returning letter winners (starters): Nine (two)

Top players: G Sam Caruth (Sr.), F/C Bry Neagle (Jr.), G Madison Bocobo (So.)

Outlook: Despite returning nine letter winners, the Crusaders will have to make up for the loss of three of their top four scorers.

“Graduating three senior starters will certainly have an effect, but the seniors of 2016 look to step up and make their own mark,” Karner said.

Bocobo (8.5 points per game) is the leading returning scorer.

“Make no mistake about it, the league is tough and gets better every year, which will make for some great competition,” Karner said. “As it always is, a goal for the Crusaders this season is to reach postseason play and get better every day.”

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GREEN VALLEY

Head coach: Eric Johnston, fifth season

2014-15 record: 19-10 (7-3 Southeast, second)

Returning letter winners (starters): Eight (four)

Top players: G/F Ellee Barton (Sr.), G Gwen Garcia (Sr.), G/F Yamilei Rodriguez (Sr.), G/F Brooke Haney (Jr.)

Outlook: The Gators bring back eight letter winners from a team that advanced to the Sunrise Region semifinals.

Barton averaged 9.8 ppg to lead a balanced offense. Haney (8.1 ppg), Rodriguez (7.5 ppg, 5.0 rebounds per game) and Garcia (7.0 ppg, 3.1 assists per game) also were among the team’s top five scorers last year.

“We are looking forward to competing for a league championship and having an opportunity to win a region title,” Johnston said.

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INDIAN SPRINGS

Head coach: Kenneth Michaud, first season

2014-15 record: 2-16 (2-7 IV Southern, eighth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Eight (three)

Outlook: Michaud inherits a team that is hungry for success.

“This is a fun group to coach,” Michaud said. “They come to practice with energy and work hard. Our goal is learning how to become a team and get better every day.”

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LAKE MEAD

Head coach: Karen Yamzon, fifth season

2014-15 record: 3-19 (0-16 III Southern, ninth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Seven (four)

Top players: G Jillian Morejon (So.), G/F Jacea Tillman (Jr.), F Marybeth Bruninga (Jr.)

Outlook: The Eagles struggled last season, but are hoping to show improvement this year.

“With four starters and seven total players returning, and the addition of a few promising players, we look to have the numbers and the personnel to be more competitive this season,” Yamzon said.

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LAS VEGAS

Head coach: LaShonda Rayford, fourth season

2014-15 record: 8-19 (2-6 Northeast, fourth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Eight (four)

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

Outlook: The Wildcats have 10 seniors and are hoping for their best season in quite some time.

“As a team last year, we were done in by turnovers and poor shooting,” Rayford said. “Hopefully this will be the year that experience pays off. We had 100 percent participation in the offseason and we are hoping that the added experience and playing time will add to our maturity, growth and development.”

Dyer was the team’s leading scorer and second-leading rebounder last year, and will share point-guard duties with Matlock, who starts her fourth season on varsity.

“We are long, quick and very athletic,” Rayford said. “We just need to convert that into good basketball.

“The keys for this team will be improving our shooting percentages from all spots on the floor, rebounding and utilizing our quickness in the open court.”

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LIBERTY

Head coach: Chad Kapanui, second season

2014-15 record: 25-4 (8-0 Northeast, first)

Returning letter winners (starters): Nine (three)

Top players: F Nancy Caballero (Sr.), G/F Gabby Doxtator (Sr.), G Celine Quintino (Jr.), G Kaily Kaimikaua (Jr.), G Taylor Turney (Sr.)

Outlook: The three-time defending Sunrise Region champions lost a talented trio of seniors, but softened the blow with the addition of transfers Turney (15.7 points per game, 5.3 rebounds per game, 5.0 assists per game) and Doxtator (11.6 ppg, 5.0 rpg) from Foothill.

“Any time you have three seniors who started last year leave, it’s a difficult task to replace them,” Kapanui said. “The benefit of losing players, competition will get the best of the team to work hard, especially with nine returnees.

“Taylor Turney and Gabby Doxtator will bring some swagger to the team.”

Caballero (8.1 ppg, 7.5 rpg) should play a bigger role in the post this year, and the Patriots welcome back Quintino (4.0 ppg, 6.0 apg) and Kaimikaua (7.0 ppg, 2.1 rpg) in the backcourt.

“Our team is very athletic, strong, versatile and faster than last season,” Kapanui said.

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MOAPA VALLEY

Head coach: Stuart Humes, fourth season

2014-15 record: 8-12 (5-9 Sunrise, sixth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Seven (three)

Top players: F Summer Evans (Sr.), G Matilda Thompson (Jr.), G/F Kinlee Marshall (Jr.), F Kyla Shumway (Jr.)

Outlook: The Pirates doubled their win total from the 2013-14 season last year and, with seven letter winners back, are hoping for more improvement this year.

“I am excited about this group of players,” Humes said. “I feel like we can finally play the style we want to.

“With a nice combination of experience and talented underclassmen, we look to have a very successful season.”

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MOJAVE

Head coach: Learnell Wesley, third season

2014-15 record: 11-11 (7-7 Sunset, fifth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Three (three)

Top players: G/F Charleea Armstrong (Jr.), G Kiara Lemon (So.), F Darria Gray (Jr.)

Outlook: The Rattlers return only three letter winners, but all three were solid contributors on a team that narrowly missed qualifying for its first playoff berth since 2011.

Armstrong averaged 19.1 points per game last season and should be one of the Sunset League’s top players this year. She’s joined by Lemon (8.9 ppg) and Gray (5.5 ppg, 7 rebounds per game).

“We will hopefully challenge for the league championship,” Wesley said.

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PAHRANAGAT VALLEY

Head coach: Amy Huntsman, 22nd season

2014-15 record: 17-10 (9-0 IV Southern, first)

Returning letter winners (starters): Nine (three)

Outlook: As usual, the Panthers got a late start as many players are part of the school’s volleyball team that advanced to the state championship match.

Pahranagat Valley has won four state titles in the last five seasons and has played in the state final 12 times in the last 14 years.

With nine letter winners back from a team that had only two seniors and no juniors, the Panthers have a bright future.

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PALO VERDE

Head coach: Phil Clarke, eighth season

2014-15 record: 10-16 (5-3 Southwest, second)

Returning letter winners (starters): Six (two)

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

Outlook: The Panthers’ record last year was a bit deceiving, considering the team lost one of its best players in Cruz to an ankle injury early in the season.

The Panthers started 4-14, but won six of their final eight games and should be able to build on that finish.

Silcox averaged 15.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game last year, and joins Cruz in the backcourt.

“It’s a hard-working and unselfish group that hopes to compete hard and make it back to the playoffs,” Clarke said. “There’s a little more experience this year, led by Paulina and Brooklyn. We will look to them to lead some of the younger players in the program.”

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RANCHO

Head coach: Ashley Vossen, third season

2014-15 record: 16-12 (5-5 Southeast, fourth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Eight (two)

Top players: G Maureen Macato (Sr.), G Tatianna Lee (Sr.)

Outlook: Macato (9.0 points per game, 2.0 assists per game) and Lee (8.2 ppg, 2.0 rebounds per game) return for the Rams, who will try to make up for the graduation loss of leading scorer LaKissa Martin.

“The Rams are going to rely heavily on the veteran leadership of their starting backcourt of Maureen Macato and Tatianna Lee this season,” said Vossen, who is hoping for big contributions from returnees Courtney Plumer, Kyndal Ricks and Gizelle Reid.

“The return of Samantha Pochop is a bright spot for the program,” Vossen said. “Expect to see a different style of basketball, one the hopefully leads to wins.”

——

SPRING VALLEY

Head coach: Billy Hemberger, third season

2014-15 record: 30-1 (14-0 Sunset, first)

Returning letter winners (starters): Eight (four)

Top players: G Kayla Harris (So.), G Essence Booker (So.), F Lynnae Wilds (Jr.), C Myra Tadytin (Jr.)

Outlook: After a 1-24 season in Division I two years ago, the Grizzlies turned around their fortunes last year, winning the Division I-A state title, in large part because of the play of Booker (18.7 points, 6.1 rebounds, 5.5 steals per game) and Harris (18.6 ppg, 6.3 rpg).

Wilds (3.6 ppg, 5.7 rpg) and Tadytin (2.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg) are expected to be among the leaders in the frontcourt.

“My principal has made it clear that every head coach at Spring Valley is expected to make the playoffs,” Hemberger said. “We expect to accomplish that goal and thrive for a No. 1 seed.

“We are looking to create a new team identity this year and move up the rankings in Nevada. Respect is our theme this year: ‘Respect our opponents and respect the process.'”

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TECH

Head coach: Diane Hernandez, second season

2014-15 record: 0-22 (0-14 Sunrise, eighth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Seven (three)

Top players: F Leslie Williams (Sr.), G Lidia Woosen (Sr.), F Jasmine Haywood (Sr.)

Outlook: The Roadrunners struggled last season, but are hoping for better results.

“We hope to be more competitive in our league,” Hernandez said. “With new personnel added to our team this season, we are looking to utilize our personnel to our team’s advantage. We will have much more depth from our bench.

“We will be looking to provide a strong inside game as well as a more disciplined offense this year.”

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VIRGIN VALLEY

Head coach: Chimane Creer, eighth season

2014-15 record: 14-10 (10-4 Sunrise, third)

Returning letter winners (starters): Five (four)

Top players: G/F Briana Todd (Jr.), F Bernice Fiso (Jr.), G/F Emma Barnum (Jr.), G Spencer Green (Sr.)

Outlook: The Bulldogs welcome back four starters, but still have room to grow.

“Once again, we will be young,” Creer said.

Green (10 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.4 steals per game), Fiso (6.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg), Todd (6.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg) and Barnum (6.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.4 spg) all should be contributors.

“I look forward to the challenge with a small team,” Creer said. “We will look to use our speed to outperform our opponents.”

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WORD OF LIFE

Head coach: Kim Martinez, first season

2014-15 record: 1-9 (1-8 IV Southern, ninth)

Returning letter winners: Four

Top players: G Ayanna Banks (Sr.), G Arieyanna Banks (So.), F Eva Rodriguez (Sr.), G Megan Sullivan (So.)

Outlook: Martinez takes over a team that struggled to be competitive last season and is young this year.

Of the eight players on the roster, three are sophomores and three are freshmen.

“Our goal is improvement in all facets of the game,” Martinez said.

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