2017-18 Girls Basketball Capsule Previews

(As submitted by coaches)

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Head coach: Kurt McGinnis, first season

2016-17 record: 3-17 (0-16 2A Southern, ninth)

Returning letter winners (starters): One (one)

Top players: G Caroline Altman (Sr.)

Outlook: McGinnis, who also coaches the boys squad, takes over a Lions team that is not loaded with experienced players.

Only one letter winner is back for the Lions, who are hoping to build throughout the season.

“We have a young team and a lot of first-year players,” McGinnis said. “The girls have been working very hard, and we hope to be competitive in our challenging league.”

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Head coach: Annette Turley, fourth season

2016-17 record: 11-15 (6-6 Northwest, fourth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Nine (three)

Top players: F Autumn Westmoreland (Sr.), G Alaysia Reed (Sr.), G Madison Cvijanovich (Sr.)

Outlook: Nine letter winners, including three starters, return for Arbor View.

“The Aggies bring height and experience into the season,” Turley said. “They are expecting to emerge as strong contenders in the Northwest League.”

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Head coach: Maurice McIntosh, second season

2016-17 record: 7-12 (2-8 Southeast, fifth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Seven (four)

Top players: C Lauren Powell (Jr.), G Miki Berg (Jr.), G Kailey Taylor (So.), G Alexus Lea (Fr.), G Tajza Eddings (Sr.)

Outlook: The Wolves return four starters, but still are young. A year wiser, they hope to be more competitive this season.

“Our outlook is to play ‘40 minutes of hell’ in a 32-minute game,” McIntosh said.

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Head coach: Kevin Nixon, second season

2016-17 record: 21-7 (10-2 Southwest, second)

Returning letter winners (starters): Nine (three)

Top players: G/F Georgia Ohiaeri (Jr.), G Shaira Young (Jr.), G Caira Young (Jr.), F Olivia Smith (Jr.)

Outlook: Many teams would kill for a 20-plus win season and a spot in the region semifinals. For the Gaels, last year was a bit of a down year.

But with nine returning letter winners, they’re looking to climb right back to the top of the mountain.

Shaira Young (10 points per game, 2.5 assists per game), Caira Young (10 ppg), Ohiaeri (9 ppg, 7 rpg) and Smith (5 ppg, 5 rpg) are chief among the returnees.

“As sophomores last year, Georgia Ohiaeri and Shaira Young started every game and are expected to bring much needed experience to the Gaels,” Nixon said. “Senior Lauren Solomon and junior Caira Young are prolific outside shooters and should bring a scoring punch to the offense. Sophomores Bentleigh Hoskins and Vegas Camacho will provide defensive intensity, along with junior Olivia Smith.

“This year’s team will be much improved.”

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Head coach: Tracy Antonio, first season

2016-17 record: 2-20 (0-12 Southwest, seventh)

Outlook: It wasn’t all that long ago that the Bengals were a perennial playoff team. But after a run of 13 consecutive playoff appearances came to and end following the 2009-10 season, Bonanza has fallen on hard times.

Antonio, a hopes to turn things around.

“We’re a young, rebuilding team looking to make an impact in the right direction and change the program’s image,” Antonio said. “The culture here will be a positive transformation and become well respected once again.

“My expectations are to play smart fundamental basketball on both sides of the hardwood. I’m excited to bring a culture here like I helped coach Chad Kapanui implement at Liberty in my past four years as associate head coach.”

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Head coach: Christopher Walker, fifth season

2016-17 record: 18-4 (8-0 Northeast, first)

Returning letter winners (starters): Six (three)

Top players: F/C Jeanette Fine (So.), G Ke’Ajanae Haley (Sr.)

Outlook: The Pioneers lost their top scorer and rebounder when Yemiyah Morris (12.3 points per game, 8.2 rebounds per game) graduated last spring.

Haley (6.6 ppg) and Fine (5.8 ppg, 3.7 rpg) will be among those hoping to pick up the slack and keep the Pioneers on top of the Northeast League.

“We are looking to build on the success of last season by working hard, staying consistent and being productive in the classroom and on the court,” Walker said. “We would like to work hard every day and have that work translate into success on the court.”

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Head coach: Karen Weitz, 18th season

2016-17 record: 31-2 (12-0 Northwest, first)

Returning letter winners (starters): Seven (two)

Top players: G Justice Ethridge (Sr.), G Melanie Isbell (Jr.), G/F Eboni Walker (Jr.)

Outlook: The Bulldogs are coming off a season that saw them win a third consecutive Class 4A state title, finish the season ranked No. 4 nationally by USA today and lose their only two games to other top five teams in the national rankings — Paul VI (Virginia) and Clovis West (California).

Raising to that high of a level again this season will be more challenging as only two starters return and the team must make up for the loss to graduation of two-time state player of the year Samantha Thomas.

UNLV commit Justice Ethridge (12 points per game) leads a group of seven returning letter winners. Walker (10 ppg, 8 rebounds per game) and Isbell (7 ppg, 3 assists per game) are young, but very talented.

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Head coach: Clifton Lott, first season

2016-17 record: 18-7 (10-0 Sunset, first)

Returning letter winners: Zero

Top players: C/F Almond Slayton (Sr.), G Tei’onni McDaniel (So.)

Outlook: A new start, a new look, but hopefully similar results for the Desert Shields, who have a new coach and no holdovers from the squad that won the Sunset League title last year.

Slayton, a 6-foot-1-inch transfer from Valley, gives Cheyenne a presence inside.

“Our mission this year is to play the game the right way — sound fundamentals, defense, and rebounding,” Lott said.

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Head coach: Malcolm Griffin, second season

2016-17 record: 7-17 (3-9 Northwest, sixth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Six (four)

Top players: G Amoura Whitney (Sr.), F Tasia Moore (Sr.)

Outlook: Whitney, who has committed to Morgan State, averaged 10 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists last season. Moore averaged 12 points and 8 rebounds.

Both are back to lead a Spartan team that hopes to contend for a postseason spot.

“We look to improve upon last season and be competitive in our league with hopefully a playoff berth at the end of the season,” Griffin said. “We have an older group, led by Amoura Whitney and Tasia Moore.”

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Head coach: Sean Rodgers, first season

2016-17 record: 9-19 (2-10 Southwest, sixth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Seven (three)

Top players: G Marieka Dent (Jr.), F Julia Reid (So.)

Outlook: Rodgers takes over a program that is hoping to show improvement after struggling last season.

Three starters return to help the Chargers build.

“It’s a young team looking to get better with each game,” Rodgers said.

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Head coach: Rich Santigate, fourth season

2016-17 record: 13-16 (5-5 Southeast, third)

Returning letter winners (starters): Thirteen (four)

Top players: G Haley Tyrell (Sr.), F Aeryn Hawkins (Sr.), G Tia Thornton (Jr.), F Teagan Varrati (Jr.)

Outlook: Tyrell (14 points, 6 rebounds 3 assists per game) is among four returning starters for the Cougars, whose defense is capable of winning a lot of games.

Hawkins (5 ppg, 5 rpg), Thornton (3 ppg, 2 spg) and Varrati (3 ppg, 2 rpg) will be among those aiming to provide a bit more offense for a team that went 6-4 in its final 10 games last season.

“Returning 13 players with varsity experience and still a very young program with only three seniors, the Cougars look toward securing a solid playoff spot in hopes of battling for the region championship,” Santigate said.

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Head coach: Noah Olson, first season

2016-17 record: 2-19 (0-10 Sunrise, sixth)

Top players: G Hope Yaw (Sr.), G/F Ashanti Dickson (Sr.), F Celeste Rodriguez (Sr.), G Jasmine Simpson (Sr.)

Outlook: Olson takes over a team that is hungry for success.

“This year we look to complement our experienced seniors with young, athletic talent in hopes of competing in every contest,” Olson said.

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Head coach: Laurie Evans, 10th season

2016-17 record: 20-6 (11-1 Southwest, first)

Returning letter winners (starters): Seven (three)

Top players: F/C Dajaah Lightfoot (Sr.), G Ellyjah Pricebrooks (So.), C Sierra Mich’l (Jr.), G Brianna Clark (Jr.), G/F Ahmaya Smith (Jr.), G Kalena Halunajan (Fr.)

Outlook: Coming off the first league title in program history, the Diamondbacks have high expectations.

Lightfoot, who has committed to Tennessee State, is one of three returning starters and has plenty of help.

“We have strong guards, strong post play and will be tough to guard, so hopefully we can turn that into some wins,” Evans said. “With our league having three of the top five teams in the city and our region having four out of the top five, it makes for a tough playoff race.

“I think our defense is our strongest quality as a team this year, and we haven’t had that in years.”

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Head coach: Roy Goodell, first season

2016-17 record: 8-18 (4-8 Southwest, fifth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Five (three)

Top players: Analiyah Matthews (Sr.), Laila Loring (Jr.), Dar’Juanah Harris (Sr.), Lindiana Bojku (Sr.)

Outlook: Goodell, who helped the Trailblazers’ softball team bounce back to a successful season last year, will try to do the same for the girls basketball program.

Three starters return for Durango, which hopes to qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2015.

“We hope to see improvement from beginning to end at all levels,” Goodell said.

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Head coach: Jennifer Karner, 12th season

2016-17 record: 17-9 (8-4 Northwest, second)

Returning letter winners (starters): Eight (three)

Top players: G Madison Bocobo (Sr.), G Kendall Larson (Sr.), G Casey Proctor (Sr.), G Ellery Wilson (Sr.), F/C Kayla Proctor (Jr.)

Outlook: The Crusaders graduated only three seniors from last year’s squad, but they all were post players and were the team’s three leading rebounders, combining for nearly 20 boards per game.

“Last year, the Crusaders were seasoned veterans in the post,” Karner said. “This year, it’s a different story as the Crusaders are guard-heavy.”

Bocobo (8.9 points per game, 2.4 assists per game), Casey Proctor (6.7 ppg), Kayla Proctor (4.8 ppg, 3.9 rebounds per game) and Larson (4.4 ppg) were among the team’s top six scorers last year. Wilson (2.8 ppg, 4.5 apg) led the team in assists.

“They look to continue to improve as a program upon last year’s success and hopefully make a run in the playoffs,” Karner said.

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Head coach: Laura Allen, second season

2016-17 record: 19-9 (8-2 Southeast, second)

Returning letter winners (starters): Six (two)

Top players: G Bri Rosales (Sr.), F Keilani Brown (Sr.), G Rhianna Cox (Jr.), G Aqui Williams (Jr.)

Outlook: The Falcons surprised a few people last year when they captured the Sunrise Region title and played in the Class 4A state semifinals.

At this point, it shouldn’t be a shock. Foothill has played in six of the last seven Sunrise title games, and despite returning only two starters, could well make it back this year.

“We look forward to continuing our tradition of competing at a high level in the Sunrise Region,” Allen said. “With a high priority on team chemistry and hard work, we are ready to compete and defend our region championship from last season.”

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Head coach: Eric Johnston, seventh season

2016-17 record: 15-14 (5-5 Southeast, fourth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Seven (three)

Top players: G Shelby Clark (Jr.), F Samara Miller (Sr.), G Temerity Bauer (Sr.)

Outlook: The Gators must replace their leading scorer from last season after losing Brooke Haney (15.9 points per game) to graduation.

Miller (8.7 ppg, 5.7 rebounds per game) was second on the team in scoring and led the squad in rebounding. Clark (3.2 ppg) and Bauer (7.2 ppg) also return to help guide the team.

“We look forward to another competitive conference schedule and expect to compete every day, while improving each game as the season progresses,” Johnston said.

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Head coach: Susan Lee, third season

2016-17 record: 11-11 (independent)

Returning letter winners (starters): Six (four)

Top players: F Hope Watson (Sr.), G Danielle Cheung (Sr.), F Chloe Lamb (Jr.), G/F Abby Johnson (So.)

Outlook: The Guardians bring back four starters from last year’s squad.

Watson (8.8 points, 8.5 rebounds, 4.2 blocks per game), Johnson (6.0 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.5 steals per game), Lamb (2.8 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 3.4 spg) and Cheung (2.6 ppg, 2.1 spg) all return to help the team.

“We lost a couple of seniors from last year’s team, but we have some strong upper class returners,” Lee said. “We are thriving to have a better season than the last with the challenges ahead of us. The girls are eager to play and focused on getting better every day.”

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Head coach: Karen Yamzon, seventh season

2016-17 record: 9-14 (6-10 2A Southern, sixth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Seven (five)

Top players: G/F Allee Butz (Sr.), G Lauryn Freund (Jr.), G Jillian Morejon (Sr.), F Aaliyah Perkins (So.), G Shelbi Shaw (Jr.), G/F Josey White (Sr.)

Outlook: The Eagles welcome back seven letter winners, including a full starting lineup, from last year’s squad.

“This year, we have the most experienced team we’ve had in quite a while and are looking to move forward from where we left off last season,” Yamzon said. “Although we still have a lot work ahead of us, we are striving for our level of competitiveness to exceed last year, and our experience to give us that extra push we’ve been looking for.

“We are committed to work hard and persevere, and look for several players to evolve and provide great contributions to our team.”

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Head coach: LaShondra Rayford, fifth season

2016-17 record: 9-21 (5-3 Northeast, third)

Returning letter winners (starters): Three (two)

Top players: G/F Alexis Jenkins (Jr.), G Xeda Regala (So.), G Aira Miague (Fr.)

Outlook: The Wildcats graduated six seniors last season, and the team got a whole lot younger.

“We are short on numbers and overall varsity experience,” Rayford said. “We only have two players returning that have ever played a meaningful minute in a varsity game.”

Jenkins and Regala are among only three returning letter winners.

“We have a lot of young girls that are eager to learn with freshman Aira Miague looking to make a huge impact on the season,” Rayford said.

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Head coach: Stuart Humes, sixth season

2016-17 record: 26-6 (8-2 Sunrise, second)

Returning letter winners (starters): Six (one)

Top players: G Lainey Cornwall (Jr.), F Shelbi Walker (Sr.), G/F Kaitlyn Anderson (So.)

Outlook: The Pirates won their first region title since 2000 and made their first state tournament appearance since 2003 last season.

But only one starter returns from that squad, so replicating that success will be a challenge. It’s one the Pirates think they’re ready to tackle.

“We lost some amazing senior players who built this program up to a championship contender,” Humes said. “We return a lot of experience and have a balanced team that wants to keep this success going for our program.”

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Head coach: Michael Moulchin, first season

2016-17 record: 7-17 (4-12 2A Southern, seventh)

Returning starters: One

Top players: F Jordan Spriggs (Sr.), C Sydney Stanton (Sr.)

Outlook: Moulchin, who previously coached at Clark and Bonanza, once again takes over a team that is painfully young and has plenty of building to do.

Of the 12 players on the roster, seven are freshmen and two are sophomores.

“The program will stress building a solid foundation with strong fundamentals and goal setting for improving every day, and placing a system in place that compliments our roster and will grow the program for future success,” Moulchin said.

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Head coach: Bob Hopkins, 15th season

2016-17 record: 12-14 (5-5 Sunset, third)

Returning starters: One

Top players: G Alyvia Briscoe (Sr.), G Jackie Stobbe (Jr.)

Outlook: Of the 12 players who began last season on the Trojans’ varsity team, nine graduated.

Briscoe (5 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds per game) is the lone returning starter, but should get some help from Stobbe and a handful of players who helped the Trojans’ junior varsity go 20-2 last season.

“We will be young with only three seniors on the team, but we look to improve,” Hopkins said. “We have several players who were on our league champion volleyball and soccer teams.”

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Head coach: Phil Clarke, 10th season

2016-17 record: 4-21 (0-12 Northwest, seventh)

Returning letter winners (starters): Four (two)

Top players: G Ariana Davis (Sr.), G Alyssa Maillaro (Fr.)

Outlook: Davis, who averaged 11.1 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.6 steals last season, is back to lead a squad that suffered through a down year and hopes to rebound.

“It’s a pretty young and inexperienced, but hard-working group,” Clarke said. “We will look to the leadership of Ariana, who is a four-year varsity player, to help guide the new girls.”

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Head coach: Ashley Vossen, fifth season

2016-17 record: 13-16 (5-3 Northeast, second)

Returning letter winners (starters): Five (three)

Top players: G Kyndal Ricks (Sr.), G Lea Williams (Sr.), F Alesse Hall (Sr.)

Outlook: The Rams return their top three scorers from last season in Ricks (14.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals per game), Williams (8.5 ppg) and Hall (5.4 ppg).

But they’ll need someone to pick up the slack on the boards after leading rebounder Sam Pochop (9.5 rpg) graduated.

“We have a solid returning backcourt with Kyndal Ricks running the point and Lea Williams as the shooting guard,” Vossen said. “We have some young talent that we believe can make an impact, but we know there’s lots of work to be done across the board.

“Knowing that we already have the buy in from all of the girls, we see success in our future.”

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Head coach: Dorothy Chester-Kendrick, third season

2016-17 record: 11-9 (5-7 Northwest, fifth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Five (four)

Top players: Isis Triplett, Summer Plunkett, Caitlin Covington

Outlook: Five letter winners return for the Mustangs.

“The Lady Mustangs’ focus this year is to rebuild and revamp our players toward a higher competivitve level,” Chester-Kendrick said. “We are creating a tempo that is conducive to our style of play and hopefully will lead us to a successful season.”

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Head coach: Gregory Harton, first season

2016-17 record: 12-11 (6-6 Southwest, fourth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Four (four)

Top players: G Alexis Hansen (Jr.), G Ashley Hansen (Jr.), F Shania Harper (Jr.), G Imani Burrel (Sr.)

Outlook: Harton takes over a team that qualified for the postseason last year and brings back four starters.

Harper (14.3 points, 8.4 rebounds per game) has the potential to be a force inside and should get help on the perimeter from Burrel (11.2 ppg, 3.8 steals per game), Alexis Hansen (3.1 ppg) and Ashley Hansen (1.9 ppg).

“We want to be as competitive as possible to make the playoffs,” Harton said.

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Head coach: Bryon Umebayashi, first season

2016-17 record: 5-20 (0-10 Southeast, sixth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Four (two)

Top players: G Sandra Mill (Sr.), G Jessica Guzman (Jr.), G Jasmine Waugh (So.), G Kimberlyn Tanner (So.)

Outlook: Umebayashi takes over a team that struggled much of last season.

The Skyhawks topped 40 points in a game only five times last season and are hoping for improvement on both sides of the ball.

Four letter winners return and hope to help turn the team’s fortunes around this year.

“Our expectation is to keep on improving every day,” Umebayashi said.

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Head coach: William Anderson, second season

Returning letter winners (starters): Seven (five)

Outlook: The Eagles return their starting five from last season as they make their debut in the Class 3A Sunrise League.

Generating more offense will be among the team’s goals as it hopes to be competitive.

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Head coach: Anthony Brown, first season

2016-17 record: Did not field a team

Returning letter winners (starters): First-year program

Top players: Denise Wililams, Dacia Frehner, Angela Werner

Outlook: The opening tip will have a deeper meaning for the Lions, who begin their girls varsity basketball program this season.

Success might not be measured in a win-loss record as much as how the team’s skill level progresses during the season.

“This is our first year for girls high school basketball,” Brown said. “I am looking forward to the season and expect improvement throughout the season. I think we will be more competitive as the season progresses as our girls continue to improve.”

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Head coach: Billy Hemberger, fifth season

2016-17 record: 18-13 (9-3 Southwest, third)

Returning letter winners (starters): Seven (two)

Top players: G Essence Booker (Sr.), F Kayla Harris (Sr.), F Jalynn Webster (Sr.), F Natalie Meredith (Sr.), F Jenna Meredith (Sr.)

Outlook: Booker, a Nevada commit who averaged 15 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game, and Harris (9.9 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 4.2 apg) both return for their fourth season as starters for the Grizzlies, who advanced to the Sunset Region final last year.

In all, Spring Valley brings back seven letter winners.

“We have a few surprises for people and may the best team win,” Hemberger said. “The chase is on, and we aren’t hiding from any competition.”

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Head coach: John Wallace, third season

2016-17 record: 0-17 (0-10 Sunset, sixth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Five (two)

Outlook: The Miners return five letter winners, but only two starters, from last season.

They’re hoping to show improvement throughout the season.

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Head coach: Diane Hernandez, fourth season

2016-17 record: 9-17 (4-6 Sunrise, fourth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Four (three)

Top players: Tayler Muwwakkil (Jr.), Makenna Faught (Jr.)

Outlook: Muwwakkil averaged 13.7 points last season, and is one of three returning starters from a team that last year made its first playoff appearance since 2008.

“With the leadership of our point guard, we look to reach the playoffs again this year,” Hernandez said. “We feel our strength will be defense, and we hope to feed off our outside shooting on the offensive end.”

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Head coach: Chimane Creer, 13th season

2016-17 record: 22-5 (10-0 Sunrise, first)

Returning letter winners (starters): Six (two)

Top players: G Nathalie Lagamayo (So.), F Savannah Price (Sr.), G/F Taylor Barnum (Sr.)

Outlook: The Bulldogs advanced to the Class 3A state tournament last year, but lost four seniors from that squad.

“This will be a year for rebuilding,” Creer said. “But we have some young players who are hungry to play and be on the floor. We look to be competitive in our league again.”

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