Playoff Time Approaches

Posted by Andy Durham on February 5, 2011 at 4:11 pm under High School | 13 Comments to Read

SPECIAL TO GREENSBOROSPORTS.com

Now that the regular season is coming to a conclusion and post-season play looms,
here are some synopsis of teams that are poised for a run and some teams that
could be on the verge of an upset:

Girls

TEAMS POISED TO MAKE A RUN

1.Dudley: A loaded team with college players Deiree Drayton (Charlotte) and
Kierra McIvor (Radford) are poised to make a run for another State Title. They
are presently ranked 3rd in the State. Having a beavy of players that play AAU
basketball gives them a very decisive advantage over many common opponents;
especially in the local area. Last year they had a 10 point lead on eventual
champ Butler which featured Cierra Burdick (Tennessee signee) and Clair Watkins
(Vanderbilt signee). Watkins is gone and Burdick is back. Kierra McIvor (8 ppg
including a 20 point game against Grimsley) and Lakiya Rouse (9.5 ppg) have
strived under Coach Frank McNeil’s system. Steady Chell Jackson (5.5ppg and 4.7
rpg) provides experience and depth. The key will be if Eboni Goins (8ppg) can
stay consistent as the waters deepens. If she falters look for Grimsley transfer
Danika Harden (5 ppg) and freshmen Makala Rouse to step up to feel the possible
void. Prediction: State Championship win.

2.Southwest Guilford: A great team that have all the ingredients to win a State
Championship. Never having advance no further than the second round is another
story. Loss last year by 10 points to State Champion Butler. That experience
should bold well. Recently were on a roll until 3A opponent and young Eastern
Guilford came in and beat them decisely 6-45 on their own home court; That may
be the wake up call that they needed. Zena Lovette (17.7 ppg) and Jessica Pone
(13 ppg) should provide the scoring punch that they need. However, if the
Buchanons, Lawrences and Connors do not show up, this could be a season that
could have been and could lead to many question marks? Prediction: Advance to
the Regionals.

3.Northern Guilford: Led by the Coffers sisters Samantha (Elon signee) and
college recruit her sister Amanda, they have two tall book ends that should
create havoc. Samantha’s (18 ppg) provides the experience that is needed to
carry a team. Last years team had a great nucleus in Kelly Tessitore, Vontreece
Hayes (Pfeiffer signee), Molly Tahmaseb(Hollins U) and Jessica Johnson. This years group has gotten solid play from Junior guard Alexis Robinson ( 6 ppg and 5 apg), freshmen Aliyah Grinage and Gabby Boyd. Currently on an 11 game winning streak should add a great deal of confidence. Advancing to the second round of State playoffs and winning the Conference Tournament gave them the preseason top ranked billing which they currently hold. Are they ready for the next step? Or, are they poised for an upset. Anything less than advancing to the Regionals could mark a season of underachievement. Prediction: Advancing to the Regionals.

4. Northwest Guilford: Darlene Joyner has done another great regular season job
with this Vikings team. It is customary for them to always have had a great
regular season even with the Bennetts and McIntosh’s era. Last year they finally
advanced to the second round. Playing teams like Dudley and almost beating
Southwest Guilford ought to bold well even in lost. Loading up on cup cakes
teams during the season and having nice looking winning records are many times a kiss of death for many teams come post season. Kudos to Northwest Guilford for not doing that this season. They have a great nucleus in Williams, Harper,
White, Shelton, Munson and Dicarlo. Sure they were predicted to win the Pizza Hut Tournament and they did….. Now they must focus on what they do best. EXECUTE! This could be one of Coach Joyners best coaching jobs. Prediction: Sectional Finals.

5. High Point Central: Team is under new management but has not missed a beat.
They beat Southwest Guilford during the Christmas Tournament and have been very consistent throughout. They loss some good players in Cedrica Gibson who
transfered to Oak Ridge Military Academy. Yert they are presently 16-4 and 6-3
in conference play. The likes of Brittany Gwyn, Katie Bryson, Santia Davis,
Arielle Harris and a slew of supporting cast of players have accepted the
challenge and have done phenomenal. Expectations may have been low at first but not now. Central will continue to roll and reaching the second round or
Sectional Championship is not out of the question. Predcition: Sectional
Championship Game.

TEAMS ON THE VERGE

1.Southeast Guilford: A winning program that for some reason or another tend to
only reach the second round. The Paris Alston(SC State), Amy Beasley and Hailey
Hackett (App State) era may have reached the Sectional Finals. They have a
great team led by Wingate signee Ayshia Mcneil (17 ppg) and Senior Brittany
Price whom is returning from knee surgery. They have not figured out how to get
around Dudley and maybe it is a good thing if they do not meet in the playoffs
early on. Coach Newton must get consistent play from sophomore Kenya Hailey and freshman Kara Shutt whom hit a last second shot to beat Page in a conference matchup. Their impressive 17-4 and 8-2 conference record should serve notice that they could emerge from the conference tournament as champs and run deep into the playoffs. Prediction: Advance to second round.

2. Page: Team was off to a super start until Freshmen sensation Paris Kea got
hurt in December. Debbie Jones was still able to keep the team afloat and they
still have an impressive 13-6 record and is presently in third place in a not so
strong conference. Senior guard Brittany Drew has carried the load by averaging
nearly 14 ppg and Kayla Johnson whom averages nearly 7 ppg. Imani Atkinson has shown spark and continues to get better. This is a dangerous team with Kea back whom have the capability to carry a team on her back on any given night.
Recently scored 24 points on Dudley and the margin of victory was only 11 points
as compared 20 a few weeks earlier; Could emerge and meet Dudley or Southeast in the conference tournament Championship game: Prediction: Advance to second round of State Playoffs.

3. Southern Guilford: This team has made some great strides by going 10-10 and
have a winning conference record. Team benefitted by playing worthy opponents
early on and fared well in most games. Senior Kamille Horne ( 18 ppg) and a
season high of 38 pts including 8 three-pointers and Sylvia Bass nearly 9 ppg
provides scoring depth. They could emerge as the conference tournament champs. Advancing to the Christmas Tournament Championship game against High Point Central ought to give them confidence that they could go further than expected. Reaching the State playoffs is a great achievement for this program. Advancing at least to the second round would be monumental but very possible. Prediction: Advance to second round.

4. Western Guilford: Team having a very solid year based on previous years.
Still must get over that 500 mark to show progress. Team is capable of beating
any team. Recently was in a battle with top ranked Dudley before losing down the
stretch 49-42. They beat Page. Team is also capable of losing to teams like
Southern Alamance and Grimsley. Junior guard Brittany Clency (17 ppg) continues to shoot a lot and score points but does it equates to overall consistent
winning basketball? Needs to learn to come up big in big games in all facets to
carry this team to the next level. Carnique Marks (9 ppg) has emerge
tremendously in replacing Gardner Webb signee Catina Green. She has the
potential to average a double-double and can alter a game or two in the process.
Needs to do well in the conference tournament. Prediction: Make the playoffs.

TEAMS COUNTED OUT

1. Smith: A team that does great at the Little Four Tournaments by reaching and
winning the tournament championship game the last two years Champs in 2009.
Runnerups 2010. Have always had great athletes whom are capable (Lakendra
Wilekrson:Maryland Eastern Shore), Ashley Dubose MVP of Little Four 2010,
Jantilla Street, Cedrica Gibson) but for some reason they tend to come up short.
Zhan Greer (15 ppg) is their most consistent producers whom at times could carry a team at any given moment. Now she must continue to get her supporting cast of Breanna Garris, Jo Jo Phillips, Zhana Winters, Amatus Proctor etc.. to step
their game up. This team is still capable of knocking off any team in their
conference come playoff time. In order to make the playoffs their only option is
to win the tournament. That will be a tall order to fill because you never know
which team will show up. Prediction: None

2. Eastern Guilford: Probably one of the most dangerous preseason underrated
teams that would be counted out. Less face it. This team loss four- four year
starters whom saw significant minutes. They loss 45 points in production and 37
rebounds. They had only one starter (Miranda Jenkins) returning with any type of
experience. They play four freshmen, three sophomores and one junior whom have never been tested to any degree. Sophomore Erica Olerich is coming off knee surgery and never played last year. They were predicted to finish 5th in
conference play and win at least a total of seven games and that would have been
considered a good accomplishment. Some how they have produced a 17 -5 and 10-3 conference record. They have played one of the toughest schedules outside of their conference in the area; Thomasville which features VCU signee Christina
Carter. Southwest Guilford twice which has many college prospects which is led
by Guilford County All First Team performer Zena Lovette. Faces Southeast
Guilford led by Wingate signee Ayshia Mcneil. Coach Tina Gunn has somehow
found a way to get this team to believe and remain competitive while many other
programs may have falling a part. Remember Grimsley a few years ago? Prediction: Make the playoffs.


  • NW Parent said,

    Correction on the NW article. They did win the Little Four with Brittney Burrell and Harmony White being named to the All Tournament Team and Alyssa Munson named MVP

  • Basketball fan said,

    Andy,
    I’m reading over this section and can’t believe you have Eastern just making the Play-offs. Your article talks about this young team who is battle tested at 17-5, SW, Thomasville and SE on their schedule is only going to help them win in the play-offs. Why do you continue to think that Northern Guilford will make the Regional round, they have one credible win, 38-37 over Eastern on their resume’ on a last second shot. They are not playoff tested, don’t have good guards, and their weak non-conference and conference schedule will continue to haunt them. It’s okay to win a lot of games, but if your not playing games that will challenge your team, it will be another quick exit for this group of so called superstars. Who have they played?

  • Tashelle said,

    Correction on the spelling of the Northern players: former player is Vontreece Hayes now at Pfeiffer Univ and Molly Tahmaseb now at Hollins Univ. Both playing ball.

    I think a great and obvious prediction would be Dudley and SW. Northern has surprised alot of people with their wins after losing 4 seniors and only having 3 returners from last year’s squad. If you havent seen them play, then you wouldnt know why they are on top. However, they are young and re-building and playoffs is another league. They sure will be battle tested in each round. With Samantha on top on her game, they will give teams a run for their money.

    Southeast has a winning record but lack experience. yes they have Ayisha McNeil and Brittany Price, but the remainder will need to prove and step up during playoff time.

    Western has a good squad under new head coach Shauna Polk. They are inconsistent but when they are on, they are on. I hope they will turn on the “on” button come playoff time.

    Page has a very good squad with or without Paris. Alot of the girls are on the AAU circuit, but when seeing them play, they lack the chemistry. I havent seen Paris play yet but keep hearing she is a BEAST! But they still should end the year with a good season and may go deep in the playoffs if they start clicking right.

  • Dudley Fan said,

    Tashelle

    Northern has not surprised anyone. They left our conference last year and was predicted to dominate their conference because of what they had. I agree with what someone posted earlier. How come they do not schedule teams like SW, SEG, DUDLEY etc… We used to play Northern at Pantherville and they used to be so scared that we knew we were going to beat them by 30 pts before tipoff.

  • Tashelle said,

    Dudley Fan,

    Dudley scared everybody when Northern was in their conference, NG was no exception. Different styles of playing. Like comparing apples and oranges. I honestly think the coach didnt know how to coach against teams like Dudley. Nothing to do with the players. The players on that squad and last year’s squad were outstanding players so I am not taking anything from them.

    Why the coach does not schedule teams like Dudley, SE, SW etc is something the coach will have to answer. The season following the Coach K scandal, alot of schools didnt want to play NG even though the girls basketball program was clean, and about the only program that was clean.

    But bottom line, NG has talent then and now. If NG had a academy like Dudley, they too would get AAU players like Dudley has. NG only has 3 players that play AAU ball.

  • Fairplay said,

    ” If NG had an academy like Dudley,they too would get AAU players like Dudley has.”
    That says it all. If Guilford County Schools was serious about requiring student/athletes to compete in their home school district then academies, IB programs, magnets etc would be treated like middle colleges and the ATHLETE WOULD GO TO PRACTICE AFTER SCHOOL AND PLAY FOR THE HIGH SCHOOL IN THEIR OWN ATTENDANCE ZONE.

  • To Fairplay said,

    here we go again….makes no sense to go to one school and travel to other schools to participate in all school related activities””””including academic, sec, and other clubs””” you can’t just isolate sports.

    *sigh* Our girls work hard in classroom and on the court. Just leave us alone. Our teams GPA is probably higher than any Guilford County School girls basketball team. Including academy and non academy players.

    Our girls are having the time of their life ….leave them alone. AS STATED MANY TIMES BEFORE DUDLEY IS NOT THE ONLY ACADEMY!! PAGE, NW, HPC, GRIMSLEY,SMITH….ALL HAVE ACADEMIES….LEAVE THE KIDS ALONE

  • Tashelle said,

    I do want to clear up that I am not insuiating the current players are in the academy, as I have no first hand knowledge. I am only applying that if NG had an academy, more students would want to go but cant because they do not live in the district.

    NG does have a good curriculum and good teachers. As with every school, you do have those who dont measure up. But overall it is a beautiful school with good intentions but they also have their issues. I would compare report cards with Dudley and NG but it wouldnt be fair as the playing field is not even.

  • also said,

    northern had more aau players one or two left and went to private schools and 2 or three graduated. Shoot NW SE SW EG HPC has just as many aau players if not more than Dudley…so the logic doesn’t make sense

  • Tashelle said,

    Also,

    What logic is that? I am referring to NG and Dudley since Dudley Fan brought up the subject. But if you would like to bring in other schools, HPC and SW have a host of good AAU players and are winning battle tested games. Along with NW and EG. Since we are in the current season, this is what I am referring to and as I stated NG has only 3.

  • Tashelle said,

    And I am not saying NG would only attract more good AAU players only thru an academy, but it would benefit them just as it may the others that currently has them. I used Dudley as a reference since Dudley Fan wanted to throw shots.

  • Tom said,

    Tashelle is correct. Dudley has an advantage as does any school with an academy, IB program etc. I agree with Fairplay in that you should have to play in your attendance zone. Kids who go to the middle colleges do it right now. It is an inconvenience, but it makes the playing field level.

  • NG is only 3A said,

    If Northern had an acedemy or IB program, then our kids would have considered going to NG. However, we would have likely still not went to NG because it plays in a 3A conference. NG only plays real competition within their conference 20% of the time. The 4A schools play real competition nearly each night. If NG was 4A, then it would be a much more attractive alternative. I love the school location, the spirit of the school and the people but personal I would prefer to have my kids play better championship night in and night out.