TOP GUILFORD COUNTY GIRLS COACHES 2008-09
1. Krystal Britton: Dudley: What can anyone say? Her team demolished teams this year and are now playing for the State Championship. They won the Regular season championship 14-0. They won the Conference Championship. They won the Sectional State Championship. She has been Coach of the year before and will win it again. Her uptempo style of play leaves no room for teams that are not prepared physically and mentally for 32 minutes. She has great players led by Senior Helen Terry (Charleston Southern), Junior Brionna Patterson, Sophomore Desiree Drayton, Senior Jessica Farr (NC A&T track) and Senior Porsha Roach. She has a plethora of younger players in Freshmen Khadeja Wilkerson, Ebony Goins, KK Rouse, Lauren Jackson and improving Sophomores Chell Jackson and Kierra Mciver. Many of the schools in their conference are probably glad that they are moving and the conference that they are entering are probably unhappy. This team can dominate for years just like Grimsley did; But they may have a little more heart and soul to comeback with the hardware. Several of her players Nikki Kee (WSU), Sierra Little (ODU), Kendra Porter (Radford), Montague Austin (WSU) and Jocelyn Williams (Mars Hill) have gone on to either Division one or Division two programs.
2. Jerry Fuqua: Ragsdale: His team has always performed well since the days of the Danielle Duncans, Megan Ingrams ect… They won the Little Four.They won their Regular season conference (11-1). They won their Conference Tournament. They lost in the Sectional Championship game. They will lose six seniors led by Lisa Archie (Elon), Courtney Arrington and Dorian McInnis. They must find a scorer for next year. Knowing Ragsdale and the way they run their program that should be no problem and look for them to have another great season again.
3. Tina Gunn: Eastern Guilford: No team in the area or State has probably had to play under the conditions of Eastern Guilford. They lost their entire school a few years ago and had to find places just to practice; Never had the comfort of an home court advantage with a home crowd atmosphere and had to play their home games at the spacious UNCG gymnasium. Yet, they never complained and were Co-Conference Champs in the 2007-08 season after losing one of the state’s best players in Capricia Smalls to a season ending knee injury. Knocked off the state’s number #5 ranked team NW Halifax (24-1) on the road 63-61 before losing to Graham in the Sectional Championship. In 2008-09 season they won the Conference (9-1) and Conference Championship; Advanced to Sectional Championship game against Graham before losing on the road 61-56 (Graham playing for State Title). They were 4-8 at the Chrsitmas break and went 13-3 the rest of the way. They have a great nucleus of players returning who made major contributions to their success led by juniors Capricia Small along with Amerijah Jamison, Kristin Crosby and April Totten; Sophomores Courtney Torrain, Miranda Jenkins and Priscilla Ojoare. Emerging post player freshmen Kiyiera Purcell will be counted on heavily next season along with Karimma Jackson. Coach Gunn has taken her team to the post season 7 straight years and has been named coach of the year several times including this year. Several of her players Amber Wall (Elon) and Natasha Huntley (Norfolk State) have earned Division one scholarships. Now they will get the chance to play in their own gym starting next season.
4. Shawyn Newton: Southeast: His team has performed very well even when he went on his tour of duty. They always seem to be right in the mix with Ragsdale for conference supremacy. They finsihed second (10-2). Loss in the conference tournament title game. Loss in the second round of the Sectional State Championship. The team held together very well in the absence of last year conference player of the year Amy Beasley who sustain a broken hand early on and missed most of the season. Paris Alson (South Carolina State) had a great year and took charge to lead this team. They got great play from Brittany Price 8.1 ppg and Ayshia Mcneil 8.3 ppg whom will be counted on heavily next year. This team will not slip and with greater production from the likes of Julicia Anderson and a cast of others they may even improve on their 20-7 overall record.
5.Kenny Carter: High Point Central: Coach Carter has alway been in the thick of things and is considered one of the better coaches in the area. Last year his team made the playoffs and did it again this year. His squad lost a key component when Megan Tate was dismissed from the team. He rallied his squad with freshmen Cedrica Gibson 10.1,Brittany Gwyn 13.4 and Arielle Harris 7.7. They finished 3rd behind Northwest and Smith. They loss in the first round of the Sectional State Playoffs. Look for this squad with a season of experience under their belts to improve on their 18-9 record. Coach Carter has had several kids go on to college. Allison Spivey (ECU) and Laura Beeson (GTC).
6. Aston Jeffries: Smith: One of the up and coming coaches who has revitalize a program that has been dead for years. After starting out 0-6 and finishing the way that they did is amazing. He has gotten the girls to buy into their program and with some off season conditioning, this team can emerge as one of the schools who could upset Dudley next year in conference play. They have a great nucleus returning in Lakendra Wilkerson, Quon Greer, Katrina Gibson and Ashley Debose. They almost upset NW in the Conference Tournament Championship game by going in to overtime. They loss in the first round to the States number #1 ranked team West Charlotte by 19 points. This is a very dangerous team on the rise and may make many heads turn this up coming season. Coach Jeffries could get Coach of the year around here or at least finish in the top three for votes.
7. Kim Furlough: Northern: This team has done great considering it has only been in existence for two years and they had a winning season. It doesn’t hurt to have a lot of AAU players led by Samantha Cofer, Molly Tamaseb and Kelly Tessitore. They have added a little more speed and now that they do not have to face Dudley again it may bold well for them. At times many of their players looked very timid and intimidated whenever they faced the powerful Panthers. Coach Furlough will be coach of the year in the not so distant future and once the emergence of some of the lesser known players come into play, this ship may do what the boys have done. Team advanced to the second round of Sectional State playoffs.
Darlene Joyner: Northwest: Team had a great regular season. 10-0 in Conference play and won the Conference Tournament in overtime to Smith. Loss in the Little Four Championship game to Ragsdale. A season removed they got off to a very hot start by being one of the top ten best teams in the state only to fizzle at the end and lose 9 games. They have players that the majority play AAU basketball for years but for some reason or another they tend to collapse in big games. They are loaded with Gretchen Bennett, Hannah Mcintosh, Melissa Fouress, Harmony White, Furr and a cast of many others. They had home court advantage and loss to a team that had to play in at their tournament just to qualify for the Sectionals. A lot of inner soul self searching is going on right now.
Debbie Jones: Page: When you lose a trio of Jasmine Gill, Nene Whitaker and Bjourn Fonville and return just one proven experience player Chevena Pickard, it is not uncommon to go through growing pains. Page players gain some great experience this past year expecially Portia Oakley, Kerra Bell, Brittany Drew Asley Fowler and Sylvia Bass. Now that Dudley has entered the conference and the improvement of Smith this could be a very challenging year for the Pirates. They loss in the first round of the Conference tournament and loss in the first round of the Sectional State Tournament. Last year with Jasmine Gill they went to the second round. One year Page won the Little Four. Debbie has several girls in the Collegiate ranks. Jasmine Gill (Boston College), Nene Whitaker (Virginia Intermount) , Alexa Neal (Anderson) and Destiny Carden ( Guilford College).
William Whitaker: Southern Guilford: Fisnished second to Eastern Guilford Tina Gunn as Coach of the Year. A remarkable job for a first year head coach. Coach Whitaker has that Southern program headed in thr right direction and his team was competitive all year. Southern has a great nucleus retunring led by All Conference performers Camille Horne and Lindsey Inman. Look for them to be vastly improved with their overall record this coming season.