Top Areas Girl’s HS Basketball Teams
from Greensborosports.com guest columnist and Greensborosports.com staff:
1. Dudley: When you win a State Title and have left everyone else in the dust, you have to be Number #1. Coach Britton has a stacked line up returning with college bound caliber players. All Conference, Second Team All Area Breonna Patterson; All Conference Desiree Drayton( 7.5 ppg, 8.5 rpg),Kierra McIvor (3.5 ppg), Chell Jackson (6.0 ppg, 4 rpg); KK Rouse, Ebony Goins and a host of other players whom all saw valuable time last season; with pre-season Player of the Year Breonna Patterson (15.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 4.3 spg) leading the troops, it could spell doom and gloom for opponents. This squad may be better than last years because of the contributions they will get from other key players. Look for continued baseline to baseline pressure and a little more inside play this year. Dudley squad is the most athletic and in conditioned team in the county that knows how to win and win big. No one beats them in their gym. Winning 25 to 28 games is automatic for this squad. They do not settle for anything less. Yes, they demolish teams and many get upset, But it is not the coaches’ fault if the other teams are not physically or mentally prepared when they face the Champions! Coach Britton can now start to work on her next 100 wins.
2. Bishop McGuiness: When it comes to defining champions, Bishop McGuiness stands head and shoulders above the rest. They have won four straight and have beaten the likes of Dudley along the way. They are fundamentally sound and have another great returning group even with the loss of Whitney Knight whom many say has transferred. Guard Megan Buckland( 9.3ppg, 4.7 apg ) was the Most Outstanding Player in this year’s State Title game and is considered the top prospect in this area by many scouting services Nationally. She is being recruited by several ACC schools. She has great help in Anna DeFrancesco and other reserves from last year. Bishop will be methodical as usual and again compete for another State Title..
3. Northwest Guilford: Darlene Joyner is considered to be the best instructional teacher of fundamentals that this area has ever known. She has a slew of talent returning, whom are anxious to get started and prove that they are better than a first round exit team dating back to last season. They have a very experienced group led by Conference Player of the Year in Melisa Floures ( 13.3 ppg, 9..7 rpg, 3.0 spg) and sharp-shooting guard Gretchen Bennett (16 ppg). The quarterback of the team is Hannah Mcintosh (8.5 ppg, 7.0 apg, 2.8 rpg, 1.8 spg) and other role players are there in the likes of Harmony White, Michelle Wiliamson, Alyssa Munson etc.. They have an early date with the Panthers from Dudley. This game could propel them from a pysche stand point if they win.
4. Northern Guilford: This team is ready to make a run for the State Title. They have all the pieces in place and do not have to worry about getting slaughtered in the Dudley Panthers’ den like they have in the past two years. Smantha Coffer (16.5 ppg, 10 rpg, 3.0 spg, 2.5 bpg has a great supporting cast in MollyThomaseh, KelleyTessitore, Vontrese Hayes, Sarah Apple, Alexis Robinson, Tenesha Williamson and Asia Milton. Many are predicting them to dominate the new conference that they are in. They are well coached and have a plethora of AAU players on their team. Winning 20 or more games should not be very difficult. If Dudley or Northwest Guilford slips, look for them to be the Number #1 team in this area and in the State.
5. Smith: This team made great strides from its dormant existence over the past few years. They started slow, but ended up pretty good. They have all the talent they need to challenge Dudley for the Conference Title. If they split with Dudley during the season, it could put them in a great position to either finish second or first in the conference. A 17-20 win season is not out of reach as long as they take care of business against teams that they should beat. They have an experienced squad led by Third Team All Regional and All Conference player Lakendra Wilkerson (14 ppg, 8 rpg, 3 spg), Honorable Mention All Region Zhay Greer (10 ppg, 4 apg, 4 rpg, 2 spg), and Cynthia Jones (10 ppg, 6 rpg, 3 spg, 3 apg). The key to this whole equation will be in the hands of Ashley DuBose. If she comes emotionally ready to play for the entire season, Smith could be the most surprising team in the State.. Their bench will be extremely strong led by Katrina Gibson who can bring instant offense. This team is loaded.
5. Southwest Guilford: Coach Jessica Bryan has a great returning squad. SWG will be led by Honorable Mention All Area Zena Lovette 11.7 ppg), HM All Area Shannon Buchannon (10 ppg, 9.4 rpg), Brittany Mercer and 6’4 center Parker leading the charge. They have finished 14-13 the past two years and now it is time for them to move to the next level of 20 wins or more. They should go deep in to the playoffs and reaching the sectional championship game is not asking too much for this talented squad. They have have the right components to make it happen.
7. Southeast Guilford: Coach Newton always does a great job. This team will not fall off pace from last years success. In fact they may be better even if they are not 24-4. They have a very strong team led by Brittany Price (8 ppg), Ayshia McNeil(10 ppg, 4.2 spg, 3.7 rpg), Julisia Anderson (6 ppg, 5 rpg) and Sarah Uffman, Desitiny Locklear and A. Cook. The valuable minutes that each player played in the absence of Conference player of the year Amy Beasley will bode well. They advanced in the State playoffs and this year should not be any different.
8. High Point Central: Coach Carter has a very talented team returning and they are itching to show that last year was not Central-type basketball. He has a squad that will be up-tempo led by All Conference & Honorable Mention All Area point guard Cedrica Gibson (10.9 ppg, 3 apg, 6 spg), All Conference & Honorable Mention All Area Brittany Gwyn (13.8 ppg, 5 rpg) and returning to the team Megan Tate the sharp-shooter who will stretch defenses. If the rest of the squad contributes accordingly, this team will be on the verge of winning between 17 to 20 games at a minimum and advance in the State playoffs.
9. Page: Coach Debbie Jones was not pleased with last year’s results and will not allow mediocrity to set in on the Pirates tradition of excellence. They had a hard time scoring last year and look for those numbers to be up. All District, All Conference, Honorable Mention All Area and Little Four All Tournament Team Chevena Pickard (15.3 ppg, 5.4 rpg,1.7 apg, 1.9 spg) should lead the team to a better than 9-14 record and an early exit out of the playoffs. Their cast of other players must step up if they are going to contend with the likes of Dudley, Smith, Western Guilford. They have good players in Brittany Drew (7.5 ppg, 2.7 apg), Portia Oakley (5 ppg), Ashley Fowler (7 ppg) who should take the pressure off of Pickard. If their productivity improves, look for Page to start smiling again with at least a 15 win season and a playoff berth.
10. Ragsdale: This squad lost a lot of key players from last season just like they did the season before, but somehow they are always in the mix and at the top. Winning has become a tradition. They have a strong nucleus of players to work with, who saw considerable minutes. Led by Kaitlyn Harrison who averaged 3.3 ppg and 9.7 rpg with a season high of 15 points on two occasions, has shown the ability to score. She will have great help from Imani Pressley, Courtney Marsh and Ciarra Jackson (4.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg). Ragsdale always makes it to the playoffs. They may not be as strong as in previous years, but they will always be in the running. One of the few teams that advanced in Guilford County in the playoffs.
10. Western Guilford: This may come as a surprise to many, but not to Coach Jeremy Heinoid. He has a very talented team that advanced to the second round of the State playoffs by knocking off top seeded Oxford Webb. They are led by All Conference & Honorable Mention All Area Brittany Clancy (14.5 ppg, 2 apg, 3 spg) and Catrina Green ( 14 ppg, 13 rpg, 3 bpg). Both of these College prospects could land on someone’s roster in a few years. Q. Byrd will add much needed experience as she completes her senior year. If she can chip in between 7 to 11 points and avoid crucial turnovers, this team could finish in the upper echelon of the conference. Finishing with 15 wins and no lower than third in the conference is not a stretch. They have already advanced in post season play and building from that momentum is a great way to start the season with more seasoned players that will play much smarter.
Best of the Rest:
1.High Point Andrews: This should be a very interesting year for Andrews. They have a key returning starter that performed on a consistent basis in Sr. Sequaya Jackson((12ppg, 6 rpg) who was an All Conference and Honorable Mention All Area selection. She will need a lot of help from her supporting cast to really keep Andrews afloat this year. Knowing Andrews and their winning ways, that is not asking a lot.
2.Grimsley: This is not the Grimsley team of the past that dominated and now they must regroup. Facing the Dudleys of the world is not a safe way to get started. They have some good returning players in All District, All Conference and Honorable Mention All Region Denika Harden ( 11.5 ppg, 2.0 apg) and All Don Amos Christmas Tournament and Honorable Mention All Region Tiana Bowden (9.5 ppg, 3.0 apg) gives the Whirlies a great starting point. If there are some other hidden gems they made need to show up fast or this year could be worse.
3.Southern Guilford: This squad improved over its previous years and appear to be headed in the right direction now that Coach Whitaker has taken charge. They will be in another conference this year and have some marque players that will lead the turn-around. Led by All Conference and Honorable Mention Kamille Horne (14.5 ppg, 4 apg, 3.2 rpg, 2.1 spg ) and All Conference and Honorable Mention All Area Lindsay Inman this team could reach double figures in wins. A double-digit winning season and another playoff berth should set this team up for a Top Ten appearance next season. If any of the reserves from last year and any new additions this year emerge and play well, thirteen to fourteen wins could be in reach.
4. Greensboro Day: This team has not been winning much since the days of Mekia Valentine who transferred to Dudley her Senior year and almost help lead them to a State Championship. Now that Khadeja Wilkerson, a former Dudley player, transferred and reclassed, look for the Day School to get much better over the next few years. She will bring a post presence that they were lacking and now her overall game will improve. The work ethic she learned at Dudley will help lift her teammates. This team will be better than last year and look for Wilkerson to have big numbers.