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Preview: 10 Girls Teams to Watch
November 14, 2012VYPE MAGAZINE - DFW
10 GIRLS TEAMS TO WATCH
Note: This story appears in the November issue of VYPE High School Sports Magazine, available on free racks at these locations next week
The defending 5A state champions appear ready to dominate again in 2012-13. District 5-5A defensive player of the year Tasia Foman is back after leading the team in scoring in the state championship game. Junior Ariel Atkins moves from forward to guard after receiving all-district honors. Guard Kiara Perry is an SMU commit. Destiny Means, a 6-2 senior forward and 6-1 senior post Antoina Robinson will give the Pantherettes power in the paint.
Last year’s 31-4, regional quarterfinalist returns one of the area’s best backcourt combos in Kami Mickens and Kennedy Leonard. Senior Mickens is a Boston College commit who is shifting from shooting guard to the point. Leonard is coming off an impressive freshman season in which she averaged 9.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.5 steals and a team-leading 5.4 assists. First-time starters Madison Drescher, Anna Hurlburt and Sarah Williams all measure out at 6-feet or taller.
The state’s top-ranked 4A team is led by senior forward Claudia Price, who averaged 20 points and 13 rebounds last season. The Wranglers are deep in talented juniors including guards Alexus Bertrand and Regina Garrett, plus forward Jazmyne Walker. Bertrand and Garrett were key contributors to last season’s 31-7 regional finalists as sophomores.
West returns much of the roster from last year’s 34-3 regional quarterfinalist that was the only team to beat eventual 5A state champion Duncanville. The Lady Wolves are led by senior guard Devri Owens, a Utah commit, who was District 8-5A’s co-MVP last season. West is loaded with seniors including Grace Horn, Randi Reinhardt and Allison Staley.
Skyline should equal last year’s 28-5 showing with a tall lineup led by 5-10 forward Stabresa McDaniel. The Minnesota commit averaged 15.4 points and 4.4 rebounds last season. The Lady Raiders should dominate in the paint with 6-3 post Marina Lilly and 6-3 sophomore Dai’Ja Thomas.
Last year’s 37-3 4A state champions will be challenged to get back to Austin after losing its entire starting lineup including Maya Hawkins, who transferred to Mansfield Lake Ridge. Coach Tammy Lusinger will build on guards Keanna Kelly and Nia Jackson, forwards Ty Calloway and Stylz Sanders, and post Destiny Strange.
Timberview could be poised for a deep run in the postseason with a starting lineup deep in college talent. Guard Lili Thompson, a Stanford commit, averaged 13.9 points last season. Forward JaLea Bennett, a Texas commit, averaged 9.9 points and 3.3 rebounds. Even junior guard Terriell Bradley is being recruited by big-time programs.
Coach Vance Hughes’ team will be challenged early while star guard Jamaika Hughes recovers from a torn ACL. Hughes, a Texas Tech commit, averaged 14.4 points last season. Junior guard McKinley Bostad, who averaged 14.4 points last season, and forward Autumn Williams will help carry the load until Hughes returns early in 2013.
The Ladycats return five all-district players from last season’s 30-3 finish. District MVP Mallory Powell is back, along with seniors Hannah Loftin, Allanna Martin and Caileen Tallant, The team thrived starting five guards and shooting 3-pointers last season.
The Lady Horns bring back a talented front court led by two powerful inside scorers. Texas A&M commit Jada Terry, a 6-3 all-district post is back. So is 6-foot senior forward Labrittney Jones, last season’s District 5-5A offensive player of the year. Senior guard Candace Adams, a UNT commit, also earned all-district honors.