25th District girls basketball season preview | Central, Manual, Presentation, Portland Christian, St. Francis, Shawnee

25th District girls basketball season preview | Central, Manual, Presentation, Portland Christian, St. Francis, Shawnee

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25th District girls basketball season preview | Central, Manual, Presentation, Portland Christian, St. Francis, Shawnee

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CENTRAL

Coach: Ashley Franklin (seventh year).

Last season: 11-11, lost to Ballard 61-47 in the regional first round.

Player to watch: Brenda Hackett, the 5-9 senior forward, earned second team all-region honors last season.

Other top players: F Alexis Green (Sr.); G Peyton Evans (Jr.); G Tara Glass (Jr.).

Outlook: The Yellowjackets lost several seniors from a team that produced the program’s first non-losing season since 2010-11. Hackett will try to lead Central to its third straight Seventh Region Tournament.

 

MANUAL

Coach: Jeffrey Sparks (second year).

Last season: 18-12, lost to Sacred Heart 57-42 in the regionsl semifinals.

Player to watch: Krys McCune. Sparks expects the 6-4 center, who averaged 9.8 points and 9 rebounds per game and earned first-team all-region honors, to “have a strong junior year and show how dominant she can be on (the) floor.”

Other top players: G Teanna Curry (5-5, Sr.; 7.3 ppg, 2 apg); G Aricka Prentice (5-10, Sr.; 7.2 ppg, 2.6 rpg); F Sydney MacBlane (5-11, Jr.; 5.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg); G Tonysha Curry (5-9, So.; 6.2 ppg, 3.1 rpg).

Outlook: With Teanna Curry and Prentice, both of whom contributed as freshmen on the 2012 title team, as well as McCune back Sparks is “very excited about the upcoming season. We have a lot of talent and experience returning. The more they learn to play together the more dangerous we will become as a team. It will be fun to watch them as they come together this season and see just how good we can be.”

 

RELATED: Male girls look to shake up region dominated by Manual and Sacred Heart

Coach: David Jackson (13th year).

Last season: 14-14, lost to Central 73-63 in the district semifinals.

Player to watch: Alex Hibbs, the 5-10 senior center, has led the Toppers in scoring and rebounding each of the last two seasons. She averaged 15 points and 8 rebounds per game last season, when she earned second team all-region honors.

Other top players: G Tracey Lindsey (Sr.; 6 ppg); F Emily Schroeder (Sr.; 8 ppg, 3 rpg); F Ally Harris (Sr.; 4 ppg, 5 rpg); F Lauren Koenig (Sr.; 4 ppg, 5 rpg); F Amelia Kolb (Sr.; 4 ppg).

Outlook: “With so many returning players with varsity experience we should improve on last season,” said Jackson, whose team won its final four regular-season games before losing to Central in the district tourney. “We will be much deeper. We are pleased that a few of the first-year players are pushing for some varsity time as well. It should be a big boost that we will be able to get scoring from different players on a given night. With our lack of size rebounding will be key.”

 

PORTLAND CHRISTIAN

Coach: Tim Taylor (first year).

Last season: The Eagles didn’t field a team.

Player to watch: Kayla Niestadt. The senior guard played on the varsity squad as an eighth grader and as a freshman.

Other top players: Allison Madden (Sr.); Sunny Jin (Jr.); Emily Scott (So.).

Outlook: This will be a building season for the Eagles, who haven’t played in a district since the 2011-12 season.

Coach: Dean Zangari (first year).

Last season: 1-14, didn’t participate in the district tournament.

Player to watch: Anna Finkelstein, the 5-2 senior guard, will lead the way.

Other top players: F Jisha Abraham (Jr.); G Ellie Davenport (Jr.); Alexis Nelson (Fr.).

Outlook: The Wyverns will be young. “We have very little basketball experience overall, but we look to build a foundation to become a genuine contender for the All ‘A’ Seventh Region title over the next few years,” Zangari said.

 

SHAWNEE

Coach: Andwele French (fourth year).

Last season: 12-10, lost to Manual 67-29 in a district semifinal.

Player to watch: Hannah Abernathy, the 5-7 senior guard, averaged 10 points per game last season.

Other top players: G Love White (5-6, Sr.; 8 ppg, 4 spg); F Cornesha Barnett (5-7, Jr.; 8 ppg, 8 rpg); G Derricka Booth (5-6, Jr.; 9 ppg, 3 spg).

Outlook: The Golden Eagles would like to duplicate last season’s start, when they won nine of their first 11 games, and better their finish (they lost eight of their last 11 down the stretch). “We only lost one player from last year,” said French, who missed the last half of last season with congestive heart failure and is currently on a transplant list. “The other returning players have played under our system for 2 or 3 years so they know the expectations. Our area of growth would be our size. (We have) no true center, so we will have to be all heart.”

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25th District girls basketball season preview | Central, Manual, Presentation, Portland Christian, St. Francis, Shawnee
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