Butler, Doss, Iroquois, Western
Coach: Larry Just (eighth year).
Last season: 31-5, beat Franklin County 62-36 for the state championship.
Player to watch: Senior guard Jaelynn Penn (14.2 ppg, 5.9 rpg) is a five-star recruit and a Miss Basketball candidate. She is the reigning state tournament MVP and has signed with Indiana University.
Other players: G Bre Torrens (5-4, Sr., 3.9 ppg, 1.6 rpg); G Tasia Jeffries (5-8, Sr., 9.6 ppg, 3.0 rpg); G Teri Goodlett (5-6, Sr., 5.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg); C Molly Lockhart (6-3, Jr., 5.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg); F Janna Lewis (5-8, Sr., 9.8 ppg, 5.3 rpg).
Outlook: Just has five college-bound players in Goodlett (Eastern Kentucky), Jeffries (Saint Louis), Penn (Indiana), Lewis (Tennessee State) and Torrens (Bellarmine). Repeat state champions have been few and far between, but the Bearettes are loaded enough to pull off the double.
Coach: Michael Crowe (third year).
Last season: 15-13, lost to Pleasure Ridge Park 84-69 in a region tournament quarterfinal.
Player to watch: Junior guard Jamari Tillman, a transfer from Male.
Other players: Erica Bryant (Sr.); Shayla Jones (Sr.); Kemeshia Moxley (Sr.); Salimah Al-Khabi (Jr.); Khadaizah Hellman (Jr.); Shacora Paige (Jr.); Raven Sahli (Jr.); Kayla Tindall (Jr.); Callie Burrage (So.); Montrice Ryland (Fr.).
Outlook: With just two players in grades 10 and below, Crowe has one of his most-experienced clubs. With Tillman and Moxley (last season’s leading rebounder) leading the way, a return to the regional is not out of the question.
Coach: A’dia Mathies (first year).
Last season: 0-18, forfeited to Butler in a district tournament semifinal.
Player to watch: Junior Jamesha Mullins, a 5-7 combo guard, has great ability to get to the basket and is a natural leader according to Mathies.
Other players: G Kwamezjane Adams (So.); G Jamil Barker (Sr.); G Latonya Battle (So.); G Latatiana Ellington (So.); G Maria Felipe (So.); G Amber Gaddie (So.); F Madison Higdon (So.); F Desiree Hunter (Jr.); C Orlandria Lee (Jr.); F Angel Wright (Sr.); F Ceyaira Shaw (Sr.); F Makazia Swan (5-10, Fr.); G Mariam King (5-5, Jr.).
Outlook: Raiders hoping to build after last season was canceled with six regular-season games left because of a lack of available players. Mathies, the former Iroquois and University of Kentucky star, said her team will, “give great effort throughout the game. Has the ability to potentially win a couple games this year by season’s end.”
Coach: Aubrey Holle (third year).
Last season: 5-18, lost to Doss 69-52 in a district tournament semifinal.
Player to watch: Sophomore forward Kelita Adams was the team’s third-leading scorer last season behind the now-graduated duo of guard Destoni Anderson and forward Jay’Da Rhodes.
Other players: F Keeajah Boyd (So.); G Cheyenne Brooks (Sr.); Emily Clements (So.); Deasia Delaney (So.); F Charonda Fletcher (Jr.); G Carmen Forbes (Sr.); G Alyssa Hayes (Jr.); F Alexus Swearingen (Sr.).
Outlook: Lost to Doss twice by double digits last season, so closing that gap will be crucial if Western wants to get to the regional tournament.