Girls Hoops Pre­view

North Bay­side looks wide open

Sunday Star - - FRONT PAGE - By CHRIS KNAUSS ck­nauss@star­dem.com

De­fen­sive wizard and of­fen­sive weapon Se’Ri Miles re­turns for Kent Is­land High’s girls’ bas­ket­ball team for her se­nior sea­son, but after grad­u­at­ing four starters the de­fend­ing Bay­side Con­fer­ence cham­pion Buc­ca­neers will likely get chal­lenged this sea­son.

Kent Is­land breezed un­beaten through con­fer­ence competition last sea­son be­fore fin­ish­ing the sea­son with a 25-2 record. The Buc­ca­neers’ sec­ond loss came in their re­turn trip to the Class 2A state semi­fi­nals, where they fell to even­tual state cham­pion New Town. The Bucs dis­patched Elk­ton to win the 2A East Re­gion after knock­ing out Queen Anne’s and Wi­comico. Queen Anne’s had ad­vanced to the Sec­tion II fi­nal with a vic­tory over Eas­ton. Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester ad­vanced to the Class 1A East Re­gion fi­nal with com­mand­ing vic­to­ries over North Dorch­ester and Colonel Richard­son be­fore fall­ing to Po­comoke.

Saints Peter and Paul went 17-5 and won the East­ern Shore In­de­pen­dent Ath­letic Con­fer­ence post­sea­son tour­na­ment with a two-point win over Worces­ter Prep.

How will this sea­son’s ac­tion un­fold?

Ac­cord­ing to Mark Pot­ter, who leaves Sts. Peter and Paul to be­gin his sec­ond head coach­ing stint at North Caro­line, the North Bay­side is wide open.

“Queen Anne’s, Eas­ton, and Cam­bridge are loaded with young tal­ent. Kent Is­land still has Se’Ri Miles. North Dorch­ester has a new coach and a fresh­man point guard and then you have Kent County, St. Michaels, and Colonel who al­ways play hard,” he said.

Here’s a look at this year’s teams as the new sea­son gets un­der­way. Cam­bridge-SD

With only one se­nior, the Vik­ings still have a young team, although three play­ers on head coach Bruce Springer’s ros­ter saw ac­tion as starters last sea­son.

Gone from last sea­son’s squad, which went 11-12, is four-year var­sity starter Jazhana But­ler.

Se­nior Ashia Wright re­turns and will be joined by ju­niors Alexa Har­ris, Abby Robin­son, Natalya Pritch­ett, and Cather­ine Linthicum. Sopho­mores on the squad are Mor­gan Tracy, Brooke Wind­sor, Sarah Brooks, and Jade Ward. Four ninth-graders have made the var­sity ros­ter: Kenya Jones, Ja’Nae Smith, Jazmine Walker, and Is­abell Reynolds. Colonel Richard­son

The Colonels, guided by head coach Tom Coursey and as­sis­tant Mor­gan Pe­cile, will look to im­prove

on last sea­son’s 5-16 cam­paign. Guid­ing the way will be ju­nior point guard Raven Ham­mond. She’ll be joined in the back­court by ninth-grader Markayla Wil­son and sopho­mores Cas­sidy Stubbs and Me­gan Stubbs, who will both also see ac­tion at for­ward.

Se­niors Bri­ana Kane and Tiarah Martin, ju­niors Adri­anna Ay­ers and Bri­anna Wilmer, and sopho­mores Mered­ith Ca­ma­cho and Jay­onia Jack­son play for­ward. Colonel hosts St. Michaels in its opener.

Eas­ton

The War­riors re­turn starters El­lie Roser, Myia Jeter, and Emily Grif­fith and sev­eral play­ers that saw sig­nif­i­cant play­ing time last sea­son, in­clud­ing Jaylen Howie, Abi Det­rich, Jah­naysha Cor­nish, and Mad­die Hickey.

Roser and Cor­nish are both se­nior guards. Howie and Ariy­onna Gib­son are for­wards play­ing their se­nior sea­son.

Jeter, a guard, is ex­pected to have her hands on the ball a lot as is Grif­fith, a for­ward; both are sopho­mores.

Two more sopho­mores, Det­rich and Caro­line Miller, will play cen­ter. Hickey, a guard, is Eas­ton’s lone ju­nior.

Ninth-graders on the var­sity are Lilly Os­borne, Abby Farr, Jes­sica Mil­lard, and Giselle Har­ris.

“We are very young but ath­letic and hope to be com­pet­i­tive with the top teams in the Bay­side by the end of the year,” head coach Matt Grif­fith said.

Kent Is­land

De­spite grad­u­a­tion losses, Kent Is­land should still be highly-com­pet­i­tive, es­pe­cially with the re­turn of Miles, a 1,000-point scorer, and with the ex­pec­ta­tion of suc­cess un­der head coach David Plumer.

The Bucs will have to find some ad­di­tional of­fense after the grad­u­a­tion of an­other 1,000-point scorer, Han­nah Mo­ran.

Along with her scor­ing abil­ity, Miles had 101 steals last sea­son, in­clud­ing three in the state semi­fi­nal. Join­ing Miles at guard will be ju­niors Jor­dan Grard and Anna Bowen, who will run the of­fense. Blair Goodrich, who saw ex­ten­sive play­ing time last sea­son as a ninth-grader, will play for­ward, and Areej Khan is a se­nior cen­ter ex­pected to start.

Com­ing off the bench will be se­nior Gabby Beach (F), ju­nior Marissa Plumer (G), and fresh­man Sa­van­nah Stevens (F).

“We only have one re­turn­ing starter so ob­vi­ously we’re young on the court, but right now they’re learn­ing a lot and we as­sume we’ll be ready through­out the sea­son,” Coach Plumer said. “I an­tic­i­pate this team be­ing bet­ter to­ward the end of the sea­son. … I’ll don’t ex­pect to go out and blow any­body out or any­thing like that, but Se’Ri Miles has been Bay­side Player of the Year a cou­ple of times. She cer­tainly will be able to carry a team un­til the other girls get up to speed. But this is def­i­nitely one of the younger teams I’ve had.”

North Caro­line

Pot­ter, who coached Sts. Peter and Paul the last four years, is back as head coach at North Caro­line after a five-run run as the Bull­dogs’ coach be­gin­ning in 2008.

The Bull­dogs have a tough early sched­ule with Stephen De­catur and Cr­is­field in the first week and Kent Is­land and Eas­ton be­fore the hol­i­day break.

“We have come a long way since Novem­ber 15 and will take it one day at a time,” Pot­ter said.

Kayla Price (F) and Sarah Tay­lor (C) are ex­pected to lead the team along with fel­low se­niors Me­gan Rob­bins (G), Lakysha Moaney (G), and Dae­jour Phillips (G). Ju­niors An­gel Brown (C), Han­nah Ring­gold (C), and YaKenda Car­roll (F) are ex­pected to pro­vide re­bound­ing for the Bull­dogs.

Sopho­more for­ward Cam­ryn Pep­per is a pro­jected starter along with fresh­man guards Hai­ley Tem­ple and Kandice Thomas, who “pro­vide ath­leti­cism and speed to our de­fense,” Pot­ter said.

Sopho­mores Sami Cle­ment (F) and Tahyliah Thomas (F) look to pro­vide a spark off the bench.

“As you can see, we will be young,” Pot­ter said. “But it will be a great learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for the team. We look to com­pete day-in and day-out, limit our mis­takes, and hope to be our best by mid-Fe­bru­ary.”

North Dorch­ester

Tif­fany Cephas takes over as head coach for a team that in­cludes three play­ers that share her last name.

“Like most coaches, I’m look­ing to have a bet­ter sea­son than last year and be the best. We have a great group of girls that love to play,” Cephas said.

The Ea­gles ex­pect solid play from se­niors Ja­maya Con­away (C), To­nia Cephas (F), Ni­cole Waples (G), and Is­abella War­ren (G).

“Ja­maya, my lead­ing scorer last year, who is ab­so­lutely amaz­ing in the paint, is re­turn­ing for her se­nior year,” Coach Cephas said. “We also have a fresh­man, Breisha Cephas [G], who is my daugh­ter, who brings a lot to the team.”

Round­ing out the Ea­gles’ squad are ju­niors Ken­dall Clough (F), Bre­onna Roberts (F), Jenna Usil­ton (G), Kal­ifa Hud­son (C), and Lexie Mills (C), sopho­more Trin­ity Cephas (F), and ninth-graders Tyana Cuf­fee (F), Jakiya Davis (G), and San­dra Reyes (G).

Queen Anne’s

The Lions re­turn only three from last sea­son’s squad: se­nior for ward Kelly Ca­vanagh, ju­nior guard Shan­non Dono­van, and ju­nior for­ward MaKenzy Hu­dock.

“We are a bit in­ex­pe­ri­enced com­pared to past years. We lost six se­niors,” head coach Mike Kern said. “We look to be very com­pet­i­tive this year; we have a lit­tle learn­ing curve and may take some bumps early, but by mid-sea­son we should be where we need to be. We are very ath­letic and have been work­ing very hard. I’m ex­cited about this group.”

Ali Har­ris re­turns for her se­nior year and plays for­ward. Re­main­ing ju­niors in­clude Aryelle Miles (G), Alyssa Robin­son (G), and Brooke Gor­dan (G). Abby Blan­chard and Clau­dia Leshin­skie are sopho­more guards. Fresh­men Jiyah Hol­lis (F) and Jurnee Wil­son (G) com­plete the ros­ter.

Saint Michaels

The Saints picked up their first win in more than six years last sea­son when they beat North Dorch­ester 4847 dur­ing the reg­u­lar sea­son. Firstyear head coach Va­lerie St­inch­comb hopes her squad can earn a few more vic­to­ries this sea­son. She’ll look for lead­er­ship from se­niors, cen­ter Jas­mine Robin­son and for­ward Gra­cyn Col­burn. Round­ing out the prob­a­ble start­ing five will be ju­nior Olivia Shreves (G) and sopho­mores Shamyia Mur­ray (G) and Sin­cere Tay­lor (F).

Three ninth-graders are also ex­pected to see plenty of time on the court: Han­nah Feek (C), Noah Bech­tal (G/F), and Makia Mor­ton (F).

“Right now it’s not so much as go­ing into ba­sic skills, it’s like uti­liz­ing their skills to the best of their abil­ity when go­ing against other teams,” St­inch­comb said of her team’s mind­set so far. “A big thing also that we’ve been try­ing to do is to build con­fi­dence within the girls … be­ing men­tally strong and be­ing the young ladies that they are, tak­ing that to the court and off the court.”

Sts. Peter and Paul

Caro­line Mur­phy, a shoot­ing guard and for­ward, and Sarah Rust, a for­ward, re­turn for their se­nior sea­son. Ju­nior Cat Chris­tian re­turns to han­dle the ball at point guard. Two play­ers ex­pected to con­trib­ute suf­fered knee in­juries dur­ing soc­cer and field hockey sea­sons, but first-year head coach Mike Be­lasco ex­pects his ninth and 10th-graders to quickly con­trib­ute.

“We run a freestyle read-and-re­act sys­tem that usu­ally takes a year or two to learn,” Be­lasco said. “We want the girls to learn how to move on the floor with­out the need of ‘ro­botic’ set plays. They need to learn how to an­tic­i­pate and re­act to what’s hap­pen­ing in front of them. We’re ba­si­cally learn­ing on each pos­ses­sion, em­pha­siz­ing the proper fun­da­men­tals that will give them more con­fi­dence in play­ing.”

Round­ing out the var­sity are ju­nior Sophia Marciniak (G), sopho­mores Karis Ward (G), Caro­line Schilling (G), Sam Har­ring­ton (G/F), and ninth-graders Caro­line McKelvy (F), Mor­gan Kim­minau (G), Amanda McKin­non (F), and May­erli Puacar (G).

“I feel we have the tough­est non­con­fer­ence sched­ule on the Shore,” Be­lasco said, “in­clud­ing Sev­ern School and St. Mary’s from the very strong IAAM ‘B’ con­fer­ence, St. Thomas More from Delaware, and Kent Is­land from Bay­side. We’re go­ing to take our lumps but will be a much stronger team from it for our stretch run in the ESIAC.”

Gun­ston

The Herons fea­ture a mix of ex­pe­ri­ence and youth with six re­turn­ing play­ers and eight fresh­men on their ros­ter.

“Al­ready, the team has shown tremen­dous im­prove­ment and ap­pear to be­come a com­peti­tor this sea­son,” head coach Koula Stros­nider said.

Heidi Bar­cus (F), Bren­nan Paddy (G), and Ryleigh Paskoski (G) are se­niors on the ros­ter. Marisa Pis­apia (G) is the lone ju­nior on the team. Sopho­mores in­clude Eileen Ash­ley (F), Natalie Cockey (G), Annabelle Gille­spie (F), and Lily Judd (G).

The Herons travel to Worces­ter Prep for their opener on Mon­day.

PHOTO BY CHRIS KNAUSS

Kent Is­land High’s Se’Ri Miles works on of­fense de­fended by New Town’s Maraiyah Smith dur­ing last sea­son’s Class 2A state semi­fi­nals at Tow­son Univer­sity’s SECU Arena. Miles is the only re­turn­ing starter for the Bucs this sea­son.

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