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2018-19 Girls Basketball Capsule Previews

(As submitted by coaches)

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Head coach: Erica Brooks, first season

2017-18 record: 0-17 (0-16 2A Southern/ninth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Four (one)

Outlook: Brooks takes over a program that is hungry for success.

“We have a very young and inexperienced team, but we hope to compete in the tough 2A league,” Brooks said.

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Head coach: Chip Peterson, first season

2017-18 record: 14-12 (8-4 Northwest/third)

Returning letter winners (starters): Six (two)

Outlook: Peterson, who had a 41-42 record as Western’s girls coach from 2013 to 2016, becomes just the fourth head coach in Arbor View’s girls basketball history.

He inherits a team that brings back six letter winners.

“We hope to remain a solid team through everything,” Peterson said.

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Head coach: Brad Bristol, first season

2017-18 record: 8-13 (2-8 Southeast/fifth)

Returning starters: Two

Top players: C Lauren Powell (Sr.), G Mikayla Berg (Sr.), F Sierra McLean (Fr.), G Alexis Lea (So.)

Outlook: Bristol will try to turn around a program that has struggled to keep pace in the Southeast League.

The Wolves return two starters who hope to lead the team to its first playoff berth since the 2013-14 season.


Head coach: Kevin Nixon, third season (33-24 career at Gorman)

2017-18 record: 12-17 (8-4 Southwest/third)

Returning letter winners (starters): Nine (five)

Top players: F/G Georgia Ohiaeri (Sr.), F/G Olivia Smith (Sr.), G Shaira Young (Sr.)

Outlook: Ohiaeri (10 points, 6 rebounds per game), Young (10 ppg) and Smith (7 ppg, 5 rpg) highlight a list of nine returning letter winners for the Gaels, who hope to be improved this season.

“We’re expecting a fantastic season, with five returning starters and nine players returning,” Nixon said. “We are extremely excited about making a strong challenge for state this year.”

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Head coach: Tracy Antonio, second season (5-20 career at Bonanza)

2017-18 record: 5-20 (0-12 Southwest/seventh)

Returning letter winners (starters): Four (three)

Top players: F Macyn Raleigh (Sr.), G/F Izzy Diaz (Sr.), F Rayanna LeFear (Sr.), F/G Madie Gonzalez (Sr.)

Outlook: After back-to-back two-win seasons, the Bengals showed some improvement in Antonio’s first year.

Diaz (10.4 points, 3.4 assists, 3 steals per game), Gonzalez (8.5 ppg, 4.2 apg), Raleigh (7.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg) and LeFear (6.6 ppg, 3.4 rpg) all return and hope to lead the team to more success.

“The Lady Bengals are still a rebuilding program heading in the right direction,” Antonio said. “We’ll be young mixed with some upperclasswomen and the addition of some promising transfers that will help lead the program to a another successful, learning, competitive, scholar athletic season.

“These athletes have been working hard, and we’re all excited for the upcoming season in this new conference.”

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Head coach: Kirk Estes, first season

2017-18 record: 15-11 (9-3 3A Sunrise/third)

Returning letter winners (starters): Six (four)

Top players: G Madison Manns (Jr.), G Keely Alexander (Jr.), F Ellie Howard (Jr.), G Hannah Estes (Sr.), F Setia Cox (Sr.), F Kailee Fisher (So.)

Outlook: Kirk Estes takes over for his friend Paul Dosch, whose brave fight against cancer served as an inspiration to the Eagles’ program.

The Eagles return six letter winners.

“Boulder City returns four all-conference players from last year’s squad,” Kirk Estes said.

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Head coach: Shay Johnson, second season (12-11 career at CCCS)

2017-18 record: 12-11 (9-7 2A Southern/fourth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Four (three)

Top players: G Tyra Perkins (Jr.), G J.J. Monaco (So.)

Outlook: Perkins (18.6 points, 9.7 rebounds, 6.6 steals per game) and Monaco (9.9 ppg, 3.1 spg) are two of the four returning letter winners for the Lions.

Calvary Chapel qualified for the Class 2A Southern League playoffs last year.

“It’s a young group looking to build on last season,” Johnson said.

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Head coach: Christopher Walker, fourth season (52-18 career at CSHS)

2017-18 record: 17-7 (7-1 Northeast/first)

Returning letter winners (starters): Three (three)

Top players: F Jeanette Fine (Jr.)

Outlook: Fine, an honorable mention all-state selection last year, averaged 13 points and 7 rebounds per game is one of three returning starters for the Pioneers.

“We are going to work hard to establish an unselfish team that plays well together to compete for the division,” Walker said.

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Head coach: Karen Weitz, 19th season (564-53 career at Centennial)

2017-18 record: 29-3 (12-0 Northwest/first)

Returning letter winners (starters): Nine (four)

Top players: G/F Eboni Walker (Sr.), G Mel Isbell (Sr.), G/F Daejah Phillips (Jr.), G Taylor Bigby (So.)

Outlook: Walker, an Arizona State signee, and Isbell, a UNLV signee, return to lead a Bulldogs squad that is long on talent again this season.

Four starters return from a team that won the program’s fourth consecutive large-school state title.

“We look to defend our state title with high level intensity play,” Weitz said. “We have great chemistry and depth.”

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Head coach: Diane Washington, first season

2017-18 record: 11-12 (6-4 3A Sunset/third)

Returning letter winners (starters): Six (two)

Outlook: Washington takes over a team that has qualified for the playoffs in five of the last six seasons.

Only two starters return from last year’s squad.

“The Lady Shields should be competitive this season despite us moving up to 4A,” Washington said.

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Head coach: Sean Rodgers, second season (15-12 career at Clark)

2017-18 record: 15-12 (5-7 Southwest/fourth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Nine (five)

Top players: G Marieka Dent (Sr.), F Julia Reid (Jr.), C Coral Dupree (Sr.), G Symere Shelton (Jr.)

Outlook: The Chargers qualified for the postseason last year and bring back nine letter winners from that squad.

“My expectations are high for this team, but only time will tell where we end up,” Rodgers said. “We are putting in the work now to potentially make a push in this year’s playoffs. I feel we will surprise a few teams this year.”

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Head coach: Bill Crego, seventh season (97-70 career at Coronado)

2017-18 record: 18-11 (7-3 Southeast/third)

Returning letter winners (starters): Eight (three)

Top players: G Gabbie Etopio (Jr.), G Tia Thornton (Sr.), G Sade Williams (Jr.), C Haley Morton (Sr.)

Outlook: Crego, who coached the Cougars from 2008-09 through 2013-14 returns, for his second stint on the bench and inherits a team with eight returning letter winners.

“We expect to be competitive in every game we play,” Crego said.

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Head coach: Noah Olson, second season (5-17 career at Del Sol)

2017-18 record: 5-17 (3-9 3A Sunrise/tied fifth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Two (two)

Top players: G Markay Merchant (Jr.), F Charleyanse Howard (Jr.)

Outlook: The Dragons showed improvement in Olson’s first season and hope to continue the progress this year.

“We return a young core with plenty of athleticism and hustle,” Olson said. “We look to improve and build upon what we did last season, in hopes of competing in every game.”

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Head coach: Roy Goodell, second season (9-15 career at Durango)

2017-18 record: 9-15 (4-8 Southwest/fifth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Three (one)

Top players: G Shari Thomas (Jr.), F Laila Loring (Jr.), G Erica Stiles (Jr.), F Ty’Ja McKinney (Jr.)

Outlook: The Trailblazers had their most wins since 2013-14 last season, but return just one starter.

The team hopes to get up to speed quickly and have more success.

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Head coach: Robert Shaw, first season

2017-18 record: 5-14 (1-7 Northeast/fifth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Six (two)

Top players: C Indyah Direaux (Sr.), G Roshonda Stevens (Jr.), F Tashaya Rothmeyer (Jr.)

Outlook: Shaw takes over a program that is hoping to qualify for the playoffs for the first time since the 2007-08 season.

Six letter winners return to help lead the Sundevils.

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Head coach: Jennifer Karner, 13th season (180-146 career at Faith)

2017-18 record: 9-15 (3-9 Northwest/fifth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Seven (one)

Top players: F Kayla Proctor (Sr.), F Kelsey Howryla (So.), G Vegas Camacho (Jr.)

Outlook: Proctor (10.9 points, 5.9 rebounds per game) and Howryla (5.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg) will be among those leading a squad that has some holes to fill as only one starter returns.

“The Crusaders are young but talented,” Karner said. “This season will be a season to watch that talent grow.

“Expect speed, determination, and all-around heart from each player as they look to attack any challenge presented to them on the court.”

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Head coach: Laura Allen, third season (37-19 career at Foothill)

2017-18 record: 18-10 (7-3 Southeast/second)

Returning letter winners (starters): Eight (three)

Outlook: The Falcons bring back eight letter winners from last year and should contend for the Southeast League title.

“We are looking to our returning players to really step up and play big this season,” Allen said. “Our new and up-and-coming young players are also going to be vital to our success.”

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Head coach: Reynaldo White, first season

2017-18 record: 15-10 (4-6 Southeast/fourth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Seven (three)

Top players: G Shelby Clark (Sr.)

Outlook: White has spent the past several seasons as an assistant on the Gators’ bench and takes over for Eric Johnston, who was 122-75 in seven seasons as Green Valley’s coach.

White will lead a team that returns seven letter winners, led by Clark (8.8 points per game).

“Our team goals are to finish higher in our conference and to make a deeper run in the playoffs than we did last season,” White said.

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Head coach: Susan Lee, fourth season

2017-18 record: 8-7 (independent)

Returning letter winners (starters): Five (three)

Top players: F/C Chloe Lamb (Sr.), G/F Ariana Davis (Sr.)

Outlook: The Guardians make their debut as a Class 1A Southern League member with three returning starters from last season’s squad.

Lamb and Davis are expected to be among the leaders on a team that hopes to contend for more than just a playoff berth.

“We have two returning seniors excited to make this their year,” Lee said. “This is our first year in NIAA, and we’re ecstatic to be able to battle for the state title.”

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Head coach: Karen Yamzon, eighth season (44-112 career at LMCA)

2017-18 record: 12-11 (8-8 2A Southern/fifth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Four (two)

Top players: G Lauryn Freund (Sr.), G Shelbi Shaw (Sr.), G/F Rebekah Fuller (So.), G/F Katie Ulmen (Sr.)

Outlook: The Eagles collected their most wins since the 2010-11 season last year and return four letter winners from that team.

“We are looking for some strong senior leadership this year, as we prepare several young and new players to be able to contribute some big minutes down the road,” Yamzon said. “As always, we are committed to work hard and persevere, and look to be able to put it all together by the end of the season.”

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Head coach: Chad Kapanui, fifth season (113-14 career at Liberty)

2017-18 record: 31-3 (10-0 Southeast/first)

Returning letter winners (starters): Four (one)

Top players: G/F Journie Augmon (Sr.), G Starr Walker (Sr.), C Olivia Childress (Sr.), G Joy Watkins (So.)

Outlook: The Patriots have advanced to the large-school state tournament each of the past six seasons and have been a state finalist two of the last three and three of the last five seasons.

But only one starter returns from last season’s squad.

“This team is so different than recent years,” Kapanui said. “After losing some of the best talent in the state from last season, they have big shoes to fill. This team is filled with young players with lots of talent.

“Expect to see this team play hard and be competitive at all times.”

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Head coach: Duane Wadsworth, third season (41-14 career at LCHS)

2017-18 record: 25-4 (16-0 2A Southern/first)

Returning letter winners (starters): Five (two)

Top players: F Kendra Mathews (Sr.), G Sadie Soderborg (Jr.), F Kylee Cameron (Sr.), G Macie Howard (Jr.)

Outlook: The Lynx return only two starters after advancing to the Class 2A state championship game last season.

“We are looking forward to this year,” Wadsworth said. “We have a lot of young players and some returning players that we are excited about.”

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Head coach: Kalee Whipple, third season (12-32 career at Meadows)

2017-18 record: 6-15 (4-12 2A Southern/seventh)

Returning letter winners (starters): Seven (four)

Top players: G Avery Kokinda (Jr.), G Arianna Jones (So.), G Kambree Takekuma (So.)

Outlook: The Mustangs return four starters from last year’s team.

“We have a good core group from our team last year coming back with some new additions from

some young players,” Whipple said. “We have some experience under our belts and look forward to continuing to improve and compete each and every day.”

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Head coach: Brandon Jones, first season

2017-18 record: 25-4 (12-0 3A Sunrise/first)

Returning letter winners (starters): Nine (three)

Top players: G Lainey Cornwall (Sr.), G/F Kaitlyn Anderson (Jr.)

Outlook: Jones takes over a squad that won 25 games last year before suffering a triple-overtime defeat in the Southern Region semifinals, narrowly missing a trip to the state tournament.

Cornwall (16.2 points, 4 rebounds, 3.4 steals per game) was the Southern Region’s MVP, and Anderson (13 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 3.6 spg) was a first-team all-region selection. They are among nine returning letter winners for the Pirates.

“Our goal is to defend our Sunrise League title and qualify for the state tournament,” Jones said.

“The new coaching staff is looking to build upon the foundation set by the previous coaching staff.”

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Head coach: Jessica Harrison, first full season

2017-18 record: 15-8 (7-3 3A Sunset/second)

Returning letter winners (starters): Five (three)

Top players: G Alecia Kelly (Sr.), F Chania Scott (Sr.)

Outlook: Harrison took over partway through last season and led the Rattlers to a Class 3A Southern Region title and their first state tournament appearance.

Kelly (13 points, 2 steals per game) and Scott (10 ppg, 7 rebounds per game) are among five returning letter winners that hope to guide Mojave to another successful season.

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Head coach: Amy Huntsman, 25th season (504-160 career at PVHS)

2017-18 record: 22-3 (7-0 1A Southern/first)

Returning letter winners (starters): Five (one)

Outlook: The defending Class 1A state champions return only one starter and get a bit of a later start than many teams as several of the team’s players participated on the Panthers’ state championship volleyball team.

Still, the Panthers traditionally are one of the top teams in the state and are expected to be in the mix again this season.

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Head coach: Bob Hopkins, 16th season (296-126 career at Pahrump)

2017-18 record: 19-6 (8-2 3A Sunset/first)

Returning letter winners (starters): Eleven (three)

Top players: F Kylie Stritenberger (Jr.), G Jackie Stobbe (Sr.), F Kate Daffer (So.), G Virginia Weir (Sr.), F Savannah Fairbank (Sr.), G Makayla Gent (So.), F Samantha Runnion (Sr.), G Maddy Souza (So.), G Maddy Hansen (Jr.), F Nicki Valazquez (So.)

Outlook: Stritenberger (8 points, 6.3 rebounds per game), Daffer (6.6 ppg, 6.3 rpg) and Stobbe (5 ppg, 4 rpg, 4 assists per game) lead a list of 11 returning letter winners for the defending Sunset League champions.

“We hope to improve on our overall record, repeat as the Sunset League champions and hoping to make it to the 3A state tournament,” Hopkins said.

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Head coach: Phil Clarke, 11th season (129-128 career at PVHS)

2017-18 record: 5-18 (2-10 Northwest/tied sixth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Seven (three)

Top players: G Alyssa Maillaro (So.), F Kedrena Johnson (Sr.), G Maya Bega (So.)

Outlook: The Panthers remain young this season, but have plenty of talent.

Maillaro (13.2 points, 4.2 rebounds per game) and Bega (12 ppg) lead a group of seven returning letter winners.

“It’s a young group with only two seniors,” Clarke said. “It’s a hard-working group of girls, and we hope to be competitive, gain experience, and improve each game as the season goes on.”

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Head coach: Ashley Vossen, sixth season (85-60 career at Rancho)

2017-18 record: 18-11 (7-1 Northeast/second)

Returning letter winners (starters): Six (two)

Top players: F Saipress Jones (Sr.), F Taylor DeGourville (So.), F Kristal Sullivan (So.)

Outlook: The Rams return only two starters from last season’s team, but hope to remain in the upper echelon of the Northeast League.

“We are young and inexperienced, but the girls are committed to working hard and learning how to be a successful team,” Vossen said. “We are going to rely on Saipress for her leadership, as she is the only returning player who played substantial minutes for us last season.

“We have some talent in our sophomore class with Kristal and Taylor, and we are excited to see how they respond to their roles and responsibility this season.”

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Head coach: Dorothy Kendrick, fourth season (24-32 career at SRHS)

2017-18 record: 4-11 (2-10 Northwest/tied sixth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Seven (three)

Outlook: The Mustangs bring back three starters from last season.

“Our team is still in the rebuilding stages,” Kendrick said. “We are focused and self-driven to make a difference this year. Mixing the old players with some of the new incoming hungry players will be a start toward our team concept of rebuilding and team success.”

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Head coach: Gregory Harton, second season (5-13 career at SVHS)

2017-18 record: 5-13 (3-9 Southwest/sixth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Eight (three)

Top players: F/C Shania Harper (Sr.), G/F Ashley Hansen (Sr.), G Alexis Hansen (Sr.)

Outlook: The Mountain Lions return eight letter winners from last season’s squad.

Harper (9.6 points, 11.3 rebounds per game), Ashley Hansen (6.8 ppg) and Alexis Hansen (6.5 ppg) all are expected to be among the leaders on a squad that hopes to contend for a top-four finish in the Southwest.

“We want to be as competitive as possible to make the playoffs,” Harton said. “We have the potential to be very competitive.”

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Head coach: Billy McConnell, first season

2017-18 record: 2-23 (0-10 Southeast/sixth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Eight (three)

Top players: G Destiny Byrd (Sr.), F Jessica Guzman (Sr.) G Kimber Tanner (Jr.), F Yasmine Noor (So.)

Outlook: McConnell takes over a program that has fallen on hard times and is need of consistency. He’s the fourth coach in the the last five seasons for the Skyhawks, who should be primed for an upturn this year.

The team returns three starters and welcomes Byrd, a transfer from Basic.

“We are looking to improve on last season with eight returning varsity players and newcomer, senior point guard Destiny Byrd,” McConnell said. “We expect to be a competitive opponent as the new team in a very tough Southwest League.”

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Head coach: Jason Howzell, first season

2017-18 record: 1-7 (independent)

Returning starters: Four

Top players: C Angelia Werner (So.), G Sariah Watson (Fr.)

Outlook: Werner, who averaged 10 points and 8 rebounds last season, is one of four returning starters for the Lions.

“We’re looking to be competitive with a very young program,” Howzell said. “All players are either freshmen or sophomores.”

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Head coach: Billy Hemberger, sixth season (106-45 career at SVHS)

2017-18 record: 28-3 (12-0 Southwest/first)

Returning letter winners (starters): Eight (three)

Top players: F Mackenzie Carcelli (Sr.), G Rory Carter (Sr.), F Chyna Charles (Sr.), F Alexus Quaadman (Sr.), G Lalique Sharpe (Sr.), G Ella Zanders (Sr.)

Outlook: The Grizzlies face life without four-year starting guards Essence Booker, a first-team all-state selection, and Kayla Harris, a second-team all-state honoree, but do bring back three starters and eight letter winners in total.

“After losing 40-plus points from seniors last year, we will look to have a rebuilding year,” Hemberger said. “The season is a marathon and not a sprint, so let’s see who is standing at the end.”

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Head coach: Brian Sexton, first season

2017-18 record: 2-17 (0-10 3A Sunset/sixth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Three (one)

Top players: G Cheryl Edenfield (So.), G Markaila McCurdy (Fr.), G Aiyana Ramirez (So.)

Outlook: Sexton takes over a team that is hoping to qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2015.

“We are a young team, but are very fast and expect to win,” Sexton said. “We are changing the culture in our program with goals of making the state tournament.”

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Head coach: Todd Herrick, first season

2017-18 record: 5-17 (3-9 3A Sunrise/fifth)

Returning letter winners (starters): Seven (three)

Top players: G Tayler Muwwakkil (Sr.), G Claira Eaton (Sr.), C Cassandra Banchich (Sr.), G Makenna Faught (Sr.)

Outlook: Herrick, who was the boys coach at Tech from 2009 to 2014 and served as the girls’ freshmen and junior varsity coach in recent years, takes over the program and hopes to bring success.

Muwwakkil, who did not play last season, averaged 13.7 points per game as a sophomore. Faught (4.4 ppg), Eaton (4.3 ppg) and Banchich (4 ppg) hope to play bigger roles this season.

“The team lacks in size, so we will have to rely on guard play to compete,” Herrick said. “Because the girls and I are very familiar with each other, the transition should be smooth, because they know how I operate and what I expect of them, and they are excited as well.

“We will work hard, play hard, and battle every night, and have fun as well. It is a great group of kids, and I am thankful for the chance to coach them.”

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