Princess Anne athlete Brianna Jackson (photo: Mike Caudill/recruit757)
The 2018-19 girls’ basketball season has Princess Anne at the top of our list
by Andy Hilton, recruit757
It’s only right that Princess Anne sits at the top of our list of teams to watch in the coming season. After all, the Princess Anne Girls are five-time reigning state champions. The program sends off Division I athletes and reloads annually.
The Lake Taylor Girls program, led by Coach Saundra Sawyer, came one game short of winning the Class 4 state title earlier this year and they’ll most certainly make another run this season with a starting five loaded with big game experience.
Tabb: The Tigers ran the table in the Bay Rivers District last season, going 17-0 and making a state championship run. Last season, Tabb hosted the Region 3A finals and lost to Hopewell. They won their quarterfinal game against Culpeper, but fell in the semifinal to Hopewell and finished with a 23-3 record. All-757 Second Team Guard and 3A Region Player of the Year Brianna Harper has graduated, so Tabb will have to replace her 15.5 PPG, 4.0 assists and 5.0 rebounds per game. Center Kenna Williams and her presence in the paint will be missed as well. Both Harper and Williams were Class 3 All-State selections.
Tamia Smith and Maddie Clemons graduated from the 2016-17 team that went to the state quarterfinal, so there’s history of Tabb reloading. Guard Danielle Bennett returns for her senior season to lead the Tigers on another run to the state title. Bennette was a Region 3A Second Team selection as a junior.
Wilson: Second Team All-757 selection Jakeria Bagby moves on and there’s a youth movement afoot at Wilson. Amiya Brady and Stevie Gary will provide senior leadership for a team that finished 15-10 last year.
Norview: the Pilots finished the 2017-18 season with an 18-6 record. Last season saw them lose to Lake Taylor in the Region 5A final and lose to Highland Springs in the quarterfinal of the state tourney, but there’s hope for another run if young players step up. Coach Jonathan Wilson sees eight players return along with newcomer LeAsia Foreman. Janiya Guilloux, Brianna Brickhouse, Mikaya Tynes, Jhanquia Rodgers and TaLiyah Edmonds return with high expectations.
Deep Creek: All-757 Offensive Player of the Year Mya Thomas (20.6 PPG, 5.3 Assists, 5.1 Rebounds, and 2.3 steals per game) returns as well as All-757 Honorable Mention Adriana Shipp(13 points, 11 rebounds). The Hornets should be an offensive juggernaut with Shipp and Thomas supported by sophomore Jada Johnson, junior Korra Eason, and seniors Jada Richardson and Belah Dunn.
King’s Fork: First Team Class 4 All-State athletes Nyla Young (21.0 PPG and 14.0 rebounds per game) is back and will lead the Bulldogs in another title run. King’s Fork was 22-4 last season and perennially sees Lake Taylor standing between them and a state title win. Last year, Lake Taylor knocked off King’s Fork in the state semifinal. Neecole Brown (11 PPG, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals per game) and Alexus Banks (8 rebounds per game and 4 steals per game) return to provide support for another title run.
Ocean Lakes: The Dolphins were knocked off in the state quarterfinals last season, but return guard Kyla McMakin (18.5 PPG, 10 RPG) to lead the squad for another run. Senior guard Kendle Dalrymple pairs with McMakin to give Ocean Lakes one of the more impressive back court tandems in the region. Tristen Ragland, Grace Spade, and Alexis Starks should round out the starting five.
Hampton: Destiny Robinson (10.1 PPG, 12.1 RPG, 2.3 SPG) will be missed, and there’s only one returning player to provide senior leadership. Forward Daija Thompson returns for her senior season to lead a team loaded with juniors and sophomores. The Crabbers topped Woodside to win the Peninsula District title in 2017-18 on their way to a 19-5 finish. They were knocked off by Norview in the Region 5A tournament.
Landstown: First Team Class 6 All-State athlete Alyssa Norris (14.0 PPG, 3.5 RPG) returns to lead a squad that finished 21-6 and reached the state semifinals last season. Zoe Maynard, Quierra Hawkins, and Nyasia Hawkins will round out the supporting cast of a team that will have to be scrappy to return to the state tournament again this season.
Lake Taylor: the Titans come back this year with a loaded roster. Sophomore Ja’Naiya Quinerly was a star as a freshman last season, contributing 17.0 PPG, 7 APG and 5 RPG. All-757 Honorable Mention Jordan Poole also returns for her junior season, so Coach Saundra Sawyer has a young squad with big game experience. Chaniquwa Gilliam (8 PPG, 4 SPG), Azia Johnson (10 PPG, 9 RPG, 4 SPG) and Jazmyne Dostner round out a starting five that will be driven to make another state title game appearance. Kaylus Hundley (graduation) is the only player missing from the squad that played in last year’s title game. The goal this year is to win the big one.
Princess Anne: the Cavaliers have played in the state title game 11 years in a row and have won five in a row. Expectations are no different this season. All-757 Player of the Year Makayla Dickens is gone, but Miami committment Brianna Jackson is back, all six-foot, three-inches of her. Coach Darnell Dozier sees last year’s team leader in scoring, Aziaha James, return for her sophomore season. Tiyanna James will miss her junior season due to an ACL tear, but there’s plenty of depth to share the load and the winning expectations. Mahogany Lester, Jasha Clinton, Kendra Johnson, Alexia Lindsey and Cameron McKinney will get the bulk of the playing time. Freshman Charly Wirtanen is set to make a splash.
– Andy Hilton