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Top girls teams featured in tournaments

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No matter which side of the Savannah River basketball fans visit these next two days, some of the top local girls teams will be in action.

North Augusta and Glenn Hills high schools are playing host to tournaments.

The Yellow Jackets hold the third annual SC vs. GA Thanks­giving Classic while the Spartans and the 100 Black Women of Augusta have their Lady Tip-Off Classic.

Both events feature mostly local teams.

At North Augusta’s tournament, Butler, Evans, Midland Valley, South Aiken and Strom Thurmond join the Yellow Jackets in the field.

Five of the six made the state playoffs last season, with Ashley Watts helping Butler reach the Class AAA state quarterfinals.

But Watts is gone, and so is North Augusta’s Kayla West, who averaged 20 points per game and is now at Texas Southern.

“Everyone needs to step up,” Yellow Jackets coach Jared Adamson said. “Kayla, a player of her magnitude, had a tremendous impact on the game. Everyone else needs to step up and respond to the challenge.”

Without West, Adamson will use a more balanced attack, with Arielle Houston, Jasmine Coach and Teanda Cunningham among those able to score in double figures.

At Glenn Hills, four Region 3-AAA teams will be in action. But the headliner figures to be Laney, which went 29-2 a year ago and advanced to the Class AA state semifinals.

Though Mykala Jones has graduated, sharpshooter DeKoya Mack returns, as do inside players Chelsea Maultsby and Simone Smith.

Laney first meets Aiken today and then closes the classic against Hephzibah.

Region 3-AAA member Westside plays Ridge Spring-Monetta on Tuesday, and its coach, Ivory Hugee, said these early tournaments show where changes might be needed.

“It gives you an early look before the region gets here,” he said. “It’s a good tune-up.”

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