Originally created 11/28/02

South Carolina girls prep basketball capsules



AIKEN

COACH: Aubrey Pompey, 15th year

2001 RECORD: 20-8

RETURNING STARTERS: G Ebony Jones (Sr., 5-6); G Kendra Wright (Jr., 5-3).

OUTLOOK: With the loss of Nola Grant, Kim Justice and Tamica Forestt to graduation, Pompey expects this to be a rebuilding year for the Lady Hornets. Jones will be one of the team's top players.

BARNWELL

COACH: Carol Massengale, eighth year

2001 RECORD: 25-4

RETURNING STARTERS: G/F Melanie Johnson (Sr., 6-2); G Gale Owen (Sr., 5-4); F India Clark (Sr., 5-9).

OUTLOOK: Barnwell will have to play at least three ninth-graders, and that could be a concern for the Lady Warhorses. Johnson will be key. If the South Carolina signee can duplicate last season (24 points, 11 rebounds per game), Barnwell will go far.

BLACKVILLE-HILDA

COACH: Robert Williams, first year

2001 RECORD: 10-12

RETURNING STARTERS: C Shakela Matthews (Sr., 6-1, 155); G Courtney Kemp (Sr., 5-6, 140); G Trareva James (Jr., 5-6, 130). F Courtney Livingston (Jr., 5-9, 140); F Tonya Coleman (Jr., 5-11, 150).

OUTLOOK: With coach Farrell Zissette gone after leading the Lady Hawks to seven state titles, Williams has a lot to live up to. He'll get some help with five returning starters and strong depth.

MCCORMICK

COACH: George Edwards, 15th year

2001 RECORD: 17-7

RETURNING STARTERS: G Quintissha Yeldell (Sr., 5-7); F Denitva Parker (Jr., 5-10).

OUTLOOK: McCormick had a successful 2001-02 season, but the Lady Chiefs lost four starters. McCormick, however, will have more depth and will be a little quicker on the floor.

MIDLAND VALLEY

COACH: Marcia Nash, fifth year

2001 RECORD: N/A

RETURNING STARTERS: G Jennifer Lowe (Jr., 5-5, 110); G Kristyn Holley (Sr., 5-5, 105); F Rosa Jea (So.).

OUTLOOK: Jessica Key won't return to the team this season, and that'll hurt the Lady Mustangs. The team has playoff experience, but has to fight through its region to return to the postseason.

NORTH AUGUSTA

COACH: Faye Norris, eighth year

2001 RECORD: 11-14

RETURNING STARTERS: F LaTrice Thomas (Jr., 5-8, 140); G Mariel Mendez (Sr., 5-6, 127); G Amy Caver (Jr., 5-6, 112).

OUTLOOK: With little height, the Lady Yellow Jackets will rely on experience and solid outside shooting. North Augusta has a chance at its first playoff appearance since 1998.

RIDGE SPRING-MONETTA

COACH: Gail Johnson, fifth year

2001 RECORD: 25-2

RETURNING STARTERS: C Kikki Valentine (Sr., 6-2, 200); F Rasalyn Brunson (Sr., 5-7).

OUTLOOK: Coming off a one-point Upper State championship loss to Louisville, the Lady Trojans won't be as strong on defense. But Valentine can dominate a game, and Ridge Spring-Monetta likely will ride her back.

SILVER BLUFF

COACH: Louise Dent, eighth year

2001 RECORD: 5-16

RETURNING STARTERS: G Deidre Simmons (Sr., 5-2); G Alexis Green (Sr., 5-2, 100); F Nikema Patterson (Sr., 5-5, 125); F Shauna Barefield (Sr., 5-8, 125); C Laura Wilson (Sr., 5-6, 205).

OUTLOOK: The Lady Bulldogs have all but one of their players back from last season, so they'll have some experience. Although Silver Bluff will be a small squad, it'll run the floor well and win more games than last year.

SOUTH AIKEN

COACH: Steve Young, third year

2001 RECORD: 13-15

RETURNING STARTERS: G Ashley Bowman (Sr., 5-5, 110); G Ashley Dyches (Sr., 5-7, 120); F Mia Hicks (Sr., 5-10, 130); G Shanavia Tyler (Jr., 5-6, 117); F Jennifer Johnson (So., 5-9, 112).

OUTLOOK: The Lady Thoroughbreds will improve from last year, considering they return all their starters. This could be a good season for South Aiken.

STROM THURMOND

COACH: Jeanette Engle, third year

2001 RECORD: 15-7

RETURNING STARTERS: F Bonta Williamson (So., 5-10, 130); G Heather Holmes (Jr., 5-9, 130); G Dioundra Felton (So., 5-7, 125).

OUTLOOK: Ladovia Dukes and Cerrissa Griffin were the stars last season, but they're gone, and the Lady Rebels will need Williamson, Holmes and Felton to be big. Strom Thurmond will be young and inexperienced, though.

WAGENER-SALLEY

COACH: Jamie Garvin, second year

2001 RECORD: 0-22

RETURNING STARTERS: PF Marguarita Walker (Sr., 5-8,); PG Shanina Kitchings (So., 5-6); SG Tiffany Davenport (So., 5-6).

OUTLOOK: Probably one of the youngest teams in South Carolina, the Eagles will attempt to pick up the pieces from last season and get a few wins under their belt this year.