herald basketball girls

Jessica Timmons (North Meck), Josie Wiles (Davidson Day) and Tori Hancock (Community School of Davidson) should all have big years for their respective schools in 2018-19.

Christ the King Crusaders

Conference: NCHSAA 1A Independent

Head coach: Phil Harrington (second season, 9-12)

Last year’s record: 9-12 NCISAA 2A Independent

Returning starters: 5

Key departures: n/a

Top returnees, 2017-18 averages: Kylie Panizza, sophomore point guard (12.3 points per game); Jessica Hoagland, junior small forward (6.2 points per game); Amelia O’Malley, junior shooting guard (1.5 points per game; Sarah Kocher, senior power forward (9.1 points per game); Laura Fisher, senior power forward/center (2.2 points per game); Julia Fishbaugh, sophomore power forward (3.1 points per game, 3 rebounds)

Top newcomers: Leah Filiault, senior power forward; Anne Francis Lorio, senior small forward

Outlook: Christ the King returns a ton of experience from last season, including all five starters from last year’s 9-12 team. Kylie Panizza was the team’s leading scorer as a freshman and will run the show at point. Now competing in the NCHSAA, coach Phil Harrington has his Crusaders really get after it on the defensive end of the floor and play unselfish basketball on the offensive side of the court.


CSD Tori hancock

Stat-stuffing guard Tori Hancock is the only returning starter for the Spartans this season.

Community School of Davidson

Conference: PAC 7 1A

Head coach: Brian DeLay (second season, 14-13)

Last year’s record: 14-13, 7-5 PAC 7; first round of state playoffs

Returning starters: 1

Key departures: Meredith Suggs, 6-foot, post (12 points per game), second in state in blocks; Aliya Hassen, shooting guard (34 percent on 3-pointers)

Top returnees, 2017-18 averages: Tori Hancock, 5-foot-9, senior shooting guard (4.2 points per game, 4.3 rebounds per game, 4 assists per game)

Top newcomers: Mariana Soares, 5-foot-7, freshman post; Kenzi DeLay, 5-foot-4, freshman point guard; Jillian Charlet, 5-foot-5, freshman guard

Outlook: Brian Delay’s second Spartan team will have a lot of new faces, with Tori Hancock as the lone returning starter. The senior had strong numbers across the board last year but will likely shoulder more of the scoring load. The coach expects his team’s strengths to be speed and defense, as he hopes to implement a more up-tempo style.


Davidson Day Patriots

Conference: NCISAA Independent

Mallorie Haines Davidson day

Mallorie Haines

Head coach: Jeff Lafave (fourth season, 65-12)

Last year’s record: 16-6, state quarterfinalist

Returning starters: n/a

Key departures: none

Top returnees, 2017-18 averages: Mallorie Haines, 5-foot-10, sophomore guard (17 points per game, 5 rebounds); Jael Hall, 5-foot-6, sophomore guard (10 points per game, 3 assists); Josie Wiles, 6-foot-1, senior center (9 points per game, 7 rebounds); Kate Roberts, 5-foot-6, senior guard (2 points per game, 3 assists); Jessie Wiles, 5-foot-9, sophomore forward (5 points per game, 3 rebounds); Jaden Graham, 5-foot-7, sophomore guard (3 points per game, 2 rebounds); Makayla Tejeda, 5-foot-4, junior guard (3 points per game, 1 assist per game); Libby Otto, 5-foot-10, senior forward (4 points per game, 4 rebounds)

Top newcomers: Nevaeh Brown, 5-foot-8, junior guard; Audrey Hanson, 5-foot-10, sophomore guard

Outlook: The Patriots will look to get back to the NCISAA final for the third time in four years under coach Jeff Lafave. Guard Mallorie Haines transferred from Bandys last winter and led the team as a freshman with 17 points per game. DDS will have good athleticism, but Lafave said his team will be lacking in depth. Haines, Nevaeh Brown and Jael Hall all have interest from Division I schools.


Hopewell Titans

Conference: I-Meck 4A

Head coach: Scott Parkin (second season, 14-13 at Hopewell, 38-61 overall)

Last year’s record: 14-13, 8-6 I-Meck

Returning starters: 2

Key departures: Sydni Duncan, center (7 points per game, 9.3 rebounds, 2.0 blocks), playing at Louisburg College; Essynce Cannon, forward (5 points per game, 5 rebounds); Quinterra Harrison, forward (5 rebounds per game)

Top returnees, 2017-18 averages: Nawaza Chambers, 5-foot-7, senior forward (8 points per game, 5.6 rebounds); Aniya Finger 5-foot-11, junior guard (16.9 points per game, 6.5 rebounds, 3.8 steals)

Top newcomers: Nevaeh Caldwell, 5-foot-7, sophomore guard; Ariana Montgomery, 5-foot-8, senior guard; Kayla Lawson, 5-foot-5, freshman guard

Outlook: Hopewell lost a lot of size and post presence, mostly from all-conference center Sydni Duncan but will have a strong core of guards. Aniya Finger leads that group and was top five in the conference in points, rebounds, steals and assists a year ago. Perimeter play and defense will allow the Titans to play at a faster pace, but the lack of a true post player may pose a challenge for Scott Parkin’s second team on Beatties Ford Road.


Hough Huskies

Conference: I-Meck 4A

Head coach: Jason Buzzard (fourth year, 53-29)

Last year’s record: 13-13, 6-8 I-Meck

Returning starters: 3

Key departures: Renee Alquiza, 6-foot-1, forward (16 points per game, 9 rebounds); Hailey Gipson, 5-foot-6, guard (7 points per game, 5 assists)

Top returnees, 2017-18 averages: Anna Mroz, 5-foot-5, junior guard (6 points per game, 2 rebounds, 2 assists); Caroline Swartz, 5-foot-6, sophomore guard (7 points per game, 3 rebounds, 2 assists); Morgan Sutton, 6-foot, junior forward (3 points per game, 5 rebounds)

Top newcomers: Kaeden Frino, 5-foot-3, sophomore guard; Ann Michael Hudson, 5-foot-3, sophomore guard; Claire Polito, 5-foot-8, sophomore forward; Madelyn Sell, 6-foot, sophomore forward; Caroline Phocas, 5-foot-6, sophomore forward; Addi Martin, 5-foot-7, junior forward

Outlook: The Huskies lost two key cogs off last year’s team in versatile forward Renee Alquiza and do-it-all guard Hailey Gipson. Anna Mroz and Carolina Swartz, who each gained valuable minutes a year ago, will be the most likely prospects to lead the team in scoring. Hough will be like many I-Meck schools in replacing post players, but the Huskies do return 6-footer Morgan Sutton, who may have an edge in conference play.


Lake Norman Charter Knights

Conference: South Fork 2A

Head coach: Chet Korczynski (first season)

Last year’s record: 17-11, 9-5 South Fork

Returning starters: none

Key departures: Jenny Williams (5 points per game, 2 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 assists); Megan Moody (5 points, 2 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 assists); Kezia Johnson (12 points per game, 7 rebounds, 2 steals); Vanessa Bissinger (7 points per game, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals); Destiny Benson (7 points per game, 4 rebounds, 2 steals); Alex Behnke (4 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 assists)

Top returnees, 2017-18 averages: Kristy Seifert, 5-foot-9, sophomore guard/forward (2 points per game, 2 rebounds); Jill Villanti, 5-foot-5, sophomore guard (2 points per game, 1 rebound); Delaney Pierce, 5-foot-7, senior forward (1 point per game, 1 rebound); Annie Thomas, 5-foot-5, senior guard (1 point per game, 1 rebound)

Top newcomers: Marissa Sorvillo, 5-foot-5, freshman guard; Gabrielle Augier, 5-foot-7, freshman forward

Outlook: The Lady Knights lost nine seniors and longtime head coach Bobby Williams, only returning four players from last year’s team who have very limited minutes. New coach Chet Korczynski said the inexperience will be a challenge; however, he’s confident his young-yet-skilled team will be able to compete at a high level in the South Fork – a conference that lost many of its top players from a year ago.


North Meck Vikings

Conference: I-Meck 4A

Head coach: Jennifer Baker (10th season, 174-139)

Last year’s record: 14-12, 7-7 I-Meck

Returning starters: 1

Key departures: Courtney Lewis, guard (9.4 points per game, 2.0 assists per game, 3.9 rebounds per game, 1.3 steals per game); Ayanna Taylor, center (6.3 points per game, 8.5 rebounds, 1.3 steals); Jayla Wilson (6.1 points per game, 4.0 rebounds, 1.2 steals); Nazhiyah Hayes (5.5 points per game, 3.6 rebounds per game, 1.2 steals)

Top returnees, 2017-18 averages: Jessica Timmons, 5-foot-8, sophomore guard (25.5 points per game, 2.0 assists, 4.0 rebounds, 4.0 steals); Alonna Dunlap, 5-foot-9, junior forward (2.6 points per game, 3.3 rebounds); Nye’mah Smith, 5-foot-2, junior guard

Top newcomers: Jordan Jenkins, 5-foot-9, senior guard (12.8 points per game in Summerville, S.C.); Taylor Dunn, 5-foot-5, freshman guard; Alisha Harris, 5-foot-9, freshman small forward; Gigi Jones, junior, transferred from Carmel Christian

Outlook: The Vikings will be smaller after losing four senior starters off last year’s team, and will look for a new crop of players to fill those roles, especially in the post. However, Jessica Timmons is back after scoring 25.5 points a game as a freshman – leading all 4A players in the state. Coach Jennifer Baker expects Alonna Dunlap to step in for last year’s center Ayanna Taylor, who averaged 8.5 rebounds. Newcomer Jordan Jenkins was an all-conference player at Summerville (S.C.) High School a year ago and should provide a second scoring option alongside Timmons.


SouthLake Christian Eagles

Conference: NCISAA Metrolina Athletic Conference

Head coach: Craig McCoy (first season)

Last year’s record: 2-17, 1-9 MAC

Returning starters: 3

Key departures: Lauren Stalh, forward (14 points per game)

Top returnees: Sarah Thomas, junior guard; Sydney Carter, sophomore guard; Annika Johnson, sophomore forward

Top newcomers: n/a

Outlook: Craig McCoy takes over the SouthLake girls program following the departure of Terry Batts. The Eagles will have a very young team and will look to fill the 14 points a game from Lauren Stalh last season. Having three returning starters should be helpful in improving from last year’s 2-17 mark.


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