5 Girls Players To Watch
Amanda Cherry, Sun Valley, 5-9, Sr., G: All-conference star averaged 15 points, six assists and three steals
Hannah Clark, Kings Mountain, 5-6, Jr., G: Averaged 19 points for 19-9 team that returns three starters.
Danasia Gray, Statesville, 5-8, Jr., F: Averaged 13.3 points, 10 rebounds for 13-13 team last season; one of four starters returning.
Lauryn Hardiman, Cuthbertson, 5-7, So, F: All-conference as a freshman, Hardiman averaged 12 points and eight rebounds.
London Liles, North Iredell, 6-0, Sr., G/F: One of four starters returning from a 28-1 team that reached the third round of the N.C. 3A playoffs last season.
3 Teams To Watch
Central Cabarrus: After going 26-5 last season, Central graduated Observer All-Region Player of the Year Mahaley Holit. Three starters return, plus Division I freshman prospect Jada Ussery, as Central chases a repeat Elite 8 appearance.
Monroe: Moving up from 2A, Monroe was 23-5 last season and returns four starters. Coach Leroy Osborne has averaged 22 wins per year in his career there. Don’t expect much change this season.
Watauga: After going 19-9, the Pioneers return three starters -- Madie Darner, Maddisen Robinson and Brooke Byrd -- and should make a run at the Northwestern championship.
▪ After going 13-14 in the SoMeck conference, Charlotte Catholic moves to the Southern Carolina 3A with four starters back, led by seniors Maggie Dupre, Carson Dymock and Emma Ullius, the Cougars hope to push for a league title.
▪ After going 0-25 in 2014-15, Marvin Ridge has bounced back. The Mavericks were 14-12 last season and return four starters this season. This team could make a playoff run in 2017-18.
▪ Hickory was 20-7 last season but has averaged 24 wins over the past four seasons. Coach Barbara Helms is 364-44 at the school and returns 6-5 sophomore Shelby Darden and 5-9 junior Makayla Hill to make another run at a state title.