Here are girls basketball previews for teams in Rowan County.
The capsules were compiled by Observer correspondent Jay Edwards.
For a complete list of capsules produced so far, visit this link
Head Coach: George Christas (1st year as Hibriten basketball coach).
2016-17 Record: 1-22 (1-13 in the Northwestern 3A/4A Conference).
2017-18 Conference: Northwest Foothills 2A.
Returning Starters (4): Jessie Moore, Jr.; Davis Walker, Jr., PG; Kendall Warren, Jr., UTIL; Deanna Gibson, Sr., UTIL. Key Newcomers: Danielle Muniz, So., G.
Outlook: First-year coach, George Christas, is eager to help his Hibriten start over with a "clean slate," after winning just one game a year ago and 13 victories in the last four seasons.
The Panthers will benefit from four starters back in the lineup, led by Jessie Moore (returns from ACL surgery) as they move back down (from 3A to 2A) to the Northwest Foothills 2A conference, where Hibriten should be able to move up the conference ladder and be much more competitive game in and game out.
Head Coach: Jeff Parham (19th year as South Caldwell basketball coach).
Coaching Career Record: 350-167.
2016-17 Record: 16-10 (8-6 in the Northwestern 3A/4A) Conference.
2017-18 Conference: Northwestern 3A/4A Conference.
Returning Starters (3): Mackenzie Starnes, Sr., G (5-7); Lyrec Evans, Sr., G; Payton Kale, Sr., G. Key Newcomers: Tyler Austin, So., G (5-3); Catherine Huggins, So., G (5-6).
Outlook: Coach Jeff Parham is a proven winner as his Spartan teams have averaged 19 wins per season over the last four years. This year, South Caldwell should be solid again with the senior backcourt of Evans, Kale and Starnes (12 ppg, 5 apg, 6 rpg) leading the charge. The Spartans should be in the middle of the pack in a deep NW3A/4A conference and in good postseason position.
Head Coach: Brad Mangum (1st year as West Caldwell basketball coach).
Coaching Career Record: 102-38.
2016-17 Record: 12-12 (7-7 in the Southern District 7 (SD7)).
2017-18 Conference: Northwestern 3A/4A.
Returning Starters (2): Annie Bean, Sr., PG (5-5); Carl’azjia Hood, Sr., F (5-9).
Other Key Returnees: Jaleah Battle, So., G (5-11); Layla Patterson, So., G (5-5). Key Newcomers: Ariel McMasters, Jr., F (6-0).
Outlook: The Warriors have improved in recent years with 23 wins in the past two seasons, including a 12-12 mark last year. This year, West Caldwell will look to continue its ascent in the NW3A/4A conference with senior Bean and Hood leading the charge. But nothing will come easy in a tough conference with traditional powers like Freedom, Hickory, making it tough to finish in the upper half of the league and in good playoff position.