Teams to Watch
Watauga: After more than a decade of losing seasons, Watauga has won 41 games in the last two years, including a 22-5 mark a year ago. This year, junior guards Brooke Byrd (10 ppg) and Rebekah Farthing (12 ppg) will look to help the Pioneers keep up their winning pace, contend for the NW3A/4A conference title and be a factor deeper into the playoffs (advanced to the second round last year).
Anson County: The Bearcats have won 25 games in the last two years, including a co-Rocky River conference title last season. Anson County returns four starters, led by seniors Destiny Robinson and Jordan Sikes, who will be shooting to defend their league crown.
Ashe County: The Huskies have been up and down in recent years, going 26-25 in the last two years. This season, Ashe County has an experienced team back led by guards Hallie Treva (13 ppg) and Sam Woods (9 ppg), who give the Huskies the talent to be a factor in the Mountain Valley 1A/2A conference race and more into the postseason.
Players to Watch
Rebekah Farthing/Brooke Byrd, Watauga juniors (both): The Pioneers’ junior duo gets it done on both sides of the court with Byrd (10 ppg, 4 rpg, 3 spg) and Farthing (12 ppg, 8 rpg, 3 spg) hoping to lead Watauga to another 20-plus win season.
Destiny Robinson/Jordan Sikes, Anson County, seniors: The Anson County guards will both be counted to help the Bearcats defend their Rocky River conference title.
Sam Woods (Sr.)/Hallie Treva (Jr.), Ashe County: The Huskies’ co-team most valuable player and all-conference duo look to lead an Ashe County team eager to prove it can finish in the upper echelon of the Mountain Valley Athletic (1A/2A) and get back to the playoffs.
Allexis Swinney, Richmond Senior junior: The Raiders’ junior guard (12 ppg) and senior Taliah Wall (9 ppg) will play lead roles in helping Richmond Senior move back up the league standings.
Can’t Miss Games
Richmond Senior at Purnell Swett, Tuesday, Dec. 11: If Richmond Senior is going improve this season, this Sandhills’ Athletic conference opener on the road is a must win against a team that has struggled in recent years.
Wilkes Central at Ashe County, Tuesday, Jan. 29: The Huskies will need some big wins like a home victory over Wilkes Central to finish in the upper echelon of the Mountain Valley Athletic 1A/2A conference race.
West Stanly at Anson County, Friday, Feb. 8: The defending co-Rocky River conference regular season champions could be playing for the league title again in early February.
Watauga at Hickory, Friday, Feb. 8: This Northwestern 3A/4A rivalry game should have major league standing and postseason-seeding implications with one week to go in the regular season.
First-year, Richmond Senior coach and former Raiders’ standout player Teddy Moseley is a proven winner, going 82-23 in his coaching career, while playing in two state championship games when he was a player. Now, Moseley looks to help his alma mater get going back in the right direction after a 6-15 record last year. Richmond Senior’s last winning season came in 2013-14 campaign.
The Anson County girls’ basketball team had a strange year last season starting 2-7 before the holiday break. The Bearcats then won nine of their last 13 games to share the Rocky River conference title with West Stanly and finish 11-11 overall.
The Ashe County girls’ basketball team should get immediate help from 6-foot freshmen twin sisters, Jayden and Jordan Jones, according to Coach Brianna Ashley.
Sandhills’ Athletic 4A Girls
Richmond Senior; 2. Pinecrest; 3. 71st High; 4. Lumberton; 5. Jack Britt; 6. Scotland County; 7. Hoke County; 8. Purnell Swett.
Mountain Valley Athletic 1A/2A Girls
Wilkes Central; 2. Alleghany; 3. Ashe County; 4. West Wilkes; 5. North Wilkes; 6. Elkin; 7. East Wilkes; 8. Starmount.
Northwestern 3A/4A Girls’
Freedom; 2. Hickory; 3. Watauga; 4. McDowell; 5. South Caldwell; 6. West Caldwell;
7. St. Stephens; 8. Alexander Central.
Western Highlands’ 1A/2A Girls
Mountain Heritage; 2. Charles D. Owen; 3. Mitchell; 4. Avery County; 5. Madison; 6. Polk County.
Note: Alexander Central and Avery County did not turn in preseason information before this preview was published.