Girls prep basketball
By Matt Middleton | Staff Writer
Thursday, November 26, 2009



"We can go a long way if we grow up in a hurry. But (Class AAAA powers) Southwest DeKalb and Jonesboro -- they are tough. We are a young team, but we still have Aarika (Judge)."

-- Hephzibah coach Wendell Lofton


Aarika Judge, Hephzibah: The Central Florida recruit is part of a Hephzibah team that should score plenty of points from the outside this season.

Jessica Morton, Glenn Hills: Smooth, controlled player can make the tough things seem easy. The 5-foot-11 senior is a future Division I player and should lead the region in scoring.

Keyondra Cobb, Laney: This 5-11 forward is one of only two seniors on coach Otis Smart's team. She earned plenty of big-game experience during last year's Final Four run.

Ashley Watts, Butler: Ball-handling and shooting make this junior one of the most valuable players in the area. She carried Butler to the playoffs last season and could do more this year.

Aishya Wofford, Westside: Georgia Southern recruit is one of the top inside players in the area. Westside won only twice last year, but Wofford's determination should be good for a few more wins this year.


Butler: The Bulldogs return the top two players from a playoff team (Watts, Meka Carter). They surprised teams last year, but that won't happen again.

Glenn Hills: The Spartans will be one of the best teams in the region as long as Morton is shooting the basketball. They are region contenders.

Hephzibah: The Rebels advanced to the state quarterfinals last year and should have a strong enough backcourt to at least get there again.

Laney: The Wildcats have only two seniors but seven players 5-11 or taller. Laney should still be one of the strongest teams in Class AA.

Josey: Coach Ann Jennings is concerned the Eagles still don't have the depth to compete with the strongest teams in the region. She does, however, return four starters, including senior Demetria Ellison.



"I think we can be competitive. We'd certainly like to have (injured Georgia Tech recruit) Ebony (Wells). But we have a good group of girls that's going to have to grow up a bit. Hopefully, we'll get better as the season goes on."

-- Grovetown coach Jamie Echols


Elizabeth Alewine, Augusta Christian: All-around guard has been the team's top player for multiple seasons. Alewine is the area's reigning private-school player of the year.

Carolyn Hennecken, Lakeside: The team's primary ball-handler is one of the most composed guards in the area. The Panthers could have a big season because of her play.

Kayla Hunt, Greenbrier: University of Alabama softball recruit is a great athlete who can also play basketball well.

Chade' Martin, Grovetown: Martin, who played for Harlem's strong team last season, will play a little bit of everything for Grovetown, including point guard.

Tishal Turknett, Lakeside: The 5-foot-7 junior scored 31 points in a season-opening win over Greenbrier, the school's first win over the Wolfpack since 2002. She looks like the top player in the county.


Augusta Christian: The Lions have a good chance to win a private-school state title if Elizabeth Alewine can stay healthy. Outstanding guard play is the strength of this team.

Greenbrier: The Wolfpack, long the top team in the county, went 12-13 last year and could be facing a similar season in a Class AAAAA region.

Harlem: The Bulldogs will likely struggle a year after winning a playoff game. Almost every player from that team graduated or went to Grovetown.

Grovetown: The Warriors could become the school's first team to make the state playoffs. They could be very dangerous in a single-elimination region tournament if Georgia Tech recruit Ebony Wells (torn ACL) can get healthy, though coach Jamie Echols said that is unlikely.

Lakeside: The Panthers have four starters back and should have enough athleticism and guard play to hang with the top teams in Richmond County.



"I'm really looking forward to this year. We expect a lot of good things. We learned a lot of positives from (going 1-1 in the first two games against Laney and Butler) and had a lot of different people step up."

-- North Augusta coach Jared Adamson


Jamie Foreman, Silver Bluff: She averaged 14 points per game on last season's state semifinalists. The 5-foot-10 junior can play both guard and forward.

Kirby Norris, North Augusta: The 5-9 wing is one of three senior starters returning for the Yellow Jackets.

Diedre Price, Aiken: This 6-foot forward will be one of two frontcourt returnees for Aiken.

Kayla West, North Augusta: West, a 5-6 point guard, can score with any player in the area.


Aiken: The Hornets do not return a starter from last season, when they made a run at a state title.

North Augusta: The Yellow Jackets only graduated one senior from a year ago and could be poised for a breakout season.

Midland Valley: The Mustangs closed last season with back-to-back region wins.

Silver Bluff: The Bullldogs return three starters from a team that lost to Marion in the Lower State title game. There is enough talent here for another playoff run.

From the Thursday, November 26, 2009 edition of the Augusta Chronicle


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