DREHER WANTS TWO IN A ROW
With a trio of stars returning, the Blue Devils look to make another trip to the girls Class 3A state title game. Last season, the young squad demonstrated poise and smarts as they bounded to a 25-1 finish. Jazmine Robinson, Kaydra Duckett, Makayla Johnson are the team’s top returners and this is their final season together as Robinson is a senior.
RIDGE VIEW WON’T BACK DOWN
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The Blazers look to break out this year. They notched three wins on the road last week with Alexus Jackson back to lead the team, along with Jontay Mitchem and Briana Johnson. Coach Terrence Gibson’s squad is always a dangerous opponent with gutsy and energetic play.
DUTCH FORK COULD BE EVEN BETTER
After coach Faye Norris’ team won the 2012 championship, it lost fiery guard Donnesha Shuler. With center Alaina Coates back, although she is recovering from a knee injury, the Silver Foxes look to match or top last year’s 27-3 record. Sydney Shull and Rose Robinson are among the other top returning players.
COLUMBIA CAPITALS REBUILDING
The Capitals reached the Class 2A final last year, but to return this year will be a tall order as they lost leader Norrissha Victrum. Coach Bobby Young’s experience is key to filling the gap, but so is the play of Alexis Foulks, the Capitals’ top returner.
HEATHWOOD HALL BIDING ITS TIME
With junior star A’ja Wilson sidelined by injury, the Highlanders are getting valuable experience and taking some lumps. But Heathwood could see a big momentum shift with the return of Wilson, its leading scorer and rebounder. In the meantime, Gadson Lefft and Victoria Dickerson are holding down the fort.
IRMO RELOADS WITH STARS
Though they lost star point guard Jordan Roper, the Irmo Yellow Jackets have filled in the ranks with senior Detrek Browning and junior Heyward Goodson. Expected to be one of the state’s top teams, Irmo should get a big boost from swingman Justin Mckie.
KEENAN WANTS ANOTHER TITLE
Coach Zach Norris’ team is one season removed from its most recent Class 2A title run, but looking to get back there. Junior Marcus Stroman, the team’s leading scorer, returns to lead the Raiders. The squad will see tough competition in the region from rival Eau Claire.
SPRING VALLEY GETS MORE ENERGY
Two-sport athlete Domonique Taylor gives Spring Valley an extra shot of energy and athleticism as the Vikings look to improve on last year’s 13-12 finish. Sophomore guard Perry Dozier Jr., son of coach Perry Dozier, plays big and physical at guard and averaged double-digits last season.
A.C. FLORA AIMS HIGHER
In his second season with the Falcons, coach Leon Brunson led the squad to its first winning season and playoff victory in 20 years. Now, in star shooting guard Matt Howard’s senior season, Brunson looks to push his team further. Howard, who is committed to Penn, scored 38 points in a recent outing for the Falcons.
Akilah Imani Nelson