695HOOPS WHERE IT'S ALWAYS ALL ABOUT THE GIRLS
Let's talk high school hoops for 2016/17. I've been out and about to a few games and scrimmages over the past month and I think we can all pretty much agree on the top 4 or 5 teams in the Baltimore area. After that a lot of the teams are pretty similar with one or two impact players and some role players that fill out the squad. Coaching, chemistry and a little bit of luck will determine how the top 15 or 20 rankings pan out during the season.
St. Frances Academy
They are the defending IAAM A conference champions and they are my favorite to win it again this year. They lost the 695Hoops Player of the Year in Ty Smith who is now at Seton Hall, but they are still loaded with impact players. Forward Mia Davis is an early candidate to win POY as she is a walking double double machine. Point guard Nia Clouden is one of the top guards in the 2018 class in the entire country so you can expect her to have a big season. Senior transfer Jaterikkah Settle will be a strong contributor as well. The Panthers have arguably the strongest incoming freshman class in the area. Angel Reese, Delicia Pinnick and Madyson Hinton are all capable of stepping right in right away. More on the freshmen later.
Coach Brad Rees returns a solid nucleus that lost to St. Frances in the championship game last season. Taleah Dixon and Morgan Jacobs are both recovering from ACL injuries but they look ready to go. Senior Kolbi Green and junior Kayla Liles will lead the backcourt with plenty of help from sophomores Aleah Nelson and Jessica Booth. AJ Davis will patrol the paint. Barring any injuries, they should be right back in title contention.
The Reds have a nice mix of young talent as freshmen Mir Mclean and Rain Green will be be impact players from the beginning of the season. Sophomore Janiah Henson will provide scoring in the backcourt as will senior Jeydah Johnson. Sophomore forward Christian Robinson and Aniyah Carpenter will round out the rotation. Carpenter is playing with a lot of confidence so far. This is a group that is talented enough to make a surprise appearance in the A conference final if things go their way.
They are slight favorites to win Howard County. They have Taylor Addison leading the way and freshman Marissa Sanchez Henry is a talented player that should work her way into their solid rotation. They already have a win over Old Mill which is impressive.
Senior post Rebecca Lee and point guard Alaysia Dailey will lead the charge for Old Mill as they play a heavy schedule in preparation for a potential run through the 4A regionals. Their matchup with McDonogh at the Public vs. Private Challenge will be a big attraction.
St. John's Catholic Prep
The defending IAAM B conference champs bring back two starters in Taylor Stafford and Sydney Clayton. Alexis Moore is returning after a season ending injury and she will be a contributor. They have a strong core of 2019's in Erika Bealmear, Tori Geitner, Julia Brisbane and 6'2" Ali Trdina. This team has size and some solid perimeter players so I have them as the favorites to repeat. They are playing tough competition out of conference as well in the She Got Game Classic where they were impressive, as well as matchups with Old Mill in the Power Move Winter Showcase and Poly at the Public vs. Private Challenge.
The Doves came up short in the state championship game last year and they are out to make another run. Junior guard Jasmen Walton will lead the way and should put up big scoring numbers as a potential player of the year. Point guard Makayla Pickens looks like she is ready for a big season. They lost some pieces through graduation but offset that with some transfers from MATHS (Closed), with senior guard Nya Delaney looking like a nice pickup. The Doves could easily be back in the final four.
2018 Jasmen Walton
Another Howard County contender. The Lightning roll out 5 guards in their starting lineup but when you have Howard County player of the year Kiana Williams and Lyric Swann you have a chance to beat any of the teams in the county on any night. Williams should hold onto her POY title as she is off to a great start. Devon Williams does a lot of small things that don't show up in the box score. Look for them at Title IX in DC.
2018 Kiana Williams
Catonsville's starting five can hang with anyone in the area. Juniors Jasmine Dickey and Jameila Barrett along with senior Jen Gast form the returning core of the defending Baltimore county champions. Look for them to be right there again in the championship game.
Kayla Bacon, Kaila Jennings, Sydney Mitchell, Yasmin Lewis, Brittini Smith and Jaya Green are the senior nucleus of what will be Seton Keough's final run as the school is closing. They are all serious players and they will be tough to deal with in every game.
Coach Holly Ismail has Patterson Mill poised to make another 2A run. Chyna Latimer is a stud that will probably be Harford County's Player of the Year, and Kayla Mitchell is an experienced guard that won't back away from a challege. 6'2" Lucie Passwater is a transfer from John Carroll who will solidify the starting lineup. She is capable of averaging a double double.
Look for the Patriots to come together during the season and turn into a dangerous playoff team. The back court features Savannah Simmons, one of the most recruited point guards from the class of 2018. Transfer guard Myah Savage and freshman Julia Willams will play big minutes and be expected to contribute. Nicole Hunter will patrol the paint and Branyelle Carillo will provide scoring from the wing.
The Cadets have two things that make them a threat to make a run through the 3A brackets in their defensive prowess and rebounding. Coach Ashley Bush has her team playing tough defense on every possession and most teams are not built for it. Makayla Daniels, last year's 695Hoops Rookie of the Year, sets the tone and is leading the team in scoring. Senior Monet Wade is handling the dirty work in the paint and the team looks poised and focused.
Don't count the Millers out just yet. They have a solid group of guards in the Pollard sisters, Makayla and Makenzie,and Savawn Huhges, Jone Ayers and Caitlyn King. Those five can hang with any guards in the county. At 6'3" Aryona Moye will provide inside presence.
Institute of Notre Dame
IND is a contender in the IAAM B conference because they have great lenghth all over. Madison Dubose and Eve Ammons are at 5'11" and 5'10" respectively. Sophomore La'Shyra Williams is over 6'0". Ja'Lynn Armstrong will handle most of the point guard duties and she is at 5'8". Their size will cause problems in the B conference. Look for freshman Grace Taylor to crack the rotation by late in the season in the backcourt.
Mount de Sales
The Sailors are one of the better shooting teams in the area. They launch threes at a high rate and make a good percentage of them. Senior Bridget Williams and junior Madison Burris are the main culprits. They also attack the basket aggressively if you overplay so they will be a dangerous team in the B conference.
One of the early surprise teams of the season at 7-0. The Lady Eagles have the leadership of juniors Briana Gibson and Tatiana Gibson. Both have been providing early guidance to help out new head coach Eric Stancell. The firepower and scoring is coming from sophomores Anija Stancell and and Jaelyn Deveaux. They play fast and compete every night. They have been blowing teams out. We'll be out for the January matchup with Patterson Mill to see if they can maintain their pace.
Fresh off a run to the 3A state championship game, the Lady Engineers are looking to make it back and close the deal. Senior center Jewel Porter should get average a double double. Tylea Galloway and Dierra Weems are experiened players and contributors that will be pushed by talented freshmen Dasia Townes, Cache Wilson and Jourdyn Ayers. Look for Poly to put together another late season run and stay in the thick of the Baltimore city race.
6'1 Makayla Pippin and 6'5" Musha Al Hassan are a formidable front court in any league. Annapolis point guard transfer Jay Griffin should log some heavy minutes for new coach Russell Davis.
Coppin landed one of the most sought after freshmen in the area in Eniya Russell. The talented point guard should help with scoring and allow Jasmine Keitt and Trishawn Atkins,two six footers, to get some easier looks. Ny'sja Bradford and Kayla Henderson should fill out the starting five.
Class of 2020 Ready to Roll
This is one of the most talented classes in the Baltimore area since the class of 2010 that produced outstanding players like Asia Logan, Shatyra Hawkes, Brianna Hutchen , Sherrone Vails and Lashay Taft. 2020 is loaded with talented players who are ready to step in and play right away. Some of these players entered high school with college scholarship offers in their pockets from big time schools. Here are some names to watch for this season.
Angel Reese, St. Frances
Mir Mclean, Roland Park
Eniyah Russell, Coppin Academy
Rain Green, Roland Park
Delicia Pinnick, St. Frances
Marissa Sanchez-Henry, Howard
Clair Neff, Mayrvale
Julia Williams, John Carroll
Larri Sydnor, St. Timothy's
Charia Roberts, Mercy
Dasia Townes, Poly
Cache Wilson, Poly
Ajae Petty, New Town
Alex Sawyers, St. Paul's
Destiny Ryles, St. Paul's
Madyson Hinton, St. Frances
Grace Taylor, IND
Jourdyn Ayers, Poly
Satori Valentine, Mt. Hebron
Mykiah Ross, Frankln
Copyright 2010 695Hoops. All rights reserved.