695HOOPS WHERE IT'S ALWAYS ALL ABOUT THE GIRLS
December 9, 2014
We have many questions as we head into another IAAM season. Is Roland Park prepared to get over the hump and win that elusive title? Does McDonogh have enough depth to hold them off and repeat? Should the reloaded St. Frances team be the favorite to win it all? Will Palloti, Spalding, John Carroll or Seton Keough round out the top four? Let's take a quick look at each A conference team...
McDonogh, Head coach Brad Rees
McDonogh returns four division one starters in Dajah Logan (College of Charleston), Danielle Edwards (Clemson), Jameira Johnson( Penn) and Andrea Robinson. They have championship experience and they know how to close teams out. Sophomore guard Kolbi Green will be asked to contribute more this season and over the summer she looked like she is ready to do that. Edwards is one of the top point guards in the DMV, and Logan is a big versatile guard. They have two legit bigs in Johnson and Robinson. Newcomer Talea Dixon was one of the most sought after players from the class of 2018 and she will step right into the starting line up. Sophomore Morgan Jacobs could be ready to contribute as well and freshman Kayla Liles looks like a nice prospect.Edwards sets the standard for point guards and she has a championship pedigree. Any contender will have to have a guard that can match up with her in a showdown. My question is will the bigs consistently provide enough rebounding and scoring to repeat?
Danielle Edwards sets the bar for point guards in the area.
Roland Park, Head coach Scott Buckley
The Reds feel like they allowed the title to slip from their grasp last year and are anxious to redeem themselves. They return all of their key players including seniors Michala Clay (St. Joseph's) and Lindsey Edwards (High Point), Jai Alexander, Ryan Holder and Jeydah Johnson should round out the starting line up. Francesca Whitehurst will be the first one off the bench, and freshman Aniyah Carpenter should log some significant minutes. The Reds can score from all over the court so they will be hard to defend. Their struggles will be on the glass. Where will the rebounding come from? They do not have a true post player but they have some length at every position. Their key players now have the big game experience under their belts. My question is who will step up late in the championship game and take over if they are able to make it back?
The Reds took home the championship in the Peddie School tournament.
St. Frances, Head coach Jerome Shelton
The Panthers have added some talent via the transfer route. They lost talented forward Kierra Jackson to Milford Mill but replaced her with Mia Davis from Dunbar. Davis is a double double machine that can step out and shoot threes. She steps in as the best big in the conference. They also added 6'2" Tyana Custis from City via Loch Raven. She is a legit big that should compliment Davis. Ilysia Lewis returns for her senior season and should provide defense, rebounding and some scoring from the wing. Perry Hall transfer Shawnkia Mcallum will take over the point guard spot with freshman phenom Nia Clouden backing her up. Tyeisha Smith is a gifted scoring guard that will handle the scoring load for this team. India Myles is a big guard that will provide a spark off the bench. The pieces are in place. My question is can the Panthers gel in time to add another championship banner to their impressive collection?
Mccallum and Smith could be the best backcourt in the league.
St. Vincent Palloti, Head coach Rod Hairston
These Panthers reloaded as well via the transfer route. The big catch is 6'3" Musharapha Alhassan who moved over from Capital Christian. Amani Ball joins them from Reservoir and Hunter Rowson comes over from Bullis. All three are sophomores. Leah Whitehead is a 6'2" senior post and freshman Hannah Franklin will take over the point guard position. Senior forward Weslie Young will provide leadership, but this is a young team that will have to come together quickly to overcome their lack of depth on the bench. They have legit size and some skilled players on the perimeter. The skills have to translate into production or it could become a challenging season. My question is will their lack of experience prove to be too much to overcome?
6'3" Musha Alhassan brings her talent to the IAAM this winter.
Archbishop Spalding, Head coach Bookie Rosemond
Senior forward Kaila Clark, junior guard Victoria Reynolds, junior point guard Erin Baker, junior Madison Gorman and freshman Katie Callahan should be the starters on opening night. Talented freshman guard Taysha Bender will provide minutes off the bench. Reynolds is an impact player that should put up big numbers this season. Clark, a Naval Academy recruit, will give conference bigs fits with her athleticism. This is a team to watch as they have already notched wins over Bullis and John Carroll. My question is can this team maintain enough defensive intensity for 32 minutes to stay in contention?
Victoria Reynolds is a talented 2016 prospect.
Seton Keough, Head coach Jody Thornton-Powell
The Gators are undersized and young but they are scrappy and they bring it every night.This team is built around a core of sophomores. Brittany Smith will play the post. She is smart and has some nice moves inside but is only about 5'9". Kayla Jennings will take over the starting point guard spot and Sydney Mitchell will be her backcourt mate. Yasmin Lewis, another sophomore, is the glue. She's a versatile player that likes to distribute first, but she can score as well. Senior Amani Wallace provides defense and leadership. Junior Summer Fields is another player who is relied on to defend and spark the team. They lost some talent to transfers but I think this team will come together and get some surprise wins. My question is who will score buckets consistently?
Yasmin Lewis will be the key to Seton Keough's success.
John Carroll, Head coach Craig Simmons
Craig Simmons takes over the head coach position after serving as an assitant coach. 6'1" senior center Ashley Hunter (Navy) is back from an ACL tear and looks like she is at full strength. She will be joined by Ola Ekundayo, another senior who is returing from a knee injury. Ola is an explosive guard that will help with her versatility. 6'2" Lucie Passwater looked good in fall league play so the Patriots will attack with twin towers. The back court will consist of Madison Schutz and Mikenzie Smith, with freshman Savannah Simmons giving them good minutes off the bench. This is not a particularly deep team but their starting five is formidable. My question is can they stay healthy enough to contend for a top four spot and will their best players bring it every night?
Freshman Savannah Simmons will play heavy minutes this season.
Michala Clay of Roland Park is a candidate for Player of the Year.
Freshman Talea Dixon of McDonogh is a 2018 top prospect.
Nia Cloudenof St. Frances is another top 2018 that is already being recruited by colleges.
2018 Hannah Franklin is another top point guard prospect in this loaded class.
Aniyah "AC" Carpenter is yet another strong 2018 prospect.
Senior Lindsey Edwards of Roland Park could be the key to their title hopes.
Mia Davis of St.Frances is one of the top transfers into the IAAM this season. 2017.
Senior Amani Wallace of Seton Keough is one of the top defenders in the league.
Jeydah Johnson of Roland Park is one of the top 2017 prospects.
The road to the title still goes through McDonogh. Jameira Johnson and Dajah Logan.
Ola Ekundayo of John Carroll looks to rebound from knee surgery and have a big senior year.
2018 guard Taysha Bender will get big minutes for Spalding.
Sophomore Brittany Smith will hold it down in the post for Seton Keough.
Taylor Murray of Annapolis Area Christian is one of the top talents in the DMV. She is signed with Kentucky. Do not sleep on B conference talent.
Makayla Pippin of Institute of Notre Dame was the most sought after 2018 player. She is a major D1 prospect. Do not sleep on B conference talent.
Sophomore Kayla Bacon of St. Timothy's is a D1 prospect playing in the B conference and the main reason why they are in the mix for another title.
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