Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Girls High School Basketball: 5 to Watch

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Girls High School Basketball: 5 to Watch

Article excerpt

Byline: Justin Barney

TEAMS

Bartram Trail: The challenge that the Bears face in making a return trip to the state semifinals is making it out of a difficult district that now includes both Nease and traditionally strong St. Augustine, as well as an improved Creekside, which dumped Bartram last year to win the district title. Still, the Bears have to be somewhat of a favorite, or at least a co-favorite alongside the Yellow Jackets. Leading scorer G Brooke Barlow (13.3 ppg) is back, as is C-F Sarah Ragland.

Hilliard: Back-to-back trips to the Class 1A state semifinals have yielded frustrating losses, and the offseason has been difficult, too. The challenge is not only replacing All-First Coast player of the year Brianti Saunders, but also sophomore guard Kasha Austin, who transferred. The Red Flashes will need some players to step up rather quickly.

Palatka: The Panthers have been one of the area's top regular-season programs the last few seasons, including a 23-3 mark last year. But they haven't hung around long in the playoffs. The key will once again be leaning on dominant junior C Jonell Williams. She averaged 17.3 ppg and 16 rpg last season.

Potter's House: The Lions again should be one of the top teams in the area and have some solid opponents on their schedule this season, including Ribault and Gainesville Buchholz. The core of the team is junior guards Shanice Norton and Denisha Swain, and senior PF A'lexxus Davis (South Carolina Upstate commit). A trio of freshmen - C Jalaysha Thomas, F Arella Boothe, PG Tameria Johnson - will all log major playing time.

Ribault: What would a girls basketball season be without the Trojans forecast to make a deep run into the state playoffs? Ribault went 31-0 last season and won the Class 4A state title. Ribault returns the bulk of its roster. …

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