Preseason rankings for Suburban Small Six girls basketball teams
One of the Suburban Conference’s most impressive girls basketball streaks may end this season.
Seven-time defending Suburban Small Six champion Hickman Mills, in The Examiner’s poll of the coaches, is not the preseason favorite.
Newcomer Platte County placed No. 1. Hickman Mills was a close second followed by Staley, Kearney, Grandview and Ruskin.
Platte County returns seven letter winners from a 25-4 champion Midland Empire Conference team that advanced to the state Class 4 quarterfinals.
“We were one game away from the final four last year and we have everyone back,” coach Chris Stubbs said.
HICKMAN MILLS: The Cougars have gone 167-28 over the last seven years, including 77-3 in the conference with a 44-game winning streak heading into this season.
Because of seven graduated seniors, Polly Harrington is the only returning starter from a 29-2 team that placed fourth in the state Class 5 tournament.
“We lost a lot of talent and experience,” coach Steve Cassity said. “Offensively, we will be different. I believe this team will be good. We still have talented, athletic players. We should compete for the conference and district titles.”
STALEY: Former Truman assistant Melissa Krog takes over a senior-lacking Staley program.
“We are young group of ladies that love the game and have a desire to work hard for what they want,” Krog said. “We have great athleticism and strong leaders, even though we are young.”
Six-footers Brynn Willamson and Bree Fowler give the Falcons good size.
KEARNEY: Veteran coach Herb Webster has six players, Kate Flinn, Hannnah Gartin, Megan Dortch, Jenni Hartzler, Michaela Brinkley and Kat Barrow, returning from a 12-13 team.
“We lost four seniors, including two starters,” Webster said. “But we started two freshmen and another played a lot of minutes Those three and senior guards Flinn and Gartin will make us a more competitive team.”
GRANDVIEW: New coach Shannon Moore has only letter winners Brittney Bronson and Taylor Hall from a 4-22 team.
“We will be young and a little inexperienced,” Moore said. ”We will be working hard to be fundamentally sound.”
RUSKIN: The Eagles hope to improve upon a 12-14 record because of letter winners Kristina Payne, Rizson Canaday, Victoria Nichols, Sigourney Jones, Tynetta Jenkins, Kodie Farquharson, Areyonna Jackson and Adair Fairley.
“We have a lot of unexplored talent that we just need to get the kids to tap into,” coach Tisharria Huggins said.
“With hard work, learning fundamentals and good coaching, things can and will continue to change for Ruskin in girls basketball.”