Preseason rankings for Suburban Big Six girls basketball teams
Another big season appears likely for the Truman girls basketball team.
The conference coaches have the defending champion Patriots as the heavy favorite for another Suburban Big Six title.
Park Hill South placed second followed by William Chrisman, Park Hill, Oak Park and Winnetonka. A coach couldn’t rank his own team
Jamie Smith, Kelsey Quirarte, Kalli Ritchel, Kassidy Ritchell, Cassie Eggers and Becca Strobe return from an 18-8 Truman team.
“We have a very difficult schedule but we should be able to compete against most teams,” Truman coach Pete Hile said.
PARK HILL SOUTH: New coach Jenny Orlowski hopes letter winners Erin Tatum, Julia Johnson, Austyn Hildebrandt, Kelsey Ill, Natalie Clifford and Courtney Stout will lead the Panthers to a banner season.
“We have five returning seniors with experience that makes this a stronger team than in the 2007-2008 season,” Orlowski said. “Strong points include returning senior forwards Johnson and Hildebrandt who will provide presence for the inside game. Returning starter Tatum returns with point guard experience.
“With new leadership and clearly defined roles, this year’s team has the possibility to be very competitive in the conference.”
The Panthers went 15-13 in the Suburban Middle Six last season.
WILLIAM CHRISMAN: Second-year coach Lindsay Thompson has letter winners Joby Parton, Rachel Stagg, Kealee McAhan, Cassie Barnes, Clara Reed and Brittany McQuain returning from a 7-16 team.
“Our goal is to make a run for conference,” Thompson said. “We had an excellent summer, and the kids are dedicated and focused. We will turn up the tempo this year and will continue to focus on outworking our opponent.”
PARK HILL: Because of eight letter winners the Trojans could improve upon a 6-20 season.
“We are looking at bettering our record from last year, both conference and overall,” coach Brian Rockers said. “We have eight letter winners returning, including all five starters. So, our experience should help.”
Letter winners are Laura Bennett, Emma Gossett, Mackenzie Jenner, Katy Plummer, Helena Hudson, Michelle Rupard, Maurika Stevens and Lisa Hill.
OAK PARK: Oak Park is hopeful of a successful season because of letter winners Amber Dreher, Taylor Foster, Courtney Kellog, Melissa Jesse, Susan Leimkuehler, Katie Phillip-Guerra, Devin Thompson and Dari Wilkerson.
“The Oak Park program is in the process of finding its way with the loss of its four leading scorers and three leading rebounders,” coach Todd Marcantondo said.
“The team will be led by its only returning starter and leading scorer in Jesse. Graduation and the opening of a fourth high school has created a new opportunity for this year’s team.”
Oak Park was 9-18 last season.
WINNETONKA: Former Raytown coach Mike Cox tries to resurrect a struggling program.
Returnees from a 1-23 team are Khitam Jabr, Alexis Rosborough, Vanessa Rocha, Courtney Clemons and Manecki Dydell.
“I have been very pleased with the summer and off-season workouts and participation,” Cox said.