Preseason rankings for Suburban Big Seven girls basketball teams
Mark Spigarelli has been a successful girls coach for years at Pembroke Hill.
It appears success will follow him at Blue Springs.
In The Examiner’s poll of the coaches the Wildcats are a solid choice to claim a third consecutive Suburban Big Seven championship.
In The Examiner’s poll of the coaches, Liberty was picked for second followed by Lee’s Summit, Lee’s Summit North, St. Joseph Central, Blue Springs South and Raymore-Peculiar. A coach couldn’t rank his own team.
It’s not surprising Blue Springs is the favorite. Seven letters winners, Byronna Snow, Drew Roberts, Jocylyn Price, Cee Cee Burris, Jamesia Price, Mackenzie Sykes and Shelby Wittmeyer, return from a 25-3 team.
“We have experience,” Spigarelli said in quickly sizing up this year team’s. “They are the two-year undefeated conference champions and district champions.”
The Wildcats take a 24-game conference winning streak into the new season.
LIBERTY: Sophomore letter winners Maddie Mason, Kaycie Clark and Kelsey Goff return from a second-place 19-8 conference team.
“We will be very young and inexperience,” coach Brad Oyler said. “Strengths are team quickness, speed and depth.”
LEE’S SUMMIT: The perennial area and state power Tigers will be counting upon letter winners Desiree Smith, Rachel Craig, Lexi Carlile, Carli DiMarco, Krysten Maddox and Natalie Brach to continue their winning success.
Other key contributors expect to be 5-foot, 11-inch freshman Azia Washington and 6-foot freshman Ali Patterson.
“Smith is our only returning starter,” coach Brian Bubalo said. “She is a proven played and leader for our team. We have a number of players who will competing for starting positions and key roles on our team. Our post players are young but talented.
“Overall, we are young, fast and aggressive and will be playing an up tempo game at both ends of the court to try to take advantage of your athletic ability and our depth.”
The Tigers went 18-11 last season and placed second in the Suburban Big Six to Truman.
LEE’S SUMMIT NORTH: North hopes to rebound from a rare losing 10-15 season because of letter winners Natalie Johnson, Annie Sayers, Ashley Creason, Lauren Dudenhoeffer and Codi Fritchie.
“We are returning two-time first-team all-conference player Sayers for her senior season and a solid core of varsity experience around her,” coach Tricia Lillygren said. “We lost six games by three or fewer points last year and hope that our added experience will help us get over the hump this season.”
ST. JOSEPH CENTRAL: The Indians’ first season in the Big Seven could be successful because of eight letter winners from a 16-10 Suburban Big Six team, Bailey Griffin, Anissa Demarr, Claire Humphrey, Alexis Bates, Abby Eagleburger, Kari Schram, Kaitlin Siela and Ravene Davis.
“We will have good depth,” coach Kevin Kelly said. “There will be strong competition at every position. We will have good size but will really need to work on our rebounding.
“Keys will be our ability to play strong defense and do a good job working against different defenses. Our goal will be to improve all season long.”
BLUE SPRINGS SOUTH: Letters winners Brynn Abram, Kailey Hancock, Jaclyn Morris and Zakila Smith will be counted upon to lead the Jaguars to another winning season.,
“We will short on varsity experience,” coach Fawna Harrison said. “”We won’t be the biggest team on the court but we have hard-working kids and fun to be around. We have more experience in the guard position.”
South went 13-11 last season
RAYMORE-PECULIAR: The Panthers hope to make a statement in their first year in the Big Seven with letter winners Rician Walker, Ashley Latimer, Simone Davenport and Allie Beck.
“We return a solid nucleus with key and contributing players from all grades,” coach Brad Snyder said. “However, to bump us up in conference will be difficult but I believe this team will be ready to compete.
“I’m hoping our blend of varsity experience, depth and team chemistry will enable this year’s team to improve upon last year’s mark of 8-19.”