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Butler County girls preview

Charles Chaney
Butler County Times Gazette
Butler County Times Gazette

Andover Trojans

Last season: 8-13

Head Coach: Seth Anderson, 2nd year, 8-13

League: AVCTL-II

Last year, the Trojans felt inexperienced at times and relied on Emma Cunningham to bail them out of jams. She’s off to Baker and Andover returns a handful of experience, including all-county preseason selection, Mallory Woolston. They also have Kylie Forney, Brook Eby, and Kate Ralston to help lead the show this year.

Teams cannot only double down low this year as Woolston is a real threat from deep and Forney will provide some balance down low.

For Andover, starting on defense will be key, as they gave up 50 or more points eight times last year, going 0-8 in those games. Andover was 8-5 when holding their opponent under 50 points.

They were 7-2 when holding their opponents under 40 points per game.

Head Coach Seth Anderson is excited about some up and coming players who will see some time this year.

Andover Central Jaguars

Last season: 22-1, Class 5A Final Four

Head Coach: Stana Jefferson, 16th year, 279-87

League: AVCTL-II

Andover Central is the cream of the crop in Class 5A. The three-headed monster of Brittany Harshaw, Jayden Newfarmer and Bailey Wilborn make the Jags almost unbeatable. We haven’t even mentioned Sharp shooting Ellie Stearns or Maddi Amekporfor.

The Central starting five may be the best top-to-bottom starting five in all of Class 5A as three of their starters have committed to playing college at the Division I or II levels.

Amekorfor gives the Jags another inside presence, with the youth as she saw time as only a freshman last year.

Depth is where the difference will be for Central. Brayden Wheatley, Kellyn Rogers and Carlie Parker are some key rotational players to keep an eye on as the Jaguars are deep on the JV side of things.

Expect Andover Central to let the threes fly once again in Head Coach Stana Jefferson’s 16th season at the helm as they averaged 24.9 three-point attempts per game last season (37.5 percent).

Central has never been one to shy away from challenges as they travel to Wichita Heights in the GWAL-AVCTL Challenge on Dec. 11.

Augusta Orioles

Last season: 3-18

Head Coach: Rainey Maloy, 3rd year (15-27)

League: AVCTL-III

The Augusta Orioles return a handful of experience from a team that only one three games last season.

Maycee Anderson, who led the Orioles in scoring is returning; as is Sydney Scott and Ella Puckett. They’ll have to find a replacement for Kenzie Terry and Hollee Slusser but the team’s chemistry is expected to be much improved.

The Orioles will have to find some size underneath to see the biggest growth on the court for this team. It was one of their biggest weaknesses from last season, giving up the big play underneath. If Augusta can figure that out, they may find themselves with a bunch of wins.

They open the season on Friday, Dec. 4 at Goddard and that will be a real test for the Orioles right out of the gate.

Berean Academy Lady Warriors

Last season: 16-8

Head Coach: Kristen Weibe, 16th season, 300-79

League: Heart of America

Berean will try to replace leading scorer Brook Wiebe with four seniors who saw significant playing time last season.

Miranda Wiebe (7.0 points per game), Sally Wine (6.5 ppg) and Erin Mullins (6.0 ppg) will be looked upon to help the Lady Warriors this season.

Playing in the always tough Heart of America league will provide no nights off for the Lady Warriors as they’ll always appear to being right on the cusp of turning into a powerhouse.

Head coach Kristen Wiebe hit the 300-win mark in her last win last year and aims for her next goal: 350, though it may take a couple of seasons.

Bluestem Lady Lions

Last season: 5-16

Head Coach: Troy Babcock, 4th year, 33-31

League: Tri-Valley

The Lady Lions add scoring threat Lauren Donner, a 2019-20 All-county selection and preseason all-county player for 2020-21 as a transfer from nearby Flinthills and they return players like Torrence Lovesee, giving Bluestem real offensive threats this season.

Last year, it felt as if it was Lovesee trying to do it all but with the addition of Donner, head coach Troy Babcock has weapons at his disposal.

Kirstyn Cooper, the 5-8 senior who averaged 10.1 points per game last season will be a part of the three -enior leadership on this team.

Babcock is excited about this team’s potential and talks of playing more aggressively and adding in underclassmen to the rotation.

The expectations for the Lady Lions are high heading into this season.

They open their season on Friday, Dec. 4 at Remington in a cross-county game that should be a high intensity game between two teams ready to get that first win.

Circle Lady Thunderbirds

Last season: 18-4

Head Coach: Brian Henry, 15th year at Circle, 23rd overall, 340-156

League: AVCTL-III

Kimalee Cook returns for her senior year to lead the Lady Thunderbirds as they look to get back to the Class 4A State Tournament.

Cook, a commitment to Southern Nazarene (OK) is a game changer on the court and if she gets out into transition she’s almost impossible to stop. She averaged 15.4 points per game last year and 3.4 steals per game.

The senior heavy Lady T-Birds will rely on Lanna Chase’s defnese along with Maci Claycamp and Madi Michaelis as well.

Look for juniors Abi Shaults, Adi White and Erin Johnson to be key contributors this season, too.

The high pressure defense will once again be looked to turning their defense into offense this season.

Douglass Bulldogs

Last season: 2-19

Head Coach: Daniel Jantz, 2nd year at Douglass, 7th overall, 68-69

League: Central Plains League

It was not a lot of fun last season for the Douglass Bulldogs as they only won two games. However, for Head Coach Douglass Jants, things are looking up for the upcoming season.

Led by sophomore Rebecca Hajdukovich, who averaged 11.0 points per game to lead the team in scoring, they will have a bunch more experience to help them this season.

Another sophomore, Joslyn Delano (3.0 points per game) will be another key contributor for Douglass.

Myra Megli, who was the only varsity player returning last season will help lead this team as a senior. She averaged 6.2 points per game and 6.0 rebounds per game last year.

Douglass will look to mix a good freshman class into their rotation to help with their depth and to play a much more aggressive style they would like to play.

El Dorado Wildcats

Last season: 3-17

Head Coach: Julie Jones, 1st year (0-0)

League: AVCTL-III

It’s hard to talk about winning games when you lose 17 of them, as El Dorado did last season. However, the way the Wildcats ended the season gave this team a lot of positive reinforcement heading into 2020-21 season.

While they will have to replace Mallory Parsons and Karley Faudere, who is playing basketball at Ottawa.

Returning for the Wildcats is Brooklyn Motter, a 5-5 senior who really had moments shining where she could change games. The same could be said for Bailey Camien, the senior forward.

Macy Parsons, the younger sister of Mallory, saw playing time a freshman and even started a handful of games.

Size will once again be an issue for the Wildcats as they will lack a real inside presence .

Gone is Jordan Crawford, entering assistant Julie Jones. She was the assistant for the last nine years at El Dorado. She’ll get a shot to see if she can turn around the Wildcats.

Flinthills Mustangs

Last season: 10-12

Head Coach: Monty Melugin, 8th year, 85-69

League: South Central Border League

The Flinthills Mustangs looked to be on the up and up with Lauren Donner. However, she’s transferred to Bluestem and the Mustangs are looking back to their roster to try and replace her 15 points per game, along with the four seniors that helped them win those 10 games a a year ago.

That will start with the seniors, Matison Totty and Riggin Carney, who averaged 4.4 points per game last season. Carney was impressive on the defensive end, averaging over two steals per game.

Head Coach Monty Melugin will have the Mustangs as a tough out because of their tenacity. They play hard and are focused on the fundamentals.

Remington-Whitewater Lady Broncos

Last season: 3-17

Head Coach: Maddijo Kennedy, 3rd year, 7-32

League: Heart of America

The injury bug is never kind to anyone and certainly wasn’t kind to the Remington Lady Broncos last season. The only thing that came out of it was the wealth of experience by forcing players into action before they were probably ready.

The Lady Broncos return three starters from last season, including Desiree Ingalsbe, a 5-10 senior, who averaged 8.0 points per game, along with 6.0 rebounds per game and was named Heart of American Honorable Mention.

Lucy Entz (5-10 senior) and Emily Wedel (5-3 junior) also return for the Lady Broncos.

Head Coach Maddijo Kennedy looks to see some production out of Ellie Van Zeflden (5-8 junior), Abi Hisel (5-7 senior) and Missy Hayes (5-4 sophomore).

There may be some freshman who get burn, too. Bri Hochstetler, Karoline Johnson and Aja Spencer could all be pressed into time.

Rose Hill Rockets

Last season: 9-12

Head Coach: Jenny Page, 2nd time at Rose Hill, 14th overall, 173-135

League: AVCTL-IV

It’s been a few years since Jenny Page was on the bench, leading the Rockets but 2020 brings Page back to the bench and a new era once again for the Rose Hill Rockets.

Page, who last coached in 2014, had coached the Rockets for the previous 14 years before stepping down but with Greg Welch gone, Page was an obvious replacement.

Scoring sounds like an obvious way to win games but it shows in the box scores as Rose Hill went 9-2 in games where they would score at least 40 points. They were 0-10 in games when scoring under 40 points.

The Rockets will be a senior heavy team, with four starting this season. Haley Thrush returns as the leading scorer from a year ago (10.0 points per game; 7.0 rebounds per game) to lead the Rockets. Lexi Rose (5-4 guard) and Korryn Hackney (5-8 forward) both averaged 7.0 points per game last season and will be once again counted on to contribute as seniors.

Senior Aspen Goetz (5-9 forward) will step into a bigger role this season, too.