HSBB: LowcoSports SCISA Girls Preview

By Justin Jarrett | LowcoSports@gmail.com

At least for the early portion of the season, area SCISA girls basketball teams will be eager to see who can step up and lead. Most of the area’s private-school teams have to replace key players lost to graduation, and those who don’t are young squads in search of leaders.

Hilton Head Christian Academy and Thomas Heyward Academy are coming off hugely successful seasons, but they also have gaping holes left by graduation. The Eagles have to replace Macee Tamminen, who was voted the Player of the Year by area coaches after averaging 18.2 points, four assists, and 4.6 steals while leading HHCA to the SCISA 2A semifinals. The Rebels lost bigs Ellie Bryan and Jamie Davis to graduation – both second-team all-area picks by the coaches.

Hilton Head Prep was the only other area SCISA team that posted a winning record a year ago, but the Dolphins have to replace leading scorer Catherine Sheehan (14.3 points, 2.8 steals).

Elsewhere, the storyline is not about continuing success, but establishing it. John Paul II enters its second full season of varsity competition looking to make a big jump with a maturing squad, while Beaufort Academy hopes to see improvement in its first season under former Beaufort High coach Lillian Aldred.

FIVE TO WATCH

• Tkai Devore, JPII – Averaged 17 points, 13 rebounds and 3.8 steals in limited action as a freshman last season.

• Kierstin Clark, HHP – Sophomore expected to take on larger role after posting 9.9 points and 6.2 steals per game a year ago.

• Amelia Huebel, BA – Talented center put up 9.6 points and 10.7 rebounds per game as a freshman.

• Brielle McCarthy, HHCA – Becomes go-to player after averaging 12.3 points, 3.2 assists and 3.1 steals as a freshman.

  Alayna DeLong, THA – Second-team all-region selection last season, led Rebels with 15 points in season opener.

TEAM CAPSULES

BEAUFORT ACADEMY

Coach: Lillian Aldred

Overall record: 74-61 (7 seasons)

Record at school:  First season at BA

2016-17 record: 10-11

Returning letterwinners: 6

Top returners: G Karolina Struharova, Sr.; G Kendall Duncan, Sr.; G Rebecca Frelin, Soph.; G Emily Ann Hiers, Soph.; C Amelia Huebel, Soph.

Key losses : G Mary Keane

Top newcomers: All of our newcomers are working hard and will contribute this year.

Coach’s outlook: We are a young team but have been working very hard. The team has been working well together on and off the floor.

HILTON HEAD CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

Coach: Kenny Conroy

Overall record: 380-152 (19 seasons)

Record at school: 255-51 (12 seasons)

2016-17 record: 25-4, 10-0 region, lost in SCISA 2A semifinals

Returning letterwinners: 7

Top returners: Jossie Frazier, Jr.; Sydney DeSimone, Jr.; Sydney Camp, Jr.; Cortney Gray, Jr.; Reedy Newton, Jr.; Brielle McCarthy, Soph.; Margaret Edens, Soph.

Key losses: Macee Tamminen, Callie Haertel, Molly Lucci

Top newcomers: Jasmine Campbell, Soph.; Dior Shelton, Fr.; Mary Yanker, Fr.; Mikayla Kelca, Fr.; Casey Macauley, Fr; Haley Majors, 8th; Ady O’Grady, 8th

Coach’s outlook: Without a senior on the squad the Lady Eagles will rely on the returning players and newcomers to compete in region and state play.

HILTON HEAD PREP

Coach: Dan Sheehan

Overall record: 26-45 (4 seasons)

Record at school: 26-45 (4 seasons)

2016-17 record: 11-10, lost in first round of SCISA 2A playoffs

Returning letterwinners:  7

Top returners:  PG Kierstin Clark, Soph.; F Olivia Light, Jr.; F Alana McCallion, Sr.; G Mackenzie Joyner, Soph.

Key Losses: Catherine Sheehan, Ayannah Thompson

Top newcomers: Ella Clark, 8th; Annie Braun, 8th, Jordan Lalli, Fr., Noelle Saylor, Soph.; Paola Ledee, Fr.

Coach’s outlook:  The Lady Dolphins will work hard on defense and look to play up-tempo on offense.

JOHN PAUL II

Coach: Karen Floyd

Overall record: 11-23 (2 seasons)

Record at school: 11-23 (2 seasons)

2016-17 record: 7-16

Returning letterwinners: 10

Top returners: F Abigail Barker, Sr.; G Tkai Devore, Soph.; F Mary Foster Gaillard, Jr.

Top newcomers: F Ayannah Thompson, Sr.

Coach’s outlook: Last season we had several freshmen who played key roles in the lineup, and now that we have three seniors, two juniors and experienced sophomores, we are anticipating an exciting year.

THOMAS HEYWARD

Coach: Chris Tillotson

Overall record: 41-9 (2 seasons)

Record at school: 41-9 (2 seasons)

2016-17 record: 23-4

Returning letterwinners: 7

Top returners: Ivy Bryan, Jr.; Alayna DeLong, Sr.; Gabby Boyles, Jr.

Key losses: Jamie Davis; Ellie Bryan; Haley Wade

Top newcomers: Bayli Belger, Soph.; Olivia Pace, Soph.; Karleigh Edmonson, Soph.

Coach’s outlook: The three starters we lost were a big part of our success the last two years. We have some newcomers up from a very successful JV team, and Chelsea Schroeder and Emma Richardson are seniors who have not played a lot but will be called upon and expected to help a lot this year.

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