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Lots of work yet to do for area girls basketball teams

Jan 09, 2020 10:07AM

By John Wilson

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Local high school girls basketball programs across the area have reached the halfway point of their season. 

It’s fair to say that for the most part it’s been a tough year for many of the  teams.

Right now the top teams in the area hail from East Gaston and Mountain Island Charter.

The Lady Warriors are 7-7 overall and 1-2 in Southwestern 2A Conference play. 

While a .500 record isn’t groundbreaking what is impressive is the fact that over the last few weeks the Lady Warriors have really come alive.

Over the holiday break, East Gaston upset the apple cart by having a strong showing at the Peoples Bank Holiday Clash.

The Lady Warriors knocked off the top two seeded teams in the tournament before losing in the title game.

Head coach David Handsel is taking advantage of the athletic nature of the team and EG is improving in their new system.

East Gaston has loads of potential. All they have to do is deliver.

A.J. Price is making the case that she may be one of the top players in the county. At the mid-season mark, Price has scored 242 points.

While Price isn’t afraid to put the ball up, she also has no problem passing the ball off to her teammates. Price leads the Lady Warriors with 23 assists.

Other top contributors are Makayla Boyd, Allie Grice, Kaylyn Byrd, and Fatima Smith.

Boyd is making a real impact. She has scored 95 points and snatched 124 rebounds.

Grice has scored 59 points while Byrd and Smith have each scored  43 points so far this year.

For EG to keep the momentum going they will need to show that they can go toe to toe with the best teams in the Southwestern 2A. 

The Lady Warriors are in a very competitive conference. Burns, Shelby and R-S Central are all good programs. 

Another team sitting at .500 is the Mountain Island Charter Lady Raptors. MI is 2-2 overall and 1-0 in PAC 7 1A league play. 

Junior guard Zahara Bichara is having a good year. She is by far the best shooter MI has.  Bichara has scored 92 points so far this year and is responsible for almost half of Mountain Island’s scoring. 

Other top contributors are Kay Decker and Chloe Hatzopoulous.

Decker has scored 48 points while Hatzopoulous has scored 28 points, pulled down 52 rebounds and had 13 assists.

Going forward the Lady Raptors face a roller coaster of a conference schedule. Most of the teams in the PAC 7 are good, the rest of the league is made up of struggling programs. MI will need to focus on each game and play consistent ball week in and week out. 

Two teams that are struggling are Stuart Cramer and South Point.

At South Point, former head coach Scott Tudor is back to try to turn things around for the Lady Raiders.

Tudor takes over a program that hasn’t had a winning season since 2013-14.

The Lady Raiders won their opener against Highland Tech 35-24 and have not won since.

South Point is 1-9 overall and 0-2 in conference action.

Another team that is struggling is Stuart Cramer. The Storm is 2-9 overall and 0-2 in Big South 3A conference play.

Cramer is in the midst of a rebuild. Half of the Cramer roster is made up of underclassmen. The team has only one senior on the roster, power forward Kendra Thompson. 

Things have been tough for the Storm but there is hope. Two players that are playing exceptionally well are Reece Wolfe and Ranija Hamilton.

Hamilton has scored 126 points while Wolfe has scored 102.

Hamilton is also an aggressive defender as well. So far this year she has recorded 48 steals.

Camryn Peterson is proving to be one of the top rebounders in the area. The five-foot eight-inch sophomore has already pulled down 96 rebounds so far this year.

There is still a whole lot of basketball left to play. If MI and East Gasston continue to improve they have shots at some postseason action. Meanwhile, Cramer and South Point will need to keep at it and try to improve their programs. The spoiler role is something they may get a chance at as the season winds down.