There may not be a more competitive area for girls basketball than the MetroNorth area. Holy Family is competing for a state title nearly every year, …
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There may not be a more competitive area for girls basketball than the MetroNorth area. Holy Family is competing for a state title nearly every year, while Legacy won its first state title last season. This year, it may be Horizon’s turn. The Hawks return Kylie Rader and are hungry for more this season after losing to Palmer in the Sweet 16.
COACH: Greg Hahn
2011: 17-8 overall, 11-5 Front Range League
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Kaylie Rader, Sr., C, 6-4; Gabriela Jiminez, Sr., PG, 5-7; Kaleigh Paplow, So., G, 5-9.
OUTLOOK: The Hawks are going to be dangerous with Rader returning to the mix. After a heartbreaking loss in the Sweet 16, Horizon will look to push further this season. The Hawks will feature six seniors and will return four of their top six scorers from last season.
COACH: Craig Van Patten
2011: 24-4 overall, 13-3 Front Range League
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Caitlyn Smith, Sr., P, 6-0; Courtney Smith, So., C, 6-2; Jennifer Aicega, Sr., SG, 5-6.
OUTLOOK: The Lightning will be out to defend their state title, but they will have to do it without their top two scorers from last year - Kailey Edwards and Emily Glen. Legacy will rely on the play of Caitlyn and Courtney Smith.
2011: 3-20 overall, 0-16 Front Range League
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Hope Martinez, 5-6, Sr.; Bre Fiske, 5-5, Sr.; Tory Travers, 6-1, Sr.
OUTLOOK: With four returning starters the Mustangs will look to be more competitive in the tough Front Range League. Abby Birch and Fiske are the squad’s top two returning scorers.
COACH: Holly Kesterson
2011: 4-17 overall, 3-8 East Metro League
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Toni Proksch, Sr., G; McKenzie Johns, Sr., C/FW; Jayia DelReal, So., G.
OUTLOOK: Proksch and Johns will have to lead the way for a young Norse squad. Proksch averaged 8.4 points last season and scored her season-best 18 points in the regular-season finale, while Johns gives Northglenn a solid post presence.
COACH: Denise Lopez
2011: 13-11 overall, 8-8 Jeffco League
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Haley Lopez, Sr.; Sara Shileny, Sr.; Meaghan DeHerrera, So.
OUTLOOK: Denise Lopez will step in as the Gators new coach after Ron Burgin left the team to coach Boulder High School. She will have Haley Lopez and her 10.9 points and 5.2 rebounds back. Shileny will also give the team an option in the post.
COACH: Matt Vigil
2011: 13-11 overall, 6-5 East Metro League
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Raina Castaneda, So. G; Marissa Trujillo, Sr., SG; Regina Castaneda, Sr., G.
OUTLOOK: Vigil will take over a fairly talented Trojans squad. Raina Castaneda was a freshman sensation last season and will return after leading the squad with 19 points a game and also led the team with 41 treys.
COACH: Jim Iverson
2011: 13-9 overall, 9-2 East Metro League
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Hannah Massey, Sr., 5-8, G; Desiree Gomez, Sr., 5-7, FW; Agustina Santistevan, Jr., 5-5, G.
OUTLOOK: The Wolves will have to reload after an impressive season last year ended in the opening round of the playoffs. Westminster lost nine seniors, including the squad’s top four scorers.
COACH: Chris Kemm
2011: 7-16 overall, 1-10 East Metro League
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Brandie Woodson, Sr., 5-6, G; Jasmine Kemm, Sr., 5-5, G; Laura Malacarne, Sr., 5-10, F; Shelby Drnovsek, Sr., 5-9, F/G.
OUTLOOK: The Wolverines may struggle to start the season with both Kemm and Malacarne battling injuries. However, Skyview should be competitive on most nights due to the team’s depth.
COACH: Ron Rossi
2011: 22-2 overall, 9-1 Metropolitan League
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Micaela Blanchard, Sr., 5-11, C; Lindsey Chavez, Jr., 5-6, G; Claudia Pena, Jr., 6-0 F.
OUTLOOK: With only four varsity players returning from last season it may be a rebuilding season for the Tigers, who are usually among the best in the state. If everything falls into place this team may find itself at the top again this season.
COACH: Kevin Porter
2011: 8-13 overall, 4-6 Metropolitan League
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Alyson Thimsen, Jr., 5-9, G; Sara Miller, Sr., 5-8 G/F; Sayde Anderson, Sr., 5-9, G.
OUTLOOK: The Jaguars return most of their players from last year, including Anderson who led the team in scoring last year. The team will also feature a pair of dangerous shooters in Miller and Abby Wilson.
COACH: Mark Allen
2011: 9-15 overall, 6-5 Frontier League
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Alex Garcia, Jr., G/F; Jordan Bauer Jr., G/F; Jackie Wilson, Jr., G/F
OUTLOOK: The Wildcats will rely on a strong junior class to be competitive this season. Garcia showed an ability to shoot the ball last season, while Bauer led the team in rebounds (6.6) and Wilson is also a marksman from behind the arc.
COACH: Steve Gutierrez
2011: 16-7 overall, 10-1 Frontier League
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Jacey Ovalle, So., 5-6, PG; Hayley Schurr, Sr., 5-6, G; Dalia Holguin, Sr., 5-6, G.
OUTLOOK: After an impressive run last season the Timberwolves will attempt to stay competitive this season - despite losing their top four scorers from last season. Ovalle and Holguin give The Pinnacle outside shooters, while Schurr is the squad’s top returning defender.
COACH: Josh Polson
2011: 19-4 overall, 8-0 5280 League
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Sydney Ahaneku, Jr.; MacKenzie Woods, Jr.; Kayla Iwahashi, Jr.
OUTLOOK: The future is bright for the Bruins. With Ahaneku and Woods back to lead the way, Belleview Christian should be able to defend its league title and advance further than last season, when the Bruins lost in the regional championship.
COACH: Rob Pierson
2011: 10-10 overall, 5-3 5280 League
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Alex Quimby, Sr., 5-8, G; Rachelle Smith, Jr., 5-9, SF; Audra Worley, Sr., 5-9, G.
OUTLOOK: The Crusaders lost three seniors from last season’s squad, but return their leading scorer (Quimby). Quimbly also led the team in assists, steals and three-pointers.
COACH: Larry Zimbelman
2011: 7-10 overall, 3-5 5280 League
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Abby Longtine, Jr., 5-5, SG; Avonelle Halbach, Jr., 5-5, G/F; Alesja Ptselnikov, So., 5-3, G.
OUTLOOK: For the Bulldogs to be competitive they will have to find a way to replace the dynamic duo of Alyssa Fajardo and Stephanie Longtine. The duo scored more 60 percent of the squad’s points last year and grabbed more than half of the team’s rebounds.
COACH: Adam Frey
2011: 6-12 overall, 3-5 5280 League
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Hannah Sievert, Sr., 5-11, F/C; Brittany Zemlicka, Jr., 5-4, G; Jessica Dalbotten, Jr., 5-10, F/C
OUTLOOK: The Eagles young squad is a year older and should build off of last season’s record. They have seven players returning with varsity experience and only had two players graduate last season.
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