November 28th, 2011

2011-12 High School Girls Basketball Preview

Chris Jung

Senior Writer


2011-12 High School Girls Basketball Preview
photo by Chris Jung

Can Holy Cross pick up where it left off in 2010-11?

Be sure to visit LouisvilleCatholicSports.com all season long for recaps, updates, photos, video and more as we act as your one-stop shop for local Catholic high school girls basketball. You can also receive in-game updates of various games by following @LouCathSports on Twitter.

Assumption High School (7th Region/26th District)

  • Head coach: Steve Small (1st season)
  • Last season: 15-15 overall record; lost 85-59 to DuPont Manual in Seventh Region Tournament quarterfinals
  • Projected 2011-12 starting lineup: Morgan Foley, Katie Friedrich, Becca Durbin, Nora Kiesler and Brandy Hunter.
  • Player(s) to watch: Katie Friedrich was a consistent player for AHS last season and finished the season averaging 5.9 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. Paired with senior Morgan Foley and heavily-anticipated freshman center Nora Kiesler, the Rockets should have plenty of fire power. Foley will likely assume the team leader role left behind by lone departing senior Maggie Hartlage and injured guard Dee Dee Sliter, who will miss the 2011-12 season after tearing her ACL during Assumption soccer action a couple months ago.
  • Interesting fact: Assumption will travel to Daytona Beach, FL for the Sunshine Classic from Dec. 27-30.
  • Summary: The Rockets will begin the 2011-12 season with its third coach in the past year, but former Western Kentucky University women’s basketball coach Steve Small seems roaring and ready to return Assumption back to prominence on the basketball court. With the aforementioned Friedrich, Foley and Kiesler, Small’s squad is rounded out with experienced guards Becca Durbin and Annie Crotty and should be considered the district favorite. The Rockets’ regular season finale against Mercy in February could be a premier matchup by that time.
  • First game: Nov. 29, 2011 vs. Holy Cross High School (7:30pm)

Holy Cross High School (6th Region/21st District)

  • Head coach: Fred Copass (5th season)
  • Last season: 22-8 overall record; lost 45-35 to Butler in Sixth Region Tournament semifinals
  • Projected 2011-12 starting lineup: Julie Skaggs, Kim Mingus, Maya Hardin, Sydney Morabito and Morgan Wimberg
  • Player(s) to watch: Kim Mingus returns as the team’s leading scorer (nearly 13 points per contest last season) and will be the cornerstone of an offense that wants to score with tempo. Mingus, who hit 47.8 percent of shots taken a year ago, will also have an attractive option to pass to down low, as senior center Julie Skaggs returns as Holy Cross’ threat on the post and rebounding leader (7.8 per game in 2010-11). Sophomores Josie Hockman and Taylor Weber will also be players to watch for off Copass’ bench.
  • Interesting fact: The Cougars return all five of its starters from last season’s
  • Summary: The excitement and expectations have never been higher at Holy Cross High School where girls basketball is concerned, as the defending 6th Region Tournament semifinalists return an experienced and energized roster that gave eventual regional champ Butler everything it could handle at the end of last season. Cougar head coach Fred Copass stated after last year’s semifinal loss that an All “A” championship and girls Sweet 16 berth are goals for 2011-12 and both appear to be attainable. With a youthful, yet now veteran team, Holy Cross is anticipating a big season.
  • First game: Nov. 29, 2011 @ Assumption High School (7:30pm)

Mercy Academy (6th Region/24th District)

  • Head coach: Mark Evans (15th season)
  • Last season: 24-8 overall record; lost 55-52 to DuPont Manual in the Seventh Region Championship
  • Projected 2011-12 starting lineup: Evans says his starters are not yet determined, but that eight players are in the mix to make the Jags’ starting lineup.
  • Player(s) to watch: The Roush twins, Courtney and Christine, collectively possess the most game-ready experience for the Jaguars and will be counted on heavily on both ends of the floor. Courtney Roush was huge for Mercy during last season’s postseason run, including a 16-point, 11-rebound performance against Sacred Heart in the regional tournament quarterfinals. In the backcourt, the duo of Whitney Hartlage and Kayla Richardson will have to work hard to fill the void left by Lauren Faris and Juliann Miller. Hartlage emerged as a clutch shooter last season, while Richardson has continued to work hard on being dangerous from beyond the arc.
  • Interesting fact: Mercy is scheduled to play in four regular season classics/tournaments, including the KTXR Lady Classic at Drury University in Springfield, MO over Christmas break.
  • Summary: Under Evans, the Jaguars have certainly developed a physical style of basketball where offense is created by smothering pressure and methodical defensive schemes, and that will be no different as the ball tips for Mercy Academy in 2011-12. Evans says his team will “continue to play the Mercy style of past years” and will rely on his experienced players to set the tone. “We had an excellent summer, but we need to stay healthy. We have very high expectations,” said coach Mark Evans. “We should contend for a district and regional championship. Based on our summer games with top teams we can compete for a state championship providing we stay healthy and continue to improve.” The Jags were a big part of the KHSAA realignment, as Mercy has moved and will begin play in the Sixth Region this year, meaning its regional battles with Manual and Sacred Heart will now be replaced by Butler and Bullitt East.
  • First game: Dec. 2, 2011 @ Montgomery County High School (7:30pm)

Presentation Academy (7th Region/25th District)

  • Head coach: David Jackson (10th season)
  • Last season: 12-14 overall record; lost 63-41 to Butler in Sixth Region Tournament quarterfinals
  • Projected 2011-12 starting lineup: Shelby Adams, Bailey Reeder, Ashlee Kirchner, Olivia Obst and Meredith Degner or Peyton Andres
  • Player(s) to watch: Bailey Reeder is an excellent point guard and can score off the dribble and in transition rather quickly. Shelby Adams averaged 13 points and 8 rebounds last season and will an offensive force for the Toppers. Both Reeder and Adams are three-year starters.
  • Interesting fact: Pres has 6 of its top 7 players from last year and senior Olivia Obst returns after starting as a sophomore and not playing as a junior.
  • Summary: Presentation has a new set of hurdles and opponents to deal with in 2011-12, as the Toppers make the move to the Seventh Region and into the same district as DuPont Manual, the defending regional champions. Pres returns a slew of contributors from last year’s district runner-up squad and expects to be competitive all season long. “With all the experience, we should be much improved on both ends of the floor. We want to play a faster pace offensively and pressure more on the defensive end than we have the past couple of years,” said coach David Jackson. “Being able to create easy offense out of our defense and how well we rebound will both be big keys to the amount of success we have this year.”
  • First game: Nov. 29, 2011 vs. Bullitt East (7:30pm)

Sacred Heart Academy (7th Region/27th District)

  • Head coach: Donna Moir (21st season)
  • Last season: 23-6 overall record; lost 67-48 to Mercy in Seventh Region Tournament quarterfinals
  • Projected 2011-12 starting lineup: Jade Tubb, Kristin Matula, Raven Merriweather, Jazmin Smith and DaiJia Ruffin or Sandy Gahafer
  • Player(s) to watch: Jade Tubb is the most experienced player back from last year’s team and her emergence as a team leader will be just as vital as her outside shooting and offensive prowess. Tubb’s running mate in the backcourt, sophomore Raven Merriweather, was a member of LouisvilleCathoilcSports.com’s 2010-11 “All Freshman Team” and proved during last year’s late season stretch that she has the talent and the maturity to be one of the state’s top players.
  • Interesting fact: Sophomore guard/forward DaiJia Ruffin, who tore her ACL two years ago, is a transfer from Buter High School.
  • Summary: Sacred Heart Academy graduated six seniors and all five of its starters from last season, and this year the roster will be filled by players with limited varsity experience. Coach Moir, who begins her 21st season on the bench, is charged with the daunting task of fielding a competitive team against a very rigorous intensive schedule. The Valkyries’ degree of success will be determined by how soon Moir’s players respond to her instruction. SHA will travel to Ft Myers, FL to play in the Queen of the Palms Classic over the holidays. 
  • First game: Nov. 29, 2011 vs. Franklin County High School (7:30pm)
 

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