Here are five girls teams to watch in the Class AAA basketball tournament, which begins on Friday:
Washington County: Simply put, the Lady Hawks are the team to beat. Led by Allisha Gray and Shonterria Kitchens, have won 59 straight games, and they’ve won by at least 10 points in the last 29. The defending state champions whipped Westside-Augusta in the 3-AAA championship game.
St. Pius: Emma Ucinski and Anna O’Donnell lead an experienced Lady Lions club that features 11 seniors. St. Pius (24-4) has held 16 teams to 30 points or less, and they had won 11 straight before falling to Columbia in the 5-AAA final.
Columbia: The Lady Eagles (19-5), who won the state title in 2010 and lost in the state semifinals last year, don’t put up flashy numbers – they’re led in scoring by Zuri Frost and Miah Spencer, both at 12 points per game – but they play great defense. Frost averages nearly five steals per game, and Columbia held St. Pius wo 28 points in the 5-AAA final.
Drew: Rutgers signee Precious Person headlines the Lady Titans (23-5), who stumbled in the 4-AAA final against Sandy Creek but have been dominant throughout the year. The Drew girls went to the state tournament last in their first season of varsity play, and they’re a threat to go deep into the tournament.
Westover: The Lady Patriots (25-2) fell in the Region 1-AAA final but they may be the most dangerous No. 2 seed in the field. Seniors DyTiesha Dunson and Iesha Young combine to average 38 points per game. If they can bounce back from the disappointment of losing to Crisp County in the region title game, they’ve got a chance.