AA blog: Girls basketball – teams to watch

We’re switching gears from football to basketball. Next Tuesday: Boys basketball – teams to watch

Will Wesleyan win a seventh consecutive state title?

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Is it too early to crown the Wesleyan Lady Wolves the AA champions of girls basketball? It’s definitely not too bold to predict so. By defeating Laney last season, 76-43, the Lady Wolves won their sixth consecutive state title. That incredible run is a state record matched only by Hart County (1989-94), according to GHSA.net. No Georgia high school girls team has won seven in a row, so another championship run by Wesleyan this year will have the Lady Wolves in historic company of one. That’s a lonely number they won’t mind keeping to themselves.

During the Lady Wolves’ historic run, the title games haven’t even been close. Their average margin of victory is 28.7 points.

And the usual pains most defending champs go through doesn’t seem to phase the Lady Wolves. Player turnover from the previous year, wearing the bulls eye and having the opposition take its best shot at them every single game and classification changes – they’ve bounced back and forth between A and AA twice during their run – don’t seem to matter. Even regular season losses don’t get them down – their title run doesn’t include an undefeated season.

As long as Jan Azar coaches the Lady Wolves, you can bet they’ll be contending for the state title. They’ve been crowned champions nine of the last 10 seasons and 10 of the last 12. Azar already has the most state titles (10) of any girls basketball coach in state history. And she has more than 400 wins.

This season, Wesleyan will look to defend its title despite the loss of its three top performers from last year’s title game – AJC Class AA player of the year Katie Frerking, Brittany Stevens and Paige Mosely. Katie’s younger sister, Lauren, figures to take on a bigger role, along with Keevana Edwards, Landyn Duley and Nikki McDonald.

While the Lady Wolves sit high above the rest of AA in a class of their own, here are two other teams to keep an eye on should Wesleyan stumble:

  • The Kendrick Lady Cherokees. The Lady Cherokees opened the season with 30 consecutive wins before falling to eventual state runner-up Laney in the semifinals. Kendrick only had two seniors on last year’s roster, and AJC first team all-state guard Kahlia Lawrence returns for her senior season after averaging 21.5 points and 5.4 seats per game.
  • The Calhoun Lady Yellow Jackets. The Lady Jackets are coming of their best season in program history, finishing 26-2 and falling to the Lady Wolves in the quarterfinals. They only had four seniors on last year’s team, including AJC first team All-State forward Taylor Palmer.

Who is your pick to challenge Wesleyan this season?

Adam Krohn covers all things Class AA football and basketball. Have a question or tip? Want to see more coverage of your team? Want to drop a line to compliment how awesome the Class AA beat coverage is? Send Adam a message on Twitter @AdamKrohnAJC and follow him for the latest in Class AA coverage.

2 comments Add your comment

Tom

November 12th, 2013
3:32 pm

Yeah, Azar can coach. But by deliberately running up the score against inferior opponants, she has a lot to learn about sportsmanship.

dougmo2

November 14th, 2013
3:51 am

What about the Laney Wildcats Adam?