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2019-20 girls high school basketball preview capsules

The Parkway Central Colts finished third in Class 5 last winter and return four starters from that team.

Coach Brian Guilfoyle is entering his 10th year at helm of the Colts, who finished 24-7 with a program-best third-place showing in the Class 4 state tournament.

Parkway Central will be led by Jayla Kelly, who recently signed to play college basketball with Missouri. The 6-foot-4 senior post player averaged 12.4 points and 11.8 rebounds as a junior for the Colts.

“I want my players to have fun and enjoy the season,” Guilfoyle said. “Having fun means competing hard every play and supporting each other along the way. Our schedule is very demanding and it will challenge us to improve throughout the season.”

Parkway North is coming a solid 23-7 season. The Vikings defeated Westminster Christian Academy 56-52 to win Class 4 District 5 championship. After beating Clayton in the sectional round, the Vikings fell 60-52 in quarterfinal to eventual state champion Incarnate Word Academy.

Brett Katz is entering eight year as head coach at Parkway North. Once again, the Vikings will have to find a way to get past Incarnate Word. The teams are in the same district tournament this season.

Katz believes his team is ready for the challenge this winter.

“We play a very tough schedule and that should prepare us for the playoffs,” Katz said. “We are excited about the challenges of another basketball season.”

St. Joseph’s Academy drops to Class 4 this season. The Angels under coach Julie Matheny wound up 12-14 last season. It marked only second time ever the program finished under .500 in 40 years.

Matheny is entering her 22nd year as head coach at St. Joseph’s Academy. Her twin brother Bob Goessling, is back as her assistant coach. “No, they are not identical twins, Bobby’s better looking,” Matheny quipped.

The Angels have three starters back this fall. Matheny believes this group can return the program to its winning ways.

“They are not afraid to get up and get after it, so, we are hoping to get better with each game,” Matheny said

There is two new head coaches this season.

Westminster Christian Academy has Kat Martin to lead the Wildcats, who were led by Shannon Lawrence for the past four seasons. Martin was formerly an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Saint Louis University for Lisa Stone. She has 12 years collegiate coaching experience including Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Missouri-Kansas City and SLU.

Principia has hired Ramiro Dominquez to coach the Panthers. Former coach Kara Johnson moved to Wyoming. He has three starters back including Jordan Fredrickson, who likely will set the school record for most points and most rebounds early in 2020.

Here are the conference alignments this season:
Suburban Conference Yellow pool: Hazelwood Central, Hazelwood West, Kirkwood, Parkway Central, Parkway North, Webster Groves
Suburban Conference Red pool: Eureka, Ladue, Lafayette, Lindbergh, Marquette, McCluer North, Parkway South, Pattonville
Suburban Conference Green pool: Clayton, Fox, McCluer, Mehlville, Oakville, Parkway West, Ritenour, Summit, Seckman
Metro League: Lutheran North, Lutheran South, John Burroughs, MICDS, Principia, Westminster Christian Academy.
Metro Women’s Athletic Association: Cor Jesu, Incarnate Word Academy, Nerix Hall, St. Joseph’s Academy, Ursuline, Villa Duchesne, Visitation Academy, Whitfield.

Here are the Missouri State High School Activities Association’s district alignments that are new for this season:
Class 5
District 3: Eureka, Lafayette, Marquette, Parkway South, Parkway West.
District 6: Francis Howell North, Parkway Central, Pattonville.

Class 4
District 4: Pacific, Summit, St. Francis Borgia, St. Joseph’s Academy, Visitation Academy, Washington, Westminster Christian Academy.
District 5: Clayton, John Burroughs, Ladue, MICDS, Normandy, University City, Villa Duchesne.
District 7: Fort Zumwalt East, Incarnate Word Academy, McCluer, Parkway North, St. Charles, St. Charles West, St. Dominic.
Class 3
District 5: Bayless, Bishop DuBourg, Hancock, Lutheran South, Maplewood, Principia, Valley Park, Whitfield.

Here is a look at the teams that responded to requests for information:

Eureka Wildcats
2018-19 record: 14-13. Tied for fifth at 2-3 in Suburban Conference Red Pool. Lost 61-59 to Lafayette Class 5 District 3 semifinal game.
Coach: James Alsup. Entering 22nd year as head coach with a 361-208 record.
Assistant coaches: CJ Herbert, ReVonna Hunt, Dave Luecke, Jim Daffron.
Returning number of players: 6 players.
Offense: Motion.
Defense: Various.
Team captains: Annika Herbert, Natalie Archambault, Kennedy DeMoulin.
Players on team to watch this season: Everybody on team.
Newcomers expected to contribute: Sydney Dennis, Haley Cannon, Elise Moger, Madyson Pogue, Lexus Luedtke, Peyton Hallemann.
Players on the team who have signed with a college: None.
Team strengths: Versatility.
Goals: Have 10 goals for our program with No. 10 being winning program’s second state championship.
Favorites to win the Suburban Conference Red Pool: The conference is wide open this season.
Quote: “This is a fun group to coach and for people to watch,” Alsup said. “As Kim English said: ‘Connected Defensively. Selfless Offensively. Tough For Each Other.’ “

Lafayette Lancers
2018-19 record: 15-10. Went 4-3 to finish fourth in Suburban Conference Red Pool. Lost 64-61 in overtime to Marquette in Class 5 District 3 championship game.
Coach: Denise Meyer. Entering 10th year as head coach at Lafayette.
Assistant coaches: Terry Hayes, Brian Grote, Mark McAllister, Jessica Steinmetz.
Returning number of players and starters: 5 players. 3 starters.
Team captains: Seniors Kayla Carpenter, Madison Chester, Sarah Schoenfelder, Fiona Lazzaretti.
Players on team to watch this season: Returning starters Madison Chester, Kayla Carpenter, Brynn Jeffries.
Players on the team who have signed with a college: None.
Team strengths: This year’s team is small, quick, and smart.
Goals: Compete for a district championship.
Favorites to win the Suburban Conference Red Pool: Marquette.
Quote: “I am proud of the work this team is putting in,” Meyer said. “The three returning starters are flanked by a fresh mix of young players, all eager to step up and contribute. Our mental and physical toughness will be tested each game by excellent competition, and our success will depend on staying healthy and uniting as one.”

Marquette Mustangs
2018-19 record: 16-11. Went 5-2 to tie for second in Suburban Conference Red Pool. Defeated Lafayette 64-61 in overtime to win Class 5 District 3 championship. Lost 58-55 to Parkway Central in sectional round.
Coach: Timothy Bowdern. Entering sixth year as head coach at Marquette.
Assistant coaches: Chris Meador, Mike McAteer, Jeff Wallner and Darcy Hachiester
Returning number of players and starters: 4 players.
Team captains: Kennedi Watkins, Ally Fitzgerald, Emma Morrow.
Players on team to watch this season: Kennedi Watkins, Ally Fitzgerald, and Emma Morrow.
Newcomers expected to contribute: Taryn Blevins, Grace Williams, Teresa Dorhauer, Meg Morrow, Katie Baumgartner, and Love Troupe.
Players on the team who have signed with a college: Junior Kennedi Watkins and sophomore Ally Fitzgerald are still in the recruiting process and have offers from Division 1 schools.
Team strengths: Strength will be pace of play. It should be very fun to watch as all of the kids love to play up-tempo basketball.
Goals: Get back to the sectional game and advance in the state tournament.
Favorites to win the Suburban Conference Red Pool: Ladue. The Rams have everyone back.
Quote: “We are excited to begin play,” Bowdern said. “We really have a tough bunch of girls that are ready to compete and focused.”

MICDS Rams
2018-19 record: 13-12. Went 3-3 to finish third in Metro League. Lost 30-28 to John Burroughs in first round Class 4 District 5 game.
Coach: Scott Small. Entering 17th year as head coach at MICDS.
Assistant coaches: Erica Moore and Bill Goedeker.
Returning number of players and starters: 5 players. 3 starters.
Offense: Uptempo.
Defense: Matchup zone.
Team captains: Jess Brooks.
Players on team to watch this season: Jess Brooks, Zaire Harrell.
Newcomers expected to contribute: Binta Fall, Chelsey Nwamu.
Players on the team who have signed with a college: None.
Team strengths: Chemistry and work ethic.
Goals: Compete hard every night.
Favorites to win the Metro League: Westminster Christian Academy.
Quote: “We have an exciting group of freshman and only one senior,” Small said. “We are thrilled with the leadership that we are getting from Jess and with a seasoned group of sophomores and some emerging freshman, we are really looking forward to the season.”

Parkway Central Colts
2018-19 record: 24-7. Finished 4-0 to win Suburban Conference Yellow Pool. Won Class 5 District 4 championship with 49-41 win over Kirkwood. Defeated Marquette in sectional and Jackson in quarterfinal. Finished third in state with a 55-53 win over Republic.
Coach: Brian Guilfoyle. Entering 10th year as head coach Parkway Central.
Assistant coaches: Paul Hussmann, Stephanie Baker, and Todd Beffa.
Returning number of players and starters: 5 players. 4 starters.
Offense: Motion.
Defense: Mainly man to man.
Team captains: Jayla Kelly, Brooke Hilton, Claudia Cooke, and Kennedy Moore.
Players on team to watch this season: Expect each player to contribute in different ways this year. Return some experience and also have several new players. It should be fun to see how we grow as a team. The seniors should lead the way. Jayla Kelly is difficult for other teams to match up against with her ability to play several positions at a high level.
Newcomers expected to contribute: Jamison Wright, Grace Meier, Maggie Roberts, Mychael Green, Nnenna Okpara, U’Leyce Robinson, and Savannah Grasmick.
Players on the team who have signed with a college: Jayla Kelly to Missouri, Claudia Cooke has a verbal commitment to Kenyon College.
Team strengths: Experience and a willingness to work hard.
Goals: To improve every day at practice and learn from each game played. Want to be competitive every time we step on the floor. Team chemistry is a major focus this year.
Favorites to win the Suburban Conference Yellow Pool: Kirkwood, Webster Groves, Hazelwood Central, and Parkway North.
Quote: “I want my players to have fun and enjoy the season,” Guilfoyle said. “Having fun means competing hard every play and supporting each other along the way. Our schedule is very demanding and it will challenge us to improve throughout the season.”

Parkway North Vikings
2018-19 record: 23-7. Finished tried for fourth at 2-3 in Suburban Conference Yellow Pool. Beat Westminster Christian Academy 56-52 to win Class 4 District 5 championship. Beat Clayton in sectional. Lost 60-52 in quarterfinal to eventual state champion Incarnate Word Academy.
Coach: Brett Katz. Entering eight year as head coach at Parkway North.
Assistant coaches: Adam Ketcherside, Jamesell Kee, Chandra Brown, Amanda Lewis.
Returning number of players and starters: 9 players. 3 starters.
Offense: Spread motion.
Defense: Man to man.
Team captains: Mackenzie Rhodes, Amy Jordan.
Players on team to watch this season: Senior Mackenzie Rhodes, senior Amy Jordan, senior Madeline Bryan, junior Aliyah Williams, junior Ali Jordan, junior Elyse Marshall, sophomore Mackenzie Wilson, sophomore Madison Adolphsen.
Players on the team who have signed with a college: None.
Goals: Play our best basketball at the end of February, win a district, and compete to get to the Final Four.
Favorites to win the Suburban Conference Yellow Pool: Conference is loaded with good teams, coaches, and some very good players.
Quote: “We are excited for another basketball season at Parkway North,” Katz said. “We play a very tough schedule and that should prepare us for the playoffs. We are excited about the challenges of another basketball season.”

Parkway South Patriots
2018-19 record: 15-12. Went 5-2 to tie for second in Suburban Conference Red Pool. Lost 64-63 to Marquette in Class 5 District 3 semifinal.
Coach: Thomas Williams. Entering 19th year as head coach at Parkway South.
Assistant coaches: Vic Fulgham and Mike Reinhardt.
Returning number of players and starters: 3 players. 2 starters.
Offense: Transition and uptempo.
Defense: Multiple.
Team captains: Senior Linnea Johansen, senior Emily Shin, junior Grace Ellington.
Players on team to watch this season: Johansen and Ellington will be expected to carry a little more of the load this year on both ends of the floor as the two returning starters.
Newcomers expected to contribute: Everyone else.
Players on the team who have signed with a college: None.
Team strengths: Good team size and balanced scoring.
Goals: To win conference and districts.
Favorites to win the Suburban Conference Red Pool: Ladue.
Quote: “I enjoy this group with strong leadership and talented underclassman,” Williams said. “It should be an exciting year.”

Parkway West Longhorns
2018-19 record: 9-16. Finished third at 5-2 in Suburban Conference Green Pool. Lost 53-26 to Kirkwood in Class 5 District 4 opener.
Coach: Allie Boedeker. Entering fourth year as head coach at Parkway West.
Assistant coaches: Josh Gannan.
Returning number of players and starters: 6 players. 3 starters.
Team captains: Not named.
Players on team to watch this season: Ana Lyons, Ashley Smith, Abbie Zensen, Abbey Thompson.
Newcomers expected to contribute: Ashley Savage, Lexi Etchason.
Players on the team who have signed with a college: None.
Team strengths: This year have speed and a lot of height. Team has grown since last year tremendously and we have depth.
Goals: Continue to progress with each game and play our style of basketball. Ultimate goal is to make a run in districts.
Favorites to win the Suburban Conference Green Pool: Oakville.
Quote: “This group of players has persevered together over the last four years,” Boedeker said. “Last year, we lost several games by less than 10 points. This has helped shape our outlook for the upcoming season. We know what we have to do; now it’s up to us to execute each night.”

Principia Panthers
2018-2019 record: 15-13. Finished fifth at 1-5 in Metro League. Lost 67-28 in Class 3 District 5 championship game to Whitfield.
Coach: Ramiro Dominquez. Entering first year as head coach at Principia.
Assistant Coach: Susan Stodden.
Returning players and starters: 9 players. 3 starters.
Offensive: Will be lead by Jordan Fredrickson and Azaria Jemmott. Jordan was a top 10 scorer in the area last year and she has worked hard all summer to add to her game. Azaria will run the point. She was a newcomer last year at semester but will be a major contributor this year.
Defensive: Will look quite a bit different than years in the past. Going to play at a quicker pace and try to force opponents to match that intensity. Look to be more attacking in our defensive schemes and have made that a priority throughout our preseason.
Team captains: Jordan Fredrickson and Azaria Jemmott.
Players to watch for this winter: Jordan Fredrickson, Azaria Jemmott and Aria McMullin.
Newcomers expected to contribute: Have four newcomers to basketball in Ainsley Gordon, Caitlin Parker, Kaya Equevilley and Raina Green. Raina is the only freshman this year but she will see a lot of action at the varsity level where she will bring a lot of energy on the offensive and defensive side of the ball.
Players who have signed to college: None.
Team strengths: Biggest strength is team’s ability to communicate and to work as one unit. This set of young ladies have worked very hard all preseason to become one strong group of five no matter the combination that we put on the floor.
Goals: Like everyone, team’s goal is to win the last game of the year but in the short term, the goal is to get better each and every day. Not just on the court individually but as a team overall.
Favorites to win the Metro League: Conference is very tough. We are the smallest school in the conference. The favorites are hard to pick because each team in this conference is a handful. Westminster and Lutheran South are right at the top but John Burroughs, MICDS and Lutheran North are all so well coached and can get hot, take over at anytime. It really is such a strong conference to play in.
Quote: “I am very excited to be coaching this group of young ladies,” Dominquez said. “We have a very hard working group of young people here at Principia. They have been extremely dedicated all preseason and I look forward to watching them grow throughout the season. We are extremely young this year which is adding to the anticipation to see how each one of them matures throughout this season but we are lucky to be lead by our two seniors in Jordan and Azaria. It is easier to coach when your two hardest workers are also your two best players. Our season will be a challenge but we are very much looking forward to meeting that challenge each night with our best. We have a bunch of great student athletes who are truly a blessing to coach and to work with each day.”

St. Joseph’s Academy Angels
2018-19 record: 12-14. Only second time ever under .500 in 40 years. Went 3-4 to finish fourth in Metro Women’s Athletic Association. Lost 56-51 lost to Parkway Central in Class 5 District 3 semifinal game.
Coach: Julie Matheny. Entering 22nd year as head coach at St. Joseph’s Academy.
Assistant coaches: Bob Goessling, who is Matheny’s twin brother, Tim Stock and Courtney Harris.
Returning number of players and starters: 8 players. 3 starters.
Offense: Mostly a motion.
Defense: Man to man.
Team captains: To be determined.
Players on team to watch this season: Kiley Duchardt, Michele Origliasso, Emily Lally.
Newcomers expected to contribute: Allie Westphale, Victoria Unnerstall.
Players on the team who have signed with a college: None.
Team strengths: Defense and free throw shooting.
Goals: Reach Final Four.
Favorites to win the Metro Women’s Athletic Association: Incarnate Word Academy.
Quote: “This group of student athletes is hungry and smart,” Matheny said. “They are not afraid to get up and get after it, so, we are hoping to get better with each game.”

Westminster Christian Academy Wildcats
2018-19 record: 19-8. Went 4-1 to finish second in Metro League. Lost 56-52 to Parkway North in Class 4 District 5 championship game.
Coach: Kat Martin. First year as head coach overall and at Westminster. Was formerly assistant coach/recruiting coordinator at Saint Louis University for Lisa Stone and has 12 years collegiate coaching experience including SIUC, UMKC, and SLU.
Assistant coaches: Erin Sinnott and Annie Sullivan.
Returning number of players and starters: 5 players. 2 starters.
Offense: Motion offense with everyone as scoring options. Quick hits and read and react.
Defense: Man defense.
Team captains: Senior Macey Lottman, sophomore Brooke Highmark, sophomore Reilly Brophy.
Players on team to watch this season: Young team with five underclassmen. Sophomore Carlie Vick has NCAA Division I offer and four other players receiving Division I and Division II interest and offers. Reilly Brophy is coming off stress fracture. Brooke Highmark is returning leading scorer.
Newcomers expected to contribute: Sydney Bradley and Julia Coleman are both freshman with expected impact roles. Coleman has interest from Grand Canyon University and Bradley from SIUC.
Players on the team who have signed with a college: None.
Team strengths: Ability to work together. Versatility and work ethic. Running the floor and setting teammates up for success.
Goals: Attain a 20-win season, finish in the top three in conference; advance to district championship.
Favorites to win the Metro League: MICDS and John Burroughs.
Quote: “We have a young and versatile team,” Martin said. “They have put in a lot of time during the offseason and proved a great work ethic and desire to be successful. They are eager to learn and willing to put in extra time. They are a very special group and I am very excited for our season. We have been talking about being fierce this fall and want to take those lessons onto the court. The ability to withstand challenge, execute solutions, and constantly reaching higher against a great schedule will prepare us for our postseason goals.”

Whitfield Warriors
2018-19 record: 18-11. 5-1 to finish second in Metro Women’s Athletic Association. Beat Principia 67-28 to win Class 3 District 5 championship. Defeated Cardinal Ritter 50-47 in overtime in sectional. Lost 51-41 to Lutheran North in quarterfinals.
Coach: Michael Slater. Entering sixth year as head coach at Whitfield and 18th overall as a high school head coach. Coached 12 years at Nerinx Hall.
Assistant coaches: Cameo Jones, Emily Haring, Maggie Young.
Returning number of players and starters: 6 players. 3 starters.
Team captains: Kelsey Blakemore, Jade Moore, Zaria Daniels
Players on team to watch this season: Jade Moore, Kelsey Blakemore, Zaria Daniels.
Newcomers expected to contribute: Brooklyn Rhodes, Tete Nelson, Treazure Jackson.
Players on the team who have signed with a college: None yet.
Team strengths: Versatility and athleticism.
Goals: Get better each day and maintain our focus.
Favorites to win the Metro Women’s Athletic Association: Conference is always tough with such programs as IWA, SJA, and others. Finished second last season and always try to contend for a title.
Quote: “I’m very excited about this group and I look forward to continued improvement,” Slater said. “We should be strong offensively, with quite a few scoring options. (We are) Pretty athletic and many of our players have spent quite a bit of time working on strength and technique on the defensive end. We look to improve on that side of the ball and will attempt to not hurt ourselves with fouls and unnecessary mistakes.”

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