Coach: Kyle Sullivan
Last season: (16-3, 17-4)
Top players: Seniors Zelor Massaquoi (G/F), Tara Thompson (G) and Keri Rager (G); sophomore Danaysha Turner (G).
What to expect: Just as the Gators squad is gaining ground as one of the favorites to take the county crown this year, so too is the hype surrounding Zelor Massaquoi’s chances at being named player of the year.
As a junior last season, the forward was the only county player to average a double-double on the season (12.8 points per game, 10.2 rebounds). Her stellar play earned her first-team all-county honors.
“I would expect Massaquoi to be player of the year,” said six-year coach Kyle Sullivan. A number of other important pieces return to the Gators this season, including guards Keri Rager (second-team all-county), Tara Thompson, Danaysha Turner and Blair Bonner.
Sullivan noted that injuries will again be the deciding factor. But, over the last few seasons, the Gators have been close to turning the corner. Sullivan said his team is excited to play Howard — the school he said should finish right behind his Reservoir club in the county standings at the end of the year.
Coach: Teresa Waters
Last season: (18-1, 23-4)
Top players: Seniors Jenna Collins (G/F) and Julia Collins (G); junior Annie Clark (C); sophomores Jessica Hopkins (PG) and Sydney Poindexter (C).
What to expect: Coach Teresa Waters (33 years total coaching experience) has been with her program longer than any other coach in the county. Following last season’s difficult state championship loss, it’s more than likely that the Hawks will reload quicker than people think.
Senior sisters Julia and Jenna Collins each piled up impressive numbers last year on their way to earning second-team all-county honors.
Julia Collins averaged 5.9 boards per game, while Jenna averaged 6.3. Both sisters average 9.4 points per game.
Waters praised the Collins twins and their efforts over the last three seasons, and said that accompanying players like Jessica Hopkins, Sydney Poindexter and Halley Seybold may provide that extra push that River Hill needs to earn revenge in the state tournament.
Though the Hawks lost Megan Sterling to graduation, along with other key players, look for this team to continue to dominate until another team challenges them for their county supremacy.
“Everyone brings their ‘A game’ to River Hill,” Waters said.
Coach: Bob Cranford
Last season: (3-16, 5-18)