The Carroll County Athletic League’s girls basketball teams are back in action this winter. Here are three things to watch for each of Carroll’s squads for the 2019-2020 season.
Recapping the first few games
Century, Liberty and Manchester Valley each opened their seasons on Thursday, and each team showed promise despite suffering losses.
The Knights fought back after being down eight points at halftime to gain a lead late during the fourth quarter on the road against Loch Raven, but the Raiders pulled out the 40-30 victory.
Senior Jess Diorio led the Knights (0-1) with 12 points and junior Samantha Seledee scored seven points.
Liberty hosted Marriotts Ridge and led 17-5 in the first quarter, but the Mustangs pulled away to edge the Lions 34-31. Sophomore Jess Littlejohn scored eight points and had five steals for the Lions (0-1), and senior Rachel Thiem notched 10 rebounds.
Manchester Valley senior Amelia Saunders scored a team-high 23 points in the Mavericks’ 56-43 loss to Western Tech. She also added eight rebounds, three assists and two steals. Josey Shaffer scored six points and Tessa Boswell notched seven boards.
Francis Scott Key, South Carroll, Westminster and Winters Mill were in action on Friday.
The Eagles dropped their opener at Southern Garrett 52-34, but no further information was reported. The Cavaliers (0-1) lost to Catoctin 38-34, despite scoring 18 points in the final quarter. Bethany Fowler, Lauren Habighorst and Rachel Tackett each scored seven points.
Westminster scored 18 points in the first quarter — eight came from senior Lillian Harris — en route to defeat Fallston 59-46. Harris scored 23 points overall and Mallory Phillips notched 12 for the Owls (1-0).
Winters Mill suffered a 43-28 loss to Tuscarora with 10 points from Allie Cullison and eight from Madison Harmening.
All-county duo returns
The Times had eight players on its all-county first team last winter, and just two are back for the 2019-2010 season. New names and fresh faces cover much of the rosters this year, and talent should spread evenly across the board.
Fowler is back after leading the Cavaliers with 11.7 points per game as a sophomore. She was also the county’s field goal percentage leader (48.4), and helped the Cavs notch a playoff win over Winters Mill.
Thiem led the Lions with 15.8 points per game and she was the county’s leader with a 78.8 free throw percentage as a junior. The Lions finished the year at 10-14 and split their county record evenly with six wins and six losses.
Eagles, Owls filling crucial holes
The reigning Carroll County Athletic League champion Eagles will be without their top scorers in Savannah Brooks and Karla Stonesifer this winter. Brooks, a sophomore, transferred to Springdale Preparatory School in New Windsor after finishing her freshman campaign at FSK with 10.9 points per game, 5.5 rebounds per game and 3.4 assists.
Karla Stonesifer, the 2019 Times Girls Basketball Player of the Year, graduated and led the team with 12.0 points per game while topping the county with 11.4 rebounds per game.
The duo played a pivotal role in helping the Eagles capture their first outright county title since 1987, and Stonesifer led the way with a double-double in the county title victory over Liberty. FSK secured a 19-5 overall record last winter, and also graduated senior leadership in Kennedy Cornick, Bailey Mathias, and Sara Warthen.
Senior guard Rachel Wright, who compiled 2.4 points per game and played in all 23 games for the Eagles as a junior returns to help lead this year’s squad.
Westminster also lost a duo of all-countians in Zoe Costley and Sophia Diehl. Costley, who led the county with 16.6 points per game, graduated and Diehl transferred to Roland Park. Diehl notched 11.0 points per game, and the duo were among the county’s top three rebounds leaders as well.
Junior guard Jillian Pumputis, who notched 7.6 points per game, returns from last year’s Owls squad that earned a spot in the 3A West regional final.