7th Region Kentucky High School Girls' Basketball Preview (2007-08)
BluegrassPreps has established themselves as producing the most in depth and accurate Kentucky High School Previews available. Researched and written by our basketball experts in each area who know the teams, players and coaches, the foundation of our previews is actual knowledge, not just statistics.
7th Region Kentucky High School Girls' Basketball Preview (2007-08)
BGP 7th Region Girls' Preview
Special to Bluegrasspreps.com
The Seventh Region has had quite a run in girls’ basketball over the past few seasons with Sacred Heart, Christian Academy, Mercy and Assumption winning titles.
Sacred Heart won three state titles, Assumption made it to the state semifinals last season and Mercy and CAL have been top teams in the state for several years.
Now, it’s Manual High School’s turn at the top.
The Lady Crimsons have five seniors returning, including a pair of Division I signees, and one of the state’s top juniors as they take aim on the regional title.
But Manual and coach Stacy Pendleton won’t have an easy task of it. Mercy, Sacred Heart, Assumption and Christian Academy are all top-25 foes, while Fern Creek and several others should figure into the regional mix.
Here’s a look at the top teams in the region:
1. MANUAL LADY CRIMSONS – Pendleton has it all for the Lady Crimsons, experience, solid guards, stellar inside play and leadership.
Forward Brittany Wilson, who signed with Dayton University, is the marquee player. She’s among the state’s top 10 players and the 5-foot-11 force averaged 17 points and 11 rebounds as a junior. Danielle Woodmore is a nifty 5-7 guard who averaged 10 points and six assists and has signed with Ohio University.
TeAire Epps is a shooter from the wing, while junior Avery Jones is already drawing rave reviews from Division I coaches. Pendleton said he has several other key pieces that will contribute this season.
2. MERCY JAGUARS – It’s amazing what coach Mark Evans can do with a ballclub as one coach put it, “he could take five managers and win 20 games.” Unfortunately, for the rest of the region the talent pool at Mercy is a lot better than five managers with all five starters back and a roster that will allow Evans to go 10 deep.
Key guard Therese Montano is recovering from a torn knee ligament that happened in a soccer game and her return will be key.
But Evans still has senior guard Katie Wiedmar and forward Kelly Cox to lead the way. Madison Hardy and Malisa Cruz are two potentially All-Region sophomores.
3. SACRED HEART VALKYRIES – It’s an unusual season for veteran Donna Moir, who is without a 6-foot-3 post player for the first time in seven seasons.
The Valkyries have had Crystal Kelly and Elizabeth Campbell manning the middle for so long, but will now have to rely on their athleticism and quickness.
Senior guard Whitney Ising is one of the most underrated guards in the state, while seniors Kathryn Denbow, Megan Moir and Danielle Lavender are as solid as they come in the region. Moir is the coaches’ daughter and she’s signed to play Division I golf at the University of Kentucky.
Perhaps the biggest key is sophomore Autumn Miller, an outstanding shooter.
4. ASSUMPTION ROCKETS – Co-coaches Bob and Martha Todd graduated a lot of experience and talent from last year’s state semifinal squad.
But Lauren Huter is one of the best players in the region and returns to help the Rockets try and pick up right were they left off. The 6-1 Huter averaged 12 points and eight rebounds as a junior.
Senior Claire Minogue and sophomores Molly Ernst, Becca Denny and Claire Delahanty are the others that will figure prominently into the rotation.
5. CHRISTIAN ACADEMY LADY CENTURIONS – Three years ago, the Lady Centurions had Vanderbilt signee Meredith Marsh leading the way as they claimed the regional title for the first time in school history.
Veteran coach Don Rice believes this year’s squad could be even better.
Senior guard Brooke Willoughby (14 ppg) and junior forward Clair Buchanan (15 ppg) are two solid players back but not the standout player.
No, that would be sophomore Antonia Slaughter, who some consider among the best players in the nation in the Class of 2010. She has already committed to Louisville and averaged 21 points and nine rebounds as a freshman.
6. FERN CREEK LADY TIGERS – While coach Michelle Fries doesn’t have a deep bench, she does have perhaps the state’s best player.
Louisville signee Monique Reid led the state in scoring at 28.9 points and rebounding at 16.2 rebounds a game last season. At 6-1, Reid can play inside but has the skills of a guard on the perimeter. She’s hard to handle.
Reid does have one teammates – Sherrice Gaines – that will give her plenty of help but Fries is looking for more contributors.
7. MOORE LADY MUSTANGS – After a magical 23-6 season, the Lady Mustangs lost a few key players but return five of the top nine. Ashmere Woods averaged about 12 points a game and is one of the leaders back in the fold.
8. EASTERN LADY EAGLES – Coach Steve Ward is a veteran and could have the region’s sleeper team this season. He has three starters – all juniors – back in the fold and has picked up several quality newcomers.
Seventh Region Players to Watch
1. Monique Reid, Fern Creek
The 6-1 Reid has led the state in scoring the past two seasons and also led the state in rebounding last year while playing mostly guard. She has signed with Louisville.
2. Antonita Slaughter, Christian Academy
Only a sophomore, the 6-1 Slaughter has committed to Louisville and is one of the best players in the Bluegrass. Her brother, A.J., plays for Western Kentucky University and her sister, Toni, graduated last season after a successful career at Louisville.
3. Brittany Wilson, Manual
The 5-11 Wilson is a banger in the middle, averaging 17 points and 11 rebounds as a junior. She has been a premier player in the region for several seasons and signed with the University of Dayton.
4. Jade Barber, Ballard
At 6-3, Barber has signed with Ball State and can change the game more than any other player in the state. She has an enormous wing span and averaged 12 points and 10 rebounds in her first season of varsity ball last winter.
5. Avery Jones, Manual
There’s good reason a lot of major Division I programs are calling on the 6-foot junior; because she’s sensational in the paint. She averaged 12 points and eight boards last year.
6. Danielle Woodmore, Manual
One of the quickest and shiftiest players in the region, the 5-7 guard has been a mainstay for the Lady Crimsons and signed with Ohio University.
7. Lauren Huter, Assumption
The 6-1 versatile forward was overshadowed by senior teammates last season but at times was the marquee player for the regional champions.
8. Whitney Ising, Sacred Heart
The steady 5-5 guard doesn’t get a lot of notoriety but has started for three seasons (she took over for Miss Basketball Carly Ormerod) and has been solid. She averaged 6.5 points, six assists and 4.5 rebounds as a junior.
9. Clair Buchanan, Christian Academy
She’s Slaughter’s sidekick and the 5-10 junior averaged 15 points in that role last season. On any other team, she would be the superstar.
10. Shelby West, Male
Another of the region’s “next best things,” West is a 5-9 freshman and the daughter of former University of Louisville standout Chris West. She averaged seven points and five rebounds as an eighth grader for the Lady Bulldogs.