Suburban Conference girls basketball outlook

12/12/2013 10:55 AM

12/12/2013 10:55 AM

Here is the season outlook for the Suburban Conference girls basketball season, with projected order of finish.

Suburban Gold

1. Lee's Summit North

2. Liberty

3. Blue Springs

4. Blue Springs South

5. Raymore-Peculiar

6. Lee's Summit

Outlook:

Now might be time, finally, for Blue Springs' historic run of five straight trips to the Missouri Class 5 state basketball tournament to come to an end. The same goes for its dominance of the Suburban Gold Conference. The Wildcats were undefeated in the conference last season, but they must replace Lizzy Wendell, Tyra Bickham and Karyla Middlebrook, the team's best three scorers. That leaves an opportunity for Lee's Summit North and Liberty to put themselves in the conversation for a league championship. Lee's Summit North forward Imani Johnson, who scored 16.4 points per game, is as good as anyone else in the conference. Liberty returns a wealth of varsity experience, including its leading scorer, sophomore guard Morgan Fleming.

Suburban Red

1. Truman

2. Park Hill South

3. Lee's Summit West

4. St. Joseph Central

5. Ruskin

6. Park Hill

Outlook:

Truman isn't likely to repeat its string of 25 straight victories at the start of the season, but the Patriots just might come close. They return Division I signees Abby Hix and Becca Jonas along with sharp-shooting guard Kayla Harrell, giving them as much talent as any other team in the Kansas City area. What truly makes the Patriots tough is their attention to detail on defense. Park Hill South represents the biggest threat to Truman's hopes of repeating as conference champion. Panthers senior guard Samantha Roy is a scoring threat and a defensive stopper. Lee's Summit West expects to improve on its nine-win season under first-year coach Jeff Hardin. The Titans welcome transfers Di'Jionae Calloway and Austin Richardson.

Suburban White

1. North Kansas City

2. Staley

3. Raytown

4. William Chrisman

5. Fort Osage

6. Oak Park

7. Belton

Outlook:

North Kansas City is coming off one of its best seasons. The Hornets won 24 games and finished undefeated in the conference, and there's reason to believe they can replicate such success. All-state forward Aries Washington, a UMKC commit, leads a team that also includes Selena Salas, Maggie Brooks and Kianna Lane. If any team is to put a dent in the Hornets' hopes of repeating, look for Staley to step forward. The Falcons must replace Marissa Preston, but they return four starters, including Monique Townson, who scored 20.1 points per game. Both William Chrisman and Raytown are faced with the difficult task of replacing a talented leading scorer. Nieka Wheeler scored 18.3 points per game for Chrisman, and Kelsey Barrett averaged 16.5 points for Raytown.

Suburban Blue

1. Kearney

2. Liberty North

3. Platte County

4. Grandview

5. Raytown South

6. Winnetonka

Outlook: Kearney won every conference game by at least 19 points, and the Bulldogs seem to be in position to roll through league play again. Junior post player Taylor Doan is back after averaging 10.6 points and 8 rebounds per game. Shooting guard Meagan Paul has the ability to stretch out defenses. Jessi Hartzler, Allie Hess, Chandler Gallagher and Laura Barrow fill out a tall but athletic team that plays fundamentally-sound defense. Liberty North was swept by Kearney in three tries last season, but it enjoyed the most successful season in school history. Platte County, led by post player Rachel Holden, hopes to improve on a six-win campaign. Grandview, Raytown South and Winnetonka look to move above the .500 mark.

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