MISSOURI GIRLS BASKETBALL: Five teams to watch
The Bears were one of the top surprises in the Kansas City area last season, when they won 23 games and completed their Suburban White Conference schedule without a loss. Seven seniors are gone from that team, but William Chrisman still welcomes back juniors Bri Burns and Adreon Bell, two key members from their rotation.
The Tigers return the most experienced team in the Suburban Gold Conference, with four players who scored at least seven points per game last year. Senior Mo Mosier is a four-year starter, and sophomore Claire Lock scored 12 points per game as a freshman.
After a slow start last season, the Bulldogs still managed to coast through their conference schedule without a loss. A year later, they are a more veteran team capable of translating that into a postseason run, with guard Paige Weakley headlining the senior class.
The Missouri Class 5 state runners-up from last season have nearly the full complement of their roster back for another try. All-state player Morgan Fleming, point guard Sydney Offield and forward McKenzie Hull are among the 11 returning players who suited up for the state title game last year.
The Warriors are a regular force in Missouri Class 4, and this year should be no exception. Senior Carly Adams is a reliable post presence, and junior guard Trace Mosby leads the backcourt.
MISSOURI GIRLS BASKETALL: Five players to watch
Kierra Collier, Truman, junior
The explosiveness stands out most about Collier’s game. A left-handed point guard, Collier has a quick first step, and she can get to the rim with regularity. Collier averaged 15.8 points, 4.4 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game last season. She has committed to Washington.
Morgan Fleming, Liberty, senior
The points come in bunches for Fleming, who led the Blue Jays to a second-place finish in Missouri Class 5 last season. She already has more than 1,000 career points, an achievement aided by her ability to score from anywhere on the floor.
Abby Hipp, St. Pius X, junior
Hipp is a tenacious rebounder who routinely churns out double-double performances. She averaged 14.3 points and 9.3 rebounds per game as a sophomore, and she is poised to take on a bigger role within the St. Pius X offense.
Courtnie Lewis, Belton, junior
The Division I offers began to pour in for Lewis, a low-post player, this offseason after she averaged 20.3 points per game last year. That included a 41-point performance.
Tatiana McCree, Grandview, senior
McCree does the bulk of her damage from the perimeter. She made 64 three-pointers last season, on her way to averaging 16.8 points per game for a resurgent Grandview program. She has signed with Northeastern (Okla.) State.