North Greene and Cloudland were the class of the Watauga Valley girls basketball conference last season and the Lady Huskies ended up getting the last laugh.
Only losing Kenzie Birchfield to graduation, the Lady Highlanders will certainly be in contention again this season.
The Lady Highlanders have four returning starters in Jasmine Birchfield, Heaven Caraway, Gracie Freeman and Mandy Benfield.
Cloudland lost at the buzzer against Oneida in the sectional last season.
Coach Matt Birchfield says that it has been tough already this season with three Hall of Champions games canceled. Cloudland is scheduled to open play against perennial power South Greene next week in the Sullivan East Thanksgiving tournament.
Led by five seniors and one of last season’s leading scorers in Hazen Brumitt, the Lady Bulldogs will look to improve. The squad has one more year of experience and Bud Hazelwood is hoping to build on the Lady Bulldogs’ strong tradition.
Hampton’s other seniors include Rylie McClain, Skylar Hicks, Destini Milhorn and Nicole Guy.
Led by returning seniors Hailey Bernard, Breezy Savage and with the entire starting five back, the Lady Huskies will look to be near the top of the league again.
James Buchanan’s Baileyton squad won the District and Region 1 tournament last season over Cloudland and made it to the state tournament.
North Greene was ousted by Greenfield in the first round.
The Lady Raiders will already be sitting behind the eight-ball when the season begins thanks to some COVID-19 issues.
Coach Chris Salley remarked that North has already lost five games on the schedule due to restrictions in Virginia, but the team is in good spirits and continues to work hard.
The Lady Raiders will rely heavily upon senior wing player Maddy Winters and junior guard Lilly Crawford, two of last season’s leading scorers.
North will be youthful this season as Winters is the only senior and the rest of the roster is filled out by four sophomores, two freshmen and two juniors.
The Lady Rangers return a strong core behind Sadie Shoun, Natalie Stout and Lyndie Ramsey.
The depth for Kenneth Chambers’ squad will be a big factor this season as seven players with significant experience return to Stoney Creek.
If either Cloudland or North Greene falter, expect the Lady Rangers to be in contention near the end.
First-year head coach Jasmine Jefferson has a load of upperclassmen on her roster, highlighted by senior Ryleigh Owen and junior Delaney Trosin. Trosin will run the point for the Lady Bucs this season while Owen has the key role of shooting guard.
Meredith Rice, Jefferson says, could surprise some people, taking on an increased role from a year ago.