Seven area basketball teams in preseason rankings
Seven area teams were ranked in the South Carolina Basketball Coaches Association’s preseason rankings, which were released on Tuesday.
In the girls’ rankings, North Augusta, Strom Thurmond, Barnwell and Ridge Spring-Monetta were among the top 10 in their respective classifications.
North Augusta, the two-time defending Class 4A state champion, enters the season as the No. 1 team in the Class 4A rankings. The Yellow Jackets lost Amari Young and Sarah Crews, but return a core group of contributors from the previous two championship teams.
Strom Thurmond (Class 3A), Barnwell (Class 2A) and Ridge Spring-Monetta (Class A) were each ranked No. 10 in their respective classifications. The Rebels also have Jonelle Brown back, who was named one of the Top 5 Seniors by the SCBCA.
Strom Thurmond finished last season with a 14-11 record and advanced to the second round of the playoffs.
Barnwell only lost three games last season and also advanced to the second round of the playoffs after finishing in a tie for first place in Region 5-AA. The Warhorses lost the tiebreaker game, however, and entered the playoffs as a No. 2 seed. The Warhorses return three of their top four scorers from last season.
Ridge Spring-Monetta enters the season without its leading scorer from last season, Crystal Preston.
Silver Bluff, Ridge Spring-Monetta, Williston-Elko made the top 10 in the boys’ rankings.
Silver Bluff is ranked No. 6 in the Class 2A poll. The Bulldogs went 17-7 last season and return leaders like JadaKiss Wright, Latavian Lawrence and John Green. Silver Bluff lost to eventual Lower State finalist Marion in the second round of the playoffs.
Led by Jerry Tyler, who was named one of the top 5 Class A seniors, defending Class A Upper State champion Ridge Spring-Monetta was ranked fourth in the preseason rankings.
Williston-Elko was two spots behind at No. 6. The Blue Devils also boast one of the Top 5 seniors in Class A — Desmond Murray.
Strom Thurmond’s Jamarious Jones was named one of the Top 5 Seniors in Class AAA.
SCBCA Girls’ Preseason Rankings and Honors
Elite Girls: Unique Drake, Westwood; Nyah Leveretter, Westwood; Anne Hamilton Leroy, Seneca; Taylor Lewis, Spring Valley; Loyal McQueen, Wilson; Danae McNeal, Swansea; Quadijah Moore, Emerald; Shayla Nelson, Goose Creek; Janelle Sindab, Mullins
1. Spring Valley
2. Goose Creek
4. Wade Hampton
6. Fort Dorchester
8. TL Hanna
Top 5 Seniors: Olivia Thompson, Lexington; Xan Rowland, Woodmont; Jasmine Stanley, Goose Creek; Ashley Williamson, Spring Valley; Kiara Cain, Sumter
1. North Augusta
4. South Pointe
5. Myrtle Beach
6. Lower Richland
8. Orangeburg Wilkinson
Top 5 Seniors: McKinley Brooks-Sumpter, A.C. Flora; Brandi Rivers, Orangeburg-Wilkinson; Asia Smith, Myrtle Beach; Maliyah Lockett, Westwood; Sierra McCullough, South Pointe
5. Bishop England
9. Battery Creek
10. Strom Thurmond
Top 5 Seniors: Zacharia Epps, Newberry; Katie Brooks, Bishop England; Jonelle Brown, Strom Thurmond; Mikala McDaniel, Powdersville; Treasure Lone, West Oak
2. Christ Church
8. Lee Central
9. Andrew Jackson
Top 5 Seniors: Jayla Evans, Timberland; Shadea Kelly, Burke; Lindsey Hardin, Landrum; Amber Bass, Lewisville; Kali Tomlin, North Central
1. Scott’s Branch
4. High Point Academy
5. Lake View
8. Green Sea Floyds
10. Ridge Spring-Monetta
Top 5 Seniors: Jalinda Johnson, Green Sea Floyds; LaQuan Coe, Lamar; Marlayna Singleton, Blackville-Hilda; T’Laysha Creswell, McCormick
SCBCA Boys’ Preseason Rankings and Honors
Elite Boys: Tommy Bruner, Gray Collegiate; Calvin Felder, Sumter; Trae Hannibal, Hartsville; PJ Hall, Dorman; Tre Jackson, Blythewood; Dillon Jones, Keenan; Russell Jones, Westwood; Myles Tate, Dorman; Malcolm Wilson, Ridge View
2. Nation Ford
8. Rock Hill
9. River Bluff
Top 5 Seniors: Ta’Lon Cooper, Dorman; Zeb Graham, Nation Ford; Ishan White, Berkeley; Tray Carson, Westside; Sean Jenkins, Spartanburg
1. Ridge View
5. Travelers Rest
8. AC Flora
Top 5 Seniors: Derrick Sinkler, AC Flora; Allen Williamson, Wilson; Norman Nowell, Richland Northeast; Juwan Perdue, Lakewood; Walyn Napper, Ridge View
5. Wade Hampton
8. Bishop England
9. Union County
Top 5 Seniors: RJ Campbell, Southside; Rashamel Butler, Ridgeland-Hardeeville; Jamarious Jones, Strom Thurmond; Darius Williams, Manning; Dez Tate, Chesnee
1. Gray Collegiate
2. Carvers Bay
3. Christ Church
4. Greenville Tech
5. Lee Central
6. Silver Bluff
7. Oceanside Collegiate
9. North Charleston
10. Calhoun County
Top 5 Seniors: Trey Smith, Landrum; Matthew Kormylo, Southside Christian; Shane McCravy, Oceanside Collegiate; Stephen Greene, Carvers Bay; Markell Portee, North Central
2. Great Falls
3. High Point Academy
4. Ridge Spring-Monetta
8. Creek Bridge
9. Low Country Leadership
Top 5 Seniors: Darius Taylor, Hemingway; Marlow Gilmore, Hunter-Kinard-Tyler; Jerry Tyler, Ridge Spring-Monetta; Desmond Murray, Williston-Elko; Rasheim Lyde, Timmonsville