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Calvert

Head coach: Tim Contee (first season)

Last year: 26-1, 11-1 (SMAC champion, Class 2A South Region champion, Class 2A state champion)

Athletes to watch: G Alexis Smith (Sr., All-SMAC MOP, All-County AOY), C Daijah Thomas (Jr., All-County), G Jasmine Weems (Sr., All-County), G Endia Butler (Jr.), G Kayla Gross (Jr.)

Key personnel losses: HC Frank Moore (All-SMAC COY, All-County COY), G Rachel Loube (All-SMAC, All-County), G Tiara Lester (All-SMAC, All-County), G Kelly Collins (All-County)

Strengths: The Cavaliers have a power packed punch with Smith and Weems returning. Contee, who takes over after Moore stepped down after more than two decades with the Calvert girls to go coach Northern’s boys basketball team, said that they are both taking an active leadership role.

The team’s chemistry is intact and Contee is impressed with his team’s quickness. They won both of their scrimmages and are ready for the upcoming season.

Weaknesses: Contee said that rebounding is an area that the team is working on as well as learning a totally new offense with the new coaching philosophy.

Coach’s comments: “We are taking one game at a time and we’re not worried about last year. It’s a fresh start.”

Key games: Jan. 11 vs. Huntingtown, Jan. 23 at Westlake, Jan. 30 at North Point

TAMMY SHOWALTER

Calverton

Head coach: Savannah Webb (fifth season)

Last year: 8-10, 4-6 (fifth in MISAL)

Athletes to watch: G Angie Horan (Jr.), G Cheyenne Manning (Jr.), F Shannon Moore (Sr.)

Key personnel loss: F Hope Perry

Strengths: According to Webb, the Cougars have plenty of speed and defense and the latter has proved true so far as Calverton has held its first three opponents to a combined 13.6 points a game, including just four in a season-opening win over National Collegiate Prep of Washington County.

Weaknesses: Calverton’s Achilles’ heel last season was its inability to perfect the fundamentals, particularly free throws and layups. Webb, whose team is off to a 1-2 start this year, is hoping that will change this season.

Coach’s comments: “I expect to have a good season this year and to end with a winning record as long as we can keep the injuries down. Last year we were hurt by injuries and lost a few games we would have otherwise won. [I’m] just looking forward to what this season will bring.”

Key games: Dec. 10 at King’s Christian, Jan. 8 at Takoma, Jan. 22 vs. Grace Christian

MICHAEL REID

Huntingtown

Head coach: Felicia Hall (sixth season)

Last year: 10-11, 6-6 (seventh in SMAC)

Athletes to watch: G Amanda Johnson (Sr.). G Karlie Quinn (Sr.), G/F Liana Aguirre (Sr.), G Erica Shields (Jr.)

Key personnel losses: F Shelby Taylor (All-SMAC, All-County), G Taylor Morton (All-County), G Natalie Payne (So.)

Strengths: Hall said that the work ethic of the team is one of the best she has coached in some time. She said all of the girls are working very hard to improve on their fundamental skills.

Weaknesses: Sophomore guard Natalie Payne will not be returning this season. She’s out after knee surgery. Individual development of each player is going to take some time as will the leadership aspect of this Hurricanes team.

Hall said leadership is lacking as well as years of experience. The coaching staff is working to develop the confidence in each player both offensively and defensively.

Coach’s comments: “All of the games will be key for us this season to establish a rhythm and will be key to the development of this program to be as competitive as years past. This is a rebuilding year for us. We have a lot of new faces. We have to get everyone familiar with each other in regards to their playing styles.”

Key games: Dec. 5 vs. Thomas Stone (NC), Dec. 14 at Northern (NC)

TAMMY SHOWALTER

Northern

Head coach: Brad Kingsbury (fourth season)

Last year: 12-10, 7-5 (sixth in SMAC)

Athletes to watch: C Mauri Miller (Sr.), G Naaila Cooke (Sr.), G Megan Delamar (Sr.), G Kiara Holland (Sr.), F Qyntia Parks (Sr.), F Mykaela Bailey (Fr.), G Natalie LaPlaca (Fr.)

Key personnel losses: F Catriece Brown (All-County), F Nicole Farrall, F Becca Johnson (All-County), F Alex Manning (All-SMAC, All-County), G Teara Smith

Strengths: Miller, a four-year starter, and Cooke’s leadership and the willingness of the underclassmen to work hard and gain experience are positives for the Patriots. A recent scrimmage against DuVal of Prince George’s County shed some light on what the team needs to work on and where they are at the present time.

Weaknesses: Kingsbury said that his team is young this season, but the hope is to mature as a team during the course of the season. Northern will be starting two freshmen from time to time.

Coach’s comments: “Our goal is to be competitive in every game. As the season progresses, we hope to gain experience and confidence , compete with most teams so that we can be prepared for the playoffs.”

Key games: Dec. 14 vs. Calvert (NC), Dec. 19 vs. Huntingtown (NC)

TAMMY SHOWALTER

Patuxent

Head coach: Stan Hampton (third season)

Last year: 7-16, 5-7 (eighth in SMAC)

Athletes to watch: G Kristen Miller (Sr.), G Kaiyla Gross (Jr., All-County), F Sharde Jackson (Sr.), G Ruth Cooper (Sr.)

Key personnel losses: F Breanna Thomas, G Amy Samilton, F Katie Dunigan

Strengths: Hampton said his team is “wet clay,” with a lot of young players with good attitudes and work ethic. He’s able to mold them into a strong team.

Weaknesses: Hampton said the team lacks experience.

Coach’s comments: “[The year will be] a learning experience, a chance to gain experience for the younger players and for our older players to cement their place in this growing program.”

Key games: Dec. 5 at Northern (NC), Dec. 19 vs. Leonardtown (NC)

TAMMY SHOWALTER