There are many unknowns going into this year of Southwest Wake Athletic Conference girls basketball.
How will Cary cope without Azura Stevens?
Can Apex, Holly Springs and Green Hope keep an upward trajectory with new coaches?
One thing is certain – Athens Drive’s Grace Hunter is still going to be tough to stop.
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The senior and two-time all-conference performer poured in 27.5 points per game last season. Heading to Charlotte next year on scholarship, Hunter also averaged 8.5 rebounds for the Jaguars (15-9).
She will be joined by seniors Brinae Thornton (7.2 ppg), Gabby Respess (5.2 ppg) and Daniel Randolph (3.2 ppg).
Cary (21-4) can’t replace Stevens’ absurd numbers (29.6 ppg, 18.2 rpg) with one person, but the Imps could be a well-rounded team nonetheless. Meredith Courtney (6.4 ppg), Charlescia Walton (4.5 ppg), Brooke Anthony (3.8 ppg) and Ashanti Kindred bring a wealth of experience.
Isaac Bristol takes over Apex (21-4) with six players who saw significant playing time last year.
Senior Mia Castagnero (8.2 ppg, 8 rpg, 2.1 steals) leads the way along with post-presence Tiffany Finley (11.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg). Guard Cierra Brown has signed with Lynchburg College and returns along with Meredith Chapman, Elle Hepburn and Jess Wight, who each came of the bench last year.
Holly Springs (15-8) will invite Peace Shepard Easton as its new head coach this year.
She will have all-conference guard Brianna Tate (13.5 ppg, 3.6 steals, 3.9 assists) as well as returners like Vielka Barber (9.3 pg), Ryian Billingsley, Kelsey Holloway (6.4 ppg) and Kayla Arthur (3.2 ppg).
There’s also a new coach at Green Hope (11-13), where John D’Agostin takes over and three of its top five scorers return: Brandi Mosser (9.4 ppg), Allie Winiecki (8.4 ppg) and Kelly Fitzgerald (7.6 ppg).
Panther Creek (12-13) will try to build on last year’s successes before it lost nine of its last 11. Junior Caila Spruill (6.1 ppg) was an all-conference guard, and she’ll join Shotomei Greaux (6.5 ppg) and Kate Ulveling (3.5 ppg) among others.
Fuquay-Varina (6-17) will have many new faces to join seniors Amber Roberson (6.6) and Lakeia Jones.
Middle Creek (4-20) returns double-double threat Holly Hite (11.8 ppg, 8.8 rpg) along with Ayan Ali (5 ppg) and Kylie McElroy (4.8 ppg).