Hoops hopes: The storylines surrounding local high school girls basketball teams ahead of the season – Daily Citizen

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Mostly cloudy. Low 46F. Winds W at 5 to 10 mph..
Mostly cloudy. Low 46F. Winds W at 5 to 10 mph.
Updated: November 27, 2022 @ 5:18 pm
Murray County High School’s Ella Dotson drives against Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe in the Region 6-3A championship game last season.
Dalton High School’s Gracie Ridley puts up a shot against Rome.

Murray County High School’s Ella Dotson drives against Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe in the Region 6-3A championship game last season.
Dalton High School’s Gracie Ridley puts up a shot against Rome.
Phillips takes over at Christian Heritage
After Christian Heritage School’s high school girls basketball team went winless a season ago, there’s a new head coach in charge of the Lady Lions.
Greg Phillips takes over for Frank Pinson, who spent two seasons coaching Christian Heritage. Phillips comes from Mount Paran Christian in Kennesaw, where he was the head coach of the boys program.
The Lady Lions are just two seasons removed from an appearance in the state’s Sweet 16, but the departure of several seniors left an inexperienced group for the Lady Lions last season. Those inexperienced players got experience last season, and several are back to lead Christian Heritage in sub-region A of Region 7-A Division II.
Reed back to lead Coahulla Creek
After breaking out as a starring scorer for Coahulla Creek last season, senior guard Brinkley Reed is back to lead the Lady Colts into 2022-23.
Reed averaged 21.3 points, eight rebounds and four assists per game on her way to becoming a Region 6-3A first-teamer. Reed, who recently committed to play in college at Truett McConnell University, has already scored 1,000 points.
Reed is helped out on the Lady Colts by Shea Poe, a Region 6-3A honorable mention selection a season ago as a sophomore.
Player of the Year Ridley returns for junior season at Dalton
Dalton’s Gracie Ridley was named the player of the year in Region 5-6A and for the Dalton Daily Citizen’s All-Area team after last season, and the versatile forward is back to lead Dalton again.
Ridley controlled games with her averages of 16.8 points and 13.7 rebounds last season, helping lead Dalton back to the playoffs.
The Lady Cats lose a few seniors from last year’s team, including region honorable mention selections Taylor Thompson and Katelyn Skiffen, but a young group around Ridley should keep getting better as Dalton makes the transition to Class 5A this season.
Dalton Academy looks to keep building in second year of program
The Dalton Academy Lady Pumas didn’t have many players who had even played organized basketball before the school started a program last season in the school’s first year of existence.
Dalton Academy finished the season without a win, but a lot of those players head into 2022-23 with a lot more experience.
Head coach Debra Pourquoi will lead the Lady Pumas as they step into Class A Division I.
Murray County hopes to keep the winning going after breakthrough season
Possibilities — and expectations — are sky high for the Murray County Lady Indians for 2022-23.
Under first-year head coach Chris Tipton, the Lady Indians had a breakthrough season last season, going from a 9-10 record to 21-7 and an appearance in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1997.
Tipton is back, and so are the two dynamic players who led the Murray renaissance, preseason all-state seniors Ella Dotson and Mattie Nuckolls. Dotson, a guard, and Nuckolls, a forward who is set to play in college at Carson-Newman University, lead the Lady Indians into Class 2A.
North Murray looks to get back to playoff contention
A few seasons ago, North Murray had the upper hand on crosstown rival Murray County, with the Lady Mountaineers making playoff runs as the Lady Indians struggled for wins.
The script was flipped last season as North Murray finished with six wins while watching Murray County surge into the playoffs.
North Murray joins Murray County in moving down to Class 2A this season, and the Lady ‘Neers hope to build on last season’s young roster, led by returning Dalton Daily Citizen All-Area third-teamer Ava Robinette, to keep improving.
New-look Northwest tries to keep up winning ways
A veteran Northwest Whitfield squad made a run to the Elite 8 last season, but the Lady Bruins’ roster got a makeover in the offseason.
Last year’s Region 7-4A player of the year Emma Allen is gone, along with standouts Whitley Chumley, Autumn Wiley and Emma Hayes, because of graduation.
A pair of sophomores may take over some of the production from those seniors, along with current senior guard Callie White. Kennedy Baker and Sloan Pender, who shined in the Lady Bruins’ run to the region title and Elite 8 last season as freshmen, return.
Southeast aims for improvement
Southeast Whitfield earned a win over Ridgeland late last season that kept the Lady Raiders from finishing the season without a win.
Southeast hopes to get more wins earlier this season.
The Lady Raiders lost last season’s leading scorer, Avery Woodson, to graduation.

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