The Providence Day girls have won 104 consecutive CISAA games since 2004 and have won 12 of the past 13 state titles. They’re queens of the castle until someone knocks them off. Charlotte Latin is ready to step up this year and should finish second in the league with Claudia Dickey, Ruthie Jones and Katherine Vandiver leading the way. Country Day has talented sophomore Kennedy Grier and will make a push to move up a spot or two this year after finishing fourth a season ago. Covenant Day is sort of a question mark, but the Lions were second last year, although they may take a step or two back. Charlotte Christian will be better than the five wins they recorded last year, but they aren’t ready to challenge for a top spot. Cannon won just one game a season ago and will struggle again.
Coach: Bill Smith, first season (45-80)
2016-17 Record: 5-19, 2-8 in CISAA
Returning Starters: 2
The Knights don’t have a ton of depth and lost three of their top four scorers from last season. They have some nice pieces coming back for first-year coach Bill Smith, who last coached at Providence.
The Knights begin with sophomore point guard Lindsay Noonan and junior center Kaitlin Walker.
Noonan was the team’s third-leading scorer as a freshman (4.7 points) and has a nice floor game with averages of 2.3 rebounds. 1.4 steals and 1.3 assists per game.
Walker averaged 6.2 rebounds and 3.5 points per game and gives Christian a nice inside presence.
Senior guards Alex Brown (2.4 points, 1.6 rebonds) and Meg Martin (1.6 points, 1.6 rebounds) will join sophomore guard Emma Coles (one point, 1.6 rebounds) in the backcourt rotation. Sophomore guard Landyn Warr was a reserve as a freshman, but is looking to get into that mix, as well.
Senior power forward Caroline Thompson didn’t play last year, but gives the Knights some frontcourt size and could have a nice year.
Coach: Andre Haston, eighth season (56-115)
2016-17 Record: 11-12, 5-5 in CISAA
Returning Starters: 4
The Bucs haven’t had a winning season since the 2010-11 season, but last year made great strides toward that and should be even better this year with four starters back.
The optimism begins with all-CISAA sophomore Kennedy Grier, who had a monster freshman season, averaging 12.2 points and over three steals and two assists per game.
The Bucs will run their offense through her, but have plenty of other good scoring options.
Katie Batten, a 5-11 junior, scored five points and averaged 7.5 rebounds per game on the interior.
Returning starters at guard also include seniors Charlotte Pedlow (three points, two assists per game) and Molly McLawhorn (3.2 points, three rebounds per game).
Senior forward Caroline Kosmicki averaged a pair of rebounds per game and gives the Bucs another post presence while guards Toni-Ann Ocloo and Grace Bolin provide depth and experience in the backcourt.
Lindsey Batten, a 5-11 freshman post, and 5-5 freshman guard Sophie Rucker are newcomers, but should find ample playing time from the onset.
Coach: Zach Turner, sixth season (68-66)
2016-17 Record: 15-11, 7-3 CISAA
Returning Starters: 2
The Lions are retooling after losing seven seniors and three starters including double-double machine Sarah Billiard who scored over 1,800 points and grabbed nearly 1,600 rebounds in her career.
They only have four players back off last year’s squad, so they will be young and unproven.
Junior shooting guard Madeline Crumpler is the team’s leading returning scorer at 7.5 points per game. She made 62 3-pointers a season ago, but shot just 28 percent behind the arc.
Senior point guard Alexis Klohr is also back and should increase on her nearly four points and four steals per game from last year.
Five-foot-11 senior Taylor Webber will be asked to provide the Lions’ post presence. Last year, she averaged 5.2 points, 4.7 rebounds and over a block per game, so she’s capable of holding her own.
Senior Kate Barclay is the other returner, back after averaging 2.5 points and 2.3 rebounds.
Katherine Ashley, a 5-8 wing, is moving up from the middle school team and is expected to make an impact, but the Lions will need to find a few other newcomers to round out their rotation.
Coach: Josh Springer, 11th season (264-39)
2016-17 Record: 25-4, 10-0 in CISAA
Returning Starters: 3
The Chargers have dominated CISAA play winning 105 consecutive conference games dating back to 2004 and have won eight straight NCISAA championships and 12 of the past 13.
They are replacing McDonalds All-American and North Carolina commit Janelle Bailey (23 points, 13 rebounds per game) with another Tar Heel recruit in point guard Kennedy Boyd.
Boyd, an all-state pick, returns after averaging 12 points, four assists and nearly three steals and assists per game. Expect an uptick in her scoring this year.
All-conference guard Andi Levitz forms an experienced backcourt with Boyd and returns with her nine points per game.
Sophomore MiLeia Owens averaged two points and two assists per game last season. She is back at one of the wings.
Kailey Smith got was a rotation player as a freshman last year and is back.
Newcomer Nina Clark is a 5-6 sophomore wing who should find a home in the rotation.
The Chargers will be a little undersized, but will lean on their backcourt to keep their dominance going.
Coach: Charisse Mapp, fifth season (55-49)
2016-17 Record: 12-14, 6-4 in CISAA
Returning Starters: 4
The Hawks return four starters and thee all-conference players as they look to bounce back from a losing season last year,
Senior Claudia Dickey, who was an all-state selection in basketball and a North Carolina soccer commit, is the catalyst of this team. Last year, she did everything well as she averaged 16 points, eight rebounds, six steals and five assists per contest.
Six-foot-one junior forward Kathryn Vandiver is another all-conference selection who returns with her 16 points and eight rebounds per game.
Ruthie Jones, another all-conference pick and a Duke soccer commit, averaged 11 points, three rebounds and a pair of steals and assists per game and at 6-feet will team with Vandiver to give the Hawks some size.
Grace Armstrong returns to the other guard spot and will be another key.
Freshmen forwards Elizabeth Rose and Forrest Williams will see immediate action with either cracking the starting lineup.