As we reach the midway point of the 2022-23 school ball season, Hypesouth examines all things girls basketball in the mid-state area. Here are a few of the top storylines from the first half of the year.
Analysis & GHSA State Rankings
(Through December 13, 2022)
5A No.2 Warner Robins (8-0)
Sr. Jada Morgan, 5’5 Guard: 17.3ppg, 9.8rpg, 2.4spg
Jr. Nevaeh Mack, 5’5 Guard: 12.1ppg, 3rpg, 3apg
Sr. Tasia Agee, 5’6 Guard: 9.9ppg, 4rpg, 2.3spg
This perimeter trio returns from last year’s Final Four squad and have picked up where they left off. South Carolina State signee Jada Morgan is the clear leader while backcourt mates Nevaeh Mack and Tasia Agee remain key pieces to the Demonettes puzzle. We think it’s safe to expect another deep run from Warner Robins this season.
5A No.7 Jones County (5-3)
Sr. Mya Epps, 5’4 Guard: 12.3ppg, 2.3spg
Jr. Amaris Ridgeway, 5’7 Guard: 10.2ppg, 5.3rpg, 2.4spg
Sr. Shania Bryant, 6’0 Post: 7.8ppg, 4.5rpg
The Lady Greyhounds currently sit at 5-3, but could easily be 8-0. This scrappy bunch dropped three early contests to Top-10 teams that could have went either way (2A No.2 Central-Macon 44-41, 5A No.5 Union Grove 36-31, 5A No.2 Warner Robins 44-43.) Mya Epps, Amaris Ridgeway, Shania Bryant, and company will be a force to be reckoned with in class 5A moving forward.
4A No.6 Baldwin (3-5)
So. Janaye Walker, 6’3 Post: 12.6ppg, 12.7rpg, 2.3bpg
Jr. Madison Ruff, 5’7 Guard: 11.4ppg, 5.9rpg, 3.6spg
So. Kassidy Neal, 6’0 Forward: 8.9ppg, 7.3rpg, 1.3apg
It’s clear the sixth ranked class 4A Bravettes are much better than their record indicates. Having a brutal early non-region schedule has resulted with some blemishes in the loss column, but don’t count Baldwin out as this is a common battle testing strategy practiced by teams with championship aspirations (5A No.2 Warner Robins 51-47, 6A No.5 Langston Hughes 50-43, 2A No.2 Central-Macon 39-38, 7A No.1 Archer 70-54.) The talent is evident, so don’t be surprised to see this squad get back on track once region play gets in full swing.
3A No.9 Mary Persons (7-0)
So. Anaja Lucear, 5’10 Wing: 11ppg, 5.6rpg, 3.2spg, 2.6apg
Sr. Miah Barkley, 5’6 Guard: 8.5ppg, 6.2rpg, 4.3spg, 2.5apg
Jr. Samiya Morris, 5’3 Guard: 7.8ppg, 3.2rpg, 3.2spg, 1.4apg
This Mary Persons group continues to trend in the right direction after making the state playoffs last season for the first time collectively. Starting the season off 7-0 and earning a Top-10 state ranking has increased expectations. The jury is still out, but the Lady Bulldogs look to be up for the challenge.
2A No.2 Central-Macon (8-1)
Jr. Taliah Grier, 5’5 Guard: 12.3ppg, 2.4rpg, 1.9spg, 2.4apg
Jr. Alaya Grane, 5’5 Guard: 11.3ppg, 2.4rpg, 2.1spg, 2.1apg
Jr. Tayelor Davis, 5’9 Forward: 7.7ppg, 9.7rpg, 1.1spg
So. Jazlyn Johnson, 6’0 Wing: 7.3ppg, 1.1rpg
Central-Macon’s ascension continues to be front and center. The Lady Chargers won 20-plus games a season ago and made an Elite Eight appearance. The chemistry, development, and discipline demonstrated by this squad to this point has put the state on notice. Taliah Grier, the reigning Middle Georgia Player of the Year is off to a hot start, Alaya Grane has provided spark in big games, and Tayelor Davis is starting to come into her own. It’s still early but Central is legit and has a real chance in class 2A.
2A No.8 Dodge County (5-0)
Sr. Altierria Gooch, 5’11 Forward: 14ppg, 7.8rpg
So. Lyric Green, 6’0 Forward: 11.8ppg, 8.8rpg
Altierria Gooch and Lyric Green are Dodge County’s bread and butter. The frontcourt duo does the bulk of the work on both ends of the floor and when they’re clicking the Lady Indians are a dangerous squad.
2A No.9 Northeast-Macon (2-3)
Sr. Laniya Richardson, 5’4 Guard: 22.3ppg, 3.8rpg, 4.5spg, 2.8apg
Sr. Shadae Thorpe, 5’6 Guard: 7.8ppg, 6.8rpg, 3.8spg, 3apg
Sr. Jalayzha Williams, 5’10 Post: 5.2ppg, 6.8rpg, 1.8spg
Northeast-Macon lost a little punch with the departure of do-it-all wing Jakia Little, but Laniya Richardson has picked up the slack. The Raiderettes swarm defensively in their full court press and remain a formidable contender in class 2A.
1A DI No.7 Lamar County (8-0)
Jr. Shakiria Foster, 5’7 Guard: 27ppg, 5rpg, 3apg, 7spg
Lamar County has relied heavily on Shakiria Foster and she has answered the call. The junior guard has put the Lady Trojans on her back and in the thick of the class 1A DI state title race. However, as the season progresses and stakes get higher others will need to step up and assist Foster in trying to get over the hump.
Fr. Gabby Minus, 6’1 Wing: 11.7ppg, 6.5rpg, 3spg, 1bpg
Jr. Des’Teyn Seaton, 5’11 Guard: 9.6ppg, 7rpg, 2.6spg, 2apg
Fr. Nariah Nelson, 5’8 Forward: 9ppg, 5.2rpg, 1.7spg, 1.8apg
Unranked Veterans is severely underrated statewide, but those in the mid-state area know this team is elite. A Top-10 ranking will happen sooner than later, but in the meantime we’ll just examine them accordingly. The Lady Warhawks have arguably the most talented roster top to bottom of any team in Middle Georgia. Freshmen Gabby Minus and Nariah Nelson both hold Division-I offers, and junior Des’Teyn Seaton is starting to pick up steam on the trail as well. With solid wins over Statesboro, Laney, and 2A No.9 Northeast-Macon Veterans is certainly headed in the right direction. Stash this squad in your notepads for future reference.