As with the boys squads, it’s now the unofficial start of the second-half of the girls basketball season at the high school level, with teams starting up after the long winter break.
It’s been an up-and-down year for the six schools that dot the northwestern fringe of the Tucson metro region. Several teams, including Pusch Ridge Christian Academy, Ironwood Ridge, Marana and Mountain View are in playoff contention in their respective divisions.
The Canyon del Oro Dorados are waking up after a rough start to the season, sitting at 6-11, having won their last two non-tournament games before the break.
The Catalina Foothills Falcons are having a tough year, sitting at 4-12 to-date, but have plenty of time to turn their early funk around.
Each squad has its share of talented players, with a few athletes standing out of the fray. Here are the players that shined the most in the first half of the season.
3. Anabella Muscoreil: Marana junior forward
Stats: 15.6 points per game, 8.1 rebounds per game
Muscoreil is one of the best interior players in the region, with a jumper that’s sweet and an elite rebounding ability that gives opposing teams plenty of trouble. The junior is 6 feet 3 inches, so she has the type of rare size to dominate her high school opponents. Her consistent offensive touch and defensive prowess has sparked the Tigers to a 11-7 record under first-year coach Tory Perez, giving the squad a bona fide shot at qualifying for the 5A playoffs once again this spring.
2. Angel Addleman: Pusch Ridge Christian Academy junior guard
Stats: 18.7 points per game, 6.9 rebounds per game, 3.5 assists per game, 3.8 steals per game
Addleman is a unique talent, with a pure shooting touch that compliments her exceptional rebounding ability that exceeds her 5 foot 5 inch frame. Her continued two-way excellence has sparked the Lions’ 11-5 start under coach Lonnie Tvrdy, putting the team in prime position to qualify and make a deep run in this year’s 3A state tournament. Expect Addleman to be a household name by this time next year, especially if she can replicate her first-half numbers going forward.
1. Tianna Carter: CDO senior forward
Stats: 24.6 points per game, 11.1 rebounds per game
Carter is the best player in Southern Arizona, and maybe the entire state as well. She’s an unreal athlete that’s going to thrive when she arrives at UNLV next year, giving Mountain West opponents fits for as long as she stays in the Sin City. The senior has upped her stats in each of her three varsity seasons, from 11.9 points per game two years ago, to 18.9 last year and 24.6 this year. She’s also improved her rebounding and defensive skills, averaging more than 11 rebounds per game in each of her last two seasons, while also averaging 2.5 steals per game for the Dorados. Carter said during the preseason that she really wanted to improve her accuracy from three-point land, and has done just that, hitting 40 percent of her attempts this season. That’s up from 31 percent a year ago, and 25 percent as a sophomore. Expect to her Carter’s name in the WNBA Draft in a few years, as she’s a bona fide star in the making.