Welcome to the official start of the girls basketball regular season, with the first set of non-exhibition games kicking off soon.
Girls basketball is alive and well in the northern section of the Tucson Metro, with several playoff squads right in our backyard.
We have a plethora of top-notch talent in our midst, with Canyon del Oro, Ironwood Ridge, Marana and Pusch Ridge Christian Academy all making the playoffs last year. Mountain View and Catalina Foothills should be much improved this year as well, totaling six squads that could very well qualify for the state playoffs.
Without further ado, here are the girls basketball players that should lead the way this year:
5. Angel Addleman: Pusch Ridge Christian Academy senior guard
Addleman is a diamond in the rough type player for the Lions, coming off a junior season averaging 5.6 points per game in 26 games. Addleman will be a center-point of the Lions offense this year, with a deft shooting touch and ballhandling skillset that should allow her to thrive at the point guard position. Expect Addleman to double up on her points per game average, with the added playing time and experience she’s garnered with the Lions over her first three seasons.
4. Bella Hamel: Ironwood Ridge junior forward
Hamel is a two-way player, with the speed and ballhandling skills to take control at the point guard position, while possessing the type of height (5 feet 10 inches) to give opponents fits in the paint as well. Hamel is coming off a sophomore season where she finished second on the squad in points per game (11.6), with double-digit scoring performances in 15 of her 20 appearances for the Nighthawks. Expect the junior to be even better on both sides of the ball this year, as the squad looks to make the playoffs for the second consecutive year under coach Ken Leikem.
3. Emily Chua: Catalina Foothills senior guard
Chua was a one-woman stats machine for the Falcons a year ago, averaging 11 points per game, while slinging 3 assists and pulling down 2.9 rebounds per game for the squad. Chua should see her production increase this year, as the Falcons look to return to prominence after a disappointing 8-18 season last year. Chua, who measures in at 5 feet 7 inches tall, has the height and shooting prowess to be the perfect guard for the Falcons this year. She exhibited that scoring prowess multiple time last year, including her 27-point performance against’s Kofa High School, which was a career high for the guard.
2. Anabella Muscoreil: Marana junior center
Muscoreil is a beast in the paint, pulling down 6.6 rebounds per game while scoring 7.2 points per game as a sophomore. The 6 foot 3 inch center has a chance to build on her rebounding acumen this season, possibly averaging a double-double this season. Expect her to carry the Tigers toward playoff contention this season.
1. Tianna Carter: Canyon del Oro senior center
Carter is far and away the best player in north Tucson, coming off a junior campaign where she averaged a double-double (16.8 points and 10.8 rebounds per game). The 6 foot 1 inch center will be tasked with handling the point guard position a lot more this year, which should allow her to build on the 0.7 assists per game that she’s averaged over her first three seasons. Expect Carter to terrorize opposing teams this year, perhaps putting together a mind-boggling stat line that includes 20 points, 15 rebounds and 5 assists per game. Carter is the type of player coaches dream about, and the University of Nevada-Las Vegas is lucky to get such a polished athlete coming into her college years.