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Girls basketball preview 2016-17: Top 5 players to watch
OCVarsity’s list of the top five players to watch this season:
Jayda Adams, Mater Dei: The Duke-bound combo guard is one of the most intense competitors in the county. Adams, a senior, is the only returning player for the Monarchs to average double figures a season ago. She will try to lead Mater Dei to a 10th straight Trinity League title.
Cailyn Crocker, Los Alamitos: Her debut campaign garnered her first-team All-Sunset League honors, and she enters her sophomore season regarded as one of the top two-way players in the area. USC, UCLA, Cal and Arizona State are among the Division 1 programs already lining up for her services.
GIRLS BASKETBALL PREVIEW
- Preview: Santa Margarita looks for a fantastic finish
- Preview: Preseason O.C. top 10
- Preview: Top 5 players to watch
- Preview: Other top players to watch
- Preview: Important dates
Cierra Hall, Fairmont Prep: The UC Davis-bound senior forward plays with a relentless motor and runs the floor as well as any post player in Orange County. Hall averaged 18 points and 11 rebounds as a junior. She is one of the major reasons Fairmont Prep will push for a CIF title and the top-spot in Orange County this season.
Kianna Smith, Troy: Ranked by ESPN as the No. 21 senior recruit in the nation, she is as smooth and complete a player as they come. Combining a quick first step with an elite handle, Smith can get to the basket on command or can frustrate opponents with a feathery touch that stretches out to the 3-point line. If her step-back jumper is falling, Smith is almost unguardable.
Tyiona Watkins, Brea Olinda: The junior is arguably the most athletic player in Orange County. The Ladycats wing can defend all five positions on the court and is almost automatic from mid-range. As Brea’s new go-to scoring option, Watkins should easily build off a sophomore campaign where she averaged better than 16 points per night.
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