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MATT MASIN STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Troy senior Kianna Smith is perhaps the most complete player in the county, and she is among the top senior rercuits in the nation, according to ESPN.com.

Girls basketball preview 2016-17: Top 5 players to watch

STAFF WRITER

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.

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GIRLS BASKETBALL PREVIEW

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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.

Contact the writer: keconnolly@scng.com


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