MILTON, Ga. — While football continues to dominate fall sports, basketball season is right around the corner.
Milton High School kicked off the season with a media day for Fulton County basketball teams Oct. 11. Coaches and players from eight local teams were on hand to speak about their team and their outlook for the upcoming season.
Cambridge head coach Chip Flemmer returns for his eighth season leading the Bears, and he views the 2019 season as a “new chapter” in the program. The Bears focus has shifted from offense to defense this year, with returning seniors Benton Harkness and Sola Adebisi.
Alpharetta is under the direction of new head coach Clay Crump who says the Raiders will lean heavily on seniors Josh Spencer and Jayden Stephens, two players with significant varsity experience. The Raiders are looking to improve on their 14-11 mark last year.
Milton head coach Allen Whitehart is looking to take the next step with the Eagles in 2019. He expects big seasons from senior Evan Hurst and sophomore point guard Bruce Thornton, who is rated a four-star recruit and a top-50 player in the country for his class, according to 247Sports.
Roswell is coming off a trip to the elite eight a season ago, and head coach Ty Phillips is back for his 13th season with the Hornets. Phillips said Roswell is looking to build off last year’s playoff run with three players returning, Chase Webb, Jordan Pridgett and Michael Fitzgerald.
Northview returns an experienced group after graduating only two seniors from last year’s team. Although the team won only three games last year, Titans head coach Steven Bombard loves what he’s seen from the players this offseason in terms of buying in to the program.
Chattahoochee head coach Chris Short is focused on the Cougars’ culture in his third year as head coach. Chattahoochee’s backcourt includes senior Cameron Sheffield, a verbal commit to Rice University, and junior A.J. White.
Johns Creek returns a veteran team in Keenan Temple’s fourth year as head coach. The Gladiators have seven seniors on their roster, which should help their efforts to return to the postseason for the first time since the 2015 season.
Centennial head coach Matt Barksdale called his first year as Knights head coach a success despite finishing with a losing record. Barksdale said he is excited about the direction of the program, and he expects juniors Kyle Duncan and Logan Turner to lead the way for the Knights.
Johns Creek enters the 2019-20 season coming off back-to-back appearances in the state tournament for the first time in school history. The Gladiators compiled a 12-4 record Region 7-AAAAAA play and will be led by returning starters Ahmia Childs and Samantha Breslow.
Chattahoochee brought in new head coach Lorenzo Withrite to lead the Cougars girls basketball team in 2019-20, as they look to move on from a three-win season last year. Senior Kati Chatton and junior Leana Abebe have emerged as leaders on the court for the Cougars.
Centennial returns several seniors in 2019, including Bailey Hebermehl, Grace Dulion and Mya Davis, who are looking to make their first trip to the state tournament together. The Knights last appeared in the state tournament in the 2015 season.
Milton hopes to turn things around after winning only three games in the past three years and going winless in 2018. The Eagles are led by new head coach Tracy Walls, their fourth head coach in five years.
Alpharetta looks to continue its success after making it to the state tournament the past three years. First-year head coach Rickey Jordan expects sophomore Simone Lett and junior Mary Grace Durham to play key roles for the Raiders.
Cambridge head coach Lesley Broadwell is hoping to take the Bears to the next level after building the program up since its inaugural season in 2012. The Bears will lean on juniors Angelina Cofrancesco and Kennedy Daniels as they seek their first state tournament appearance in school history.
Roswell head coach Antonio Wade returns for his third season leading the Hornets, who are hungry for a championship after a 21-9 record and trip to the elite eight a year ago. The Hornets will be sizable in the paint with 6-foot-3 senior Kate Manley, a Nicholls State commit, returning this year.
Note: Northview’s girls team was not represented at the meeting.