What a year it was for private school girls basketball!
In the end, VYPE's preseason No. 1 team The Village School climbed the mountain and won the TAPPS 6A Girls Basketball State Championship. Other teams that played for titles included the Second Baptist School, which played for the TAPPS 5A title. St. Agnes, Lutheran High North and Legacy Prep also made the Final Four.
In SPC, Houston Christian reached the title game, while Kinkaid and Episcopal made the SPC Semifinals.
Below, VYPE has named the 2020 All-VYPE Private School Girls Basketball Team.
Kinkaid has continued to be the queens of this city.
Last year, for the third-straight season, Kinkaid took home the SPC Championship. The Falcons have some pieces to replace but should be considered a contender for that title again.
Moving over to TAPPS. The Village School reached the 6A title game but fell short; Second Baptist reached the state semifinals in 5A; Lutheran North played for a state title in 4A and Rosehill Christian reached the state semis in 3A.
So, several teams came close to the ultimate prize last season, but who could finish it off this year?
VYPE's PRESEASON TOP 5 GIRLS' PRIVATE SCHOOL RANKINGS
1. The Village School
2. Lutheran North
3. Second Baptist
5. Duchesne Academy
Others to Watch: Frassati Catholic, Houston Christian, Fort Bend Christian Academy
No. 1 The Village School
One win. That's all that separated The Village School from a state title last season, falling short to Dallas Bishop Lynch, 81-62, in the TAPPS 6A State Championship. Doug Brotherton enters year eight (154-64) at the helm of the Vikings' program and has some firepower back. It all starts with Jada Malone. The junior is currently the 36th-best 2021 prospect in the country, according to ESPN.com. The four-star recruit was selected to the TAPPS first-team, all-state squad after averaging 22.3 points and 11 rebounds per game last year. Other key returners include Tymberlin Criswell (12 points, 5 assists) and Aiken Semones (13 points, most 3-pointers in state made, shot 40-percent). Sydney Ward and Emily Dogbatse (a transfer from Klein Collins) will also be ones to watch. A newcomer to the high school scene will be Rylee Grays, who is considered among the best freshmen in the country, making ESPN's watchlist. On paper, the Village School looks like it has gotten even better than last year, which is scary for the state
No. 2 Lutheran North Lions
Lutheran North reached the final game of the bracket last season. The Lions fell short to Lubbock Trinity Christian, 72-34, and finished with a 15-9 record. Lutheran North heads into this year seeking its eighth-straight trip to the playoffs and trying to get back to that coveted title game. The Lions do look to be in good shape to get back into the playoff picture with four starters returning. Amongst that group is TAPPS first-team, all-state selection Jaelyn Compton. Last year, Compton averaged 10.9 points and 2.3 rebounds per game. Another top returner is Geonna Waddell – a TAPPS second- team, all-state pick – who averaged 8.8 points and 1.8 rebounds per game. Other key returners include all-state, honorable mention Madeline Stephens (5.8 points, 11.2 rebounds) and first-team, all-district selections Elena Martens (2.9 points, 1.8 rebounds) and Kaitlyn Alexander (5.2 points and 8 rebounds). John Slomcheck enters his ninth season at the helm of the Lions' program and has a 172-71 career mark. The Lions won the title three years ago.
No. 3 Second Baptist Eagles
The Second Baptist School was a victory away from playing for a TAPPS 5A State Championship a year ago. The Eagles finished the year 27-7 overall, going 13-0 in District 7-5A, and in the end fell to San Antonio Christian 59-45. The Eagles led by John Herndon should be able to contend again for a district title and a deep playoff run when it's all said and done. The Eagles bring back a pair of TAPPS all-state selections in Mary Hardin Baylor-commit Kaitlyn Kollmorgen (first-team, all-state) and Victoria Ryan (second-team, all-state). Kollmorgen averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds per game, while Ryan scored 18 a night. Also, returning are second-team all-district selections Emily Blackmon and Caroline Torn. That is a solid senior class returning with hopes of a deep run in the postseason. The Eagles are bona fide TAPPS state favorites.
No. 4 Kinkaid Falcons
Here come the SPC champions! Not just defending, but back-to-back-to-back defending SPC champs. Kinkaid has owned girls' basketball over the past few years. Gone are the talents of Onuchi Ndee, the Cozby sisters and Kate Petrovic. So, who steps up to take over that coveted senior leadership role? Nakeeya McCardell will be the first place to look. McCardell, who is verbally committed to play lacrosse at Oregon, will lead this group after averaging 10 points, five rebounds and six steals per game a year ago. McCardell will be joined by Trinity Curry, who averaged nine points and six rebounds per game. Heading into this season, Kinkaid coach Stacey Marshall is inching closer to a career milestone. The 16th-year coach with her 20th win of this season will reach victory No. 400 of her illustrious career. Marshall enters this year with a 380-124 mark. Keys to success to this season Marshall said include senior leadership, guard play, defense and rebounding, Marshall said.
5. Duchesne Academy Chargers
Duchesne Academy heads into the 2019-2020 campaign looking to piece together another run at the playoffs. The Chargers enter this year seeking their sixth-straight playoff appearance. As coach Alye Inman, who enters her fourth season (37-44), examines her roster for this year, there has to be some excitement in the air with five starters returning. Leading the group will be Catherine "CeeCee" Van Pelt, who averaged 16.5 points, 9.3 rebounds and four assists a year ago. Van Pelt earned TAPPS second-team, all-state honors along with a first-team, all-district nod. Another key returner to watch is first-team, all-district selection Annette Clark (7.3 points, 10 rebounds, 2.2 blocks). Also returning are second-team, all-district selections Meta Sapien (9.9 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists) and Aleyna Ozcelik (6.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists).
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