Girls’ basketball | Season preview

Miami High primed for possible return trip to state final four


Melshree Reid is known for her clutch shooting, but she knows she and her teammates must keep improving if the Stings are to win state.

Melsheree Reid shoots the ball during Miami High girls' basketball practice at the school on Nov. 7, 2013.
Melsheree Reid shoots the ball during Miami High girls' basketball practice at the school on Nov. 7, 2013.
Shannon Kaestle / Miami Herald Staff

Season overview


Dec. 20-22: South Florida Holiday Shootout

Dec. 27-28: Queen of Palms Tournament at Fort Myers

Dec. 27-30: Junior Orange Bowl Classic

Jan. 18-21: MLK tournament at Pace

Jan. 21-22, 24: GMAC championship

Jan. 27-Feb. 1: Districts

Feb. 6: Regional quarterfinals

Feb. 11: Regional semifinals

Feb. 14: Class 4A-2A regional finals

Feb. 15: Class 8A-5A regional finals

Feb. 18-22: State finals at The Lakeland Center


Class 8A: Orlando Dr. Phillips; 7A: Gainesville Buchholz; 6A: Orlando Edgewater; 5A: Fort Lauderdale Dillard; 4A: Jacksonville Ribault; 3A: Daytona Beach Father Lopez; 2A: Tallahassee FAMU; 1A: Santa Rosa Beach South Walton.


G Danneal Ford, Norland, Jr.

G Tabitha Gonzalez, Ferguson, Sr.

G Tamorra Graham, South Miami, Sr.

G Channise Lewis, Miami Country Day, Fr.

G Amanda Mendoza, Miami High, Sr.

G Danielle Minott, Miami Country Day, Sr.

G Makayla McCloud, American, Sr.

G Maja Stjepanovic, Gulliver, Sr.;

F Kyrah James, Palmer Trinity, So.

C Beatrice Mompremier, Miami High, Jr.

Others to watch

G: Michelle Berry, Miami Country Day, Jr.; Mel Jordan, Lourdes, Sr.; Nachale de Jesus, Ferguson, Jr.; Stephanie McKenzie, Miami Country Day, Jr.; Annie Osceola, Ferguson, Jr.; Shanya Jones, American, Sr.; F: Ogechi Anyagaligbo, Miami Country Day, Jr.; Mikaela Pyatt, Sr.; Chloe Nixon, Gulliver, Sr.; Melshree Reid, Miami High, Sr.; D’Ajhanae Smith, American, Sr.


1. Miami High

2. Miami Country Day

3. Norland

4. South Miami

5. Lourdes

6. Ferguson

7. American

8. Gulliver

9. Palmer Trinity

10. Miami Beach


1. MIAMI HIGH (Coach Sam Baumgarten, 6th year at MHS, 17th overall). Last year: 26-6 (State runner-up). Top players: C Beatrice Mompremier, 6-4, Jr.; G Amanda Mendoza, 5-2, Sr.; G-F Melshree Reid, 5-9, Sr.; G Terri Kimbrough, 5-6, Sr.

2. SOUTH MIAMI (Coach Unethia Fox). Last year: Regional semifinalist. Top players: G Tamorra Graham, 5-7, Sr.; F-G Khadayah Brown, 6-2, So.; G Kristen Cummings, 5-5, Sr.; F Precious Evans, 5-8, Jr.

3. LOURDES (Coach Chris McKeon, 13th year, 309-64). Last year: 29-2 (Regional finalist). Top players: G Mel Jordan, 5-6, Sr.; G Vero Vidal, 5-4, So.; G Vero Minervino, 5-3, So.; G Ana Sosa, 5-2, Sr.

4. FERGUSON (Coach Gabriel Lazo, 2nd year). Last year: 13-12. Top players: G Tabitha Gonzalez, 5-9, Sr.; G Nachale de Jesus, 5-7, Jr.; G Annie Osceola, 5-7, Jr.; F Kamaria Johnson, 5-10, Jr.

5. MIAMI BEACH (Coach Jess Moore, 1st year). Top players: PG Samantha Morgan, 5-10, Sr.; G Llari Henry, 5-8, Jr.; G Rebecca Moura, 5-8, Jr.; C Zoey Nedrick, 5-11, Jr.

6. CORAL REEF (Coach Mark Wynn, 1st year). Last year: 20-6 (Regional quarterfinalist). Top players: F Jenesha Hollin, 5-11, Sr.; C Ariana Arabitg, 6-0, Sr.; G Raquel Alespeiti, 5-10, Sr.; G Sophia Schonenberg, 5-6, Sr.

7. HIALEAH (Coach Denoff Johnson, 11th year, 162-87). Last year: 13-9. Top players: G Ashley Hall, 5-6, Sr.; F Adriana Charles, 5-9, Jr.; F Stephanie Charles, 5-10, Jr.; G Kourtney Ruff, 5-3, Sr.

8. PALMETTO (Coach Lisa Nanninga, 2nd year at Pal, 6th overall, 63-53). Last year: 12-9 (Regional quarterfinalist). Top players: G Danielle Gross, 5-7, Jr.; F Cecilia Bistrong, 5-8, Jr.; F Victoria Miyazaki, 5-10, Sr.; G-F Tahlia Quartin, 5-7, Sr.

9. SOUTHRIDGE (Coach Amaury Alvarez, 4th year at SR, 11th overall). Last year: 12-6. Top players: G Charvonte Williams, 5-5, Sr.; G Mijah McAnuff, 5-2, Sr.; G-F Rosa Herbert, 5-8, So.; C-F Tajae Jones, 5-8, Jr.

10. CORAL GABLES (Coach A.J. Sheppard, 1st year at CG, 4th overall, 37-6). Last year: 7-10. Top players: G-F Geraldine Salazar, Sr.; G Jessica Landsberg, So.; F-C Britnee Ellison, Jr.; C-F Emilia Alvarez, Jr.

11. NORTH MIAMI (Coach Corey Jenkins, 2nd year). Last year: 4-13. Top players: G Felicia Seide, 5-8, So.; G Gabriella Gassant, 5-1, Jr.; F Muriel Similien, 5-8, Sr.; G Tia Bailey, 5-6, Fr.

12. BRADDOCK (Coach Janis Drummonds, 20th year at BR, 29th overall). Top players: F Jany Miranda, 5-7, So.; C-F Eileen Bermudez, 5-10, Jr.; F Alyssa Flores, 5-6, Jr.; G Natalie Fernandez, 5-5, Sr.

13. SUNSET (Coach J.C. Diaz, 2nd year) Top players: G Katherine Espinosa, 5-4, Jr.; G-F Kylie Bennett, 5-9, Sr.


1. AMERICAN (Coach Paul Torres). Last year: 19-6 (Regional quarterfinalist). Top players: PG Shanya Jones, 5-5, Sr.; W D’Ajhanae Smith, 5-9, Sr.; F Ebony Griffin, 6-0, Sr.; G Makayla McCloud, 5-7, Sr.

2. CENTRAL (Coach Tracy Reid, 1st year). Top players: PG Sheriel Walker, 5-3, Jr.; SG Tiera Chambers, 5-4, Jr.; SF Aquilla Knowles, 5-9, Jr.; C Marisa McNeil, 6-1, Sr.

3. REAGAN (Coach James Sanchez, 7th year, 54-76). Last year: 6-14. Top players: F Juliana Montoya, 5-9, Sr.; F Karina Rubio, 5-8, Sr.


1. NORLAND (Coach Carla Harris, 15th year). Last year: 27-4 (State semifinalist). Top players: G Danneal Ford, 5-8, Sr.; F Kayla Roberts, 6-0, Sr.; C Tyana Williams, 6-2, So.; G Jeanysha Jean-Baptiste, 5-8, Jr.

2. MATER ACADEMY (Coach Daniel Rodriguez, 2nd year, 12-10). Last year: 12-10. Top players: G Alondra Angulo, 5-6, So.; G Emily Acosta, 5-5, So.; F Silvia Diaz, 5-5, Sr.; F Kristal Dalmau, 5-7, Sr.

3. HOMESTEAD (Coach Jamahr Carter, 4th year, 29-28). Last year: 9-12. Top players: G Ronisha Morris, 5-8, Sr.; G Alejandra Morales, 5-7, Sr.; F Genesis Carcamo, 5-10, Sr.; G Deanna Clayton, 5-7, Fr.


1. GULLIVER (Coach Jay Zambolla, 7th year at GP, 11th overall, 165-89). Last year: 20-10 (Regional finalist). Top players: G Maja Stjepanovic, 6-0, Sr.; F Mikaela Pyatt, 6-0, Sr.; F Chloe Nixon, 5-9, Sr.; G Camila Wirshing, 5-5, Sr.

2. RANSOM EVERGLADES (Coach Christine Peluso, 9th year at RE, 17th overall). Last year: 17-5 (Regional semifinalist). Top players: G Adriana Lopez, 5-7, Jr.; G Cassie Crotty, 5-7, Jr.; F Tiana Hallman, 5-9, Jr.; G Sara Oppenheim, 5-2, Jr.

3. LA SALLE (Coach Raymond Lopez, 6th year at LAS, 30th overall). Last year: 18-10 (Regional quarterfinalist). Top players: G Nicole Lorenzo, 5-8, Jr.; F-C Alexandra Echevarria, 6-0, Sr.; G-F Jaileen Cruz, 6-0, So.; C Jailin Moye, 6-0, Jr.

4. ST. BRENDAN (Coach Mickey Falla, 1st year). Last year: 14-15. Top players: G Megan Falla, 5-4, Sr.; G Ely Martinez, 5-4, Sr.; F Luly Rodriguez, 5-5, Sr.; F Kristy Bolanos, 5-5, Sr.

5. BOOKER T. WASHINGTON (Coach Travis Hall, 3rd year, 7-15). Last year: 5-7. Top players: G Mia Leite, 5-7, So.; G Rosa Bello, 5-9, Jr.; G Jada Miller, 5-7, Jr.; G Latronice Durant, 5-8, Fr.

6. CARROLLTON (Coach Jason Prosper, 1st year). Last year: 0-16. Top players: PG Sofia Ramos, Sr.; F Cordella Jane Ingram Noel, So.; F Elisa Bajandas, So.; G Alexandra McDonnell, Sr.


1. MIAMI COUNTRY DAY (Coach Ochiel Swaby, 10th year, 168-69). Last year: 28-2 (State runner-up). Top players: G Danielle Minott, 5-8, Sr.; PG Channise Lewis, 5-9, Fr.; G Stephanie McKenzie, 5-6, Jr.; F Ogechi Anyagaligbo, 6-0, Jr.

2. PALMER TRINITY (Coach James Valle, 8th year, 126-62). Last year: 24-5 (Regional semifinalist). Top players: F Kyrah James, 5-9, So.; F Claire Hebb, 5-9, Jr.; F Hallie Parten, 5-11, Sr.; C Samantha Waldman, 6-0, Jr.


HEBREW ACADEMY (Coach Robyn Malek, 13th year at HA, 16th overall, 125-55). Last year: 18-1 (Regional semifinalist). Top players: F-C Hailey Dobin, 6-1, Jr.; G Andrea Weiss, 5-9, Sr.; F Rachel Kahn, 5-10, Jr.; F Rachel Matis, 5-11, Sr.

Melshree Reid’s buzzer-beater last season to beat Orlando Colonial in the state semifinals is still talked about around Miami High.

And who could forget a triple overtime win against Deerfield Beach in 2005 to win its lone state title?

When the Stingarees’ girls’ basketball team makes it to state, they usually leave lasting memories. Miami High is hoping to make more highlights this season.

“I think about that shot all the time, but I have to stop,” Reid said. “It’s a new season and it’s going to take more than a lucky shot to win a state championship.”

Reid’s heroics helped the then-underdog Stings finish last season as the Class 8A state runner-up.

This season, the Stingarees have higher expectations.

Returning nearly its entire starting lineup — most notably 6-4 junior center Beatrice Mompremier and a trio of talented guards — Miami High enters the season as the county’s favorite to return to Lakeland in Class 8A.

Mompremier is the county’s top recruit regardless of class with schools such as Connecticut, Georgia, LSU, Rutgers, UM, FSU and Florida already showing interest.

Along with fellow All-Dade first-team selection Amanda Mendoza, Reid and Terri Kimbrough back, the Stings are capable of navigating through a tougher region this season. “To me the pressure has sort of been the same as last season,” Mompremier said. “Everybody wants to win, of course, but it just comes down to how hard you work for it.”

Miami High relied on its defense in tough games last season, something coach Sam Baumgarten expects it to do more this year.

“Our strength is going to be our veterans who had the experience of playing at state,” Baumgarten said. “Our depth is probably our only concern, but we have great hopes for the future.”

Mendoza, an experienced guard in her fourth season, thinks the team will be more explosive on offense.

“We have more veterans this season with experience and a lot more players that can score,” Mendoza said. “That’s going to help us put the ball in the basket a lot more coming off what we do on defense.”

Miami High’s region includes several contenders such as Lourdes, South Miami, Ferguson and Pembroke Pines Flanagan — a regional finalist last season.

Other contenders

• Miami Country Day, Miami-Dade’s other state runner-up last season, looks to have what it takes to finish the job this season in 3A.

The Spartans, who lost only two games all season, return most of its roster, led by senior guard Danielle Minott and freshman guard Channise Lewis, plus added a couple of talented players.

Minott, a Syracuse commitment, is one of the most-talented guards in the country and averaged 14 points, seven rebounds and five steals per game last season. Lewis is one of the best in her class. They will be complemented by junior guards Stephanie Mackenzie and Lindsey Pierre. Where the Spartans most improved is in the frontcourt with 6-0 junior Ogechi Anyagaligbo, a Krop transfer, and 6-1 junior Michelle Berry, a La Salle transfer.

• American figures to challenge Nova in Class 7A. The Patriots return a talented group that got stronger with the addition of Pace transfer Makayla McCloud.

• Norland lost some of its experienced players, but has enough talent to make another run to state in Class 6A led by guard Danneal Ford and forward Kayla Roberts.

• Gulliver may have enough to break through, after back-to-back seasons losing to Coral Springs Charter in the Class 4A regional finals.

Read more Miami-Dade High Schools stories from the Miami Herald

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