Beatrice Mompremier is no longer wearing a Miami High basketball jersey.
One of Miami-Dade County’s best girls’ basketball players ever is putting the ball in the basket these days at Baylor University.
Her absence hasn’t spelled the end of Miami High as a state title contender.
The Stingarees, winners of two consecutive Class 8A state championships, have a battle on their hands with talented teams such as Ferguson, Flanagan, Lourdes and South Miami in their region.
But Miami High returns a strong core of seniors that will make it one of the county’s top teams once again led by guards Alondra Angulo and Andrisia Sweeting, who already led the Stingarees to a 42-point rout of Hialeah to open the season Tuesday. Complementing their guards is a solid frontcourt led by junior Destiny Weldon and senior Philneka Jackson.
“We’ll obviously be a different team without Beatrice in the middle,” Miami High coach Sam Baumgarten said. “But this squad has experience, and we’re coming along strong.”
Ferguson’s first two regional playoff seasons have ended courtesy of Miami High. Last season’s triple-overtime thriller left the Falcons wanting more.
With the lineup Ferguson returns, the Falcons have never had a better chance of overtaking the Stingarees for county supremacy in Class 8A.
Ferguson returns senior guard Giolibeth Perez, who recently became the school’s first Division I commitment in the sport, as she will sign with Stony Brook (New York) University.
Perez averaged 17 points, five rebounds and seven assists last season for the Falcons and is joined by talented sophomore Natalia Pineda in a tough backcourt. Ferguson has several sophomores playing key roles this season, but coach Gabriel Lazo is hoping his added size could make the difference down the stretch.
If the frontcourt of sophomore Mercy Gonzalez (5-11), junior Bria Kingwood (6-0) and freshman center Cheyanne Daniles gels and matures quickly, Ferguson might have the right formula to reach Lakeland.
Lourdes, led by guard Lori Couto, and South Miami, led by forward Khadijah Brown, figure to be Ferguson’s biggest challengers in the district.
Miami Country Day’s 2014-15 season ended with a second consecutive state championship that was followed by a trip to New York and the Spartans beating Dillard for the championship of the Dick’s Sporting Goods National Tournament at Madison Square Garden.
How do they top that?
Try it again.
The Spartans return the most talented backcourt in the county with high Division I prospects Channise Lewis and Kelsey Marshall, both juniors, leading the way. The duo will be complemented by three-point sharpshooter Maria Alvarez, a freshman who made 56 threes a year ago.
Miami Country Day graduated its starting frontcourt of Michelle Berry (Cal State Fullerton) and Ogechi Anyagaligbo (Stony Brook).
Senior Marsha Edwards and junior guard/forward DaShaun Jackson will be counted on to fill in for them and play key roles as the Spartans shoot for a third state title and try to navigate a tough national schedule again.
Miami Country Day’s schedule includes IMG Academy, American Heritage, Winter Haven, Ribault, Dillard, Montverde Academy, Flanagan and trips to the Florida Prospects Showcase in Orlando, the Thompson Classic in Washington and the Nike Tournament of Champions in Phoenix, as well as the MLK Classic.
Nov. 27-28: Lady Raider Invitational at Gulliver
Dec. 28-30: Junior Orange Bowl Classic
Jan. 19-20, 22: GMAC championship
Jan. 25-30: Districts
Feb. 4: Regional quarterfinals
Feb. 9: Regional semifinals
Feb. 12-13: Regional finals
Feb. 16-20: State final four
2014-15 STATE CHAMPIONS
Class 8A: Miami High; 7A: Palm Beach Lakes; 6A: Pensacola Pine Forest; 5A: Fort Lauderdale Dillard; 4A: Orlando Lake Highland Prep; 3A: Miami Country Day; 2A: Tallahassee FAMU; 1A: Freeport.
TOP RETURNING PLAYERS
G Emily Acosta, Mater Academy, 5-7, Sr.; G Maria Alvarez, Miami Country Day, Fr.; G Alondra Angulo, Miami High, 5-7, Sr.; G Daniela Barrios, Doral, 5-3, Fr.; G Lori Couto, Lourdes, 5-7, Sr.; G Brittney Huell, Norland, 5-9, Sr.; G Kyrah James, Palmer Trinity, 5-9, Sr.; G Shannon Kunkel, Gulliver, 5-8, Jr.; G Channise Lewis, Miami Country Day, 5-8, Jr.; G Kelsey Marshall, Miami Country Day, 5-9, Jr.; G Giolibeth Perez, Ferguson, 5-7, Sr.; G Natalia Pineda, Ferguson, 5-9, So.; G Andrisia Sweeting, Miami High, 5-3, Sr.; G Destiny Wilson, Monsignor Pace, 5-7, Sr.; F Khadijah Brown, South Miami, 6-2, Sr.; F Tykira Dawson, Southridge, 5-9, Jr.; F Mikayla Thomas, Gulliver, 6-2, Jr.; F Tyana Williams, Norland, 6-3, Sr.
1. Miami Country Day
2. Miami High
6. South Miami
7. Monsignor Pace
10. Palmer Trinity
On the rise: Hialeah, Florida Christian, Northwestern, Southridge.
Team-by-team capsules: www.miamiherald.com/ high-schools
TEAM-BY-TEAM OUTLOOKS – CLASS 8A
1. MIAMI HIGH (Coach Sam Baumgarten, 7th year, 125-23). Last year: 29-3 (State champions). Top players: G Alondra Angulo, 5-7, Sr.; G Andrisia Sweeting, 5-3, Sr.; F Philneka Jackson, 5-10, Sr.; G Armani Paschal, 5-5, Sr.; F Destiny Weldon, 5-11, Jr.; G Jeri Richard, 5-5, Sr.
2. FERGUSON (Coach Gabriel Lazo, 4th year, 63-21). Last year: 26-4 (Regional finalist). Top players: PG Giolibeth Perez, 5-7, Sr.; SG Natalia Pineda, 5-9, So.; SF Mercy Gonzalez, 5-11, So.; G Yaire Rodriguez, 5-5, So.; PF Bria Kingwood, 6-0, Jr.; C Cheyanne Daniles, 6-3, Fr.
3. LOURDES (Coach Chris McKeon). Last year: 24-5 (Regional semifinalist). Top players: G Lori Couto, 5-7, Sr.; G Vero Minervino, 5-3, Sr.; F Erica Moralejo, 5-10, Sr.; G Sophia Maristany, 5-5, Sr.; F Daniela Midolo, 5-10, Sr.; G Vero Vidal, 5-4, Sr.
4. SOUTH MIAMI (Coach Nicky Fox, 11th year). Last year: F Khadijah Brown, 6-2, Sr.; PG Rosa Herbert, 5-9, Sr.; SG Megan Delgado, 5-6, Sr.; C Mariah Thomas, 5-11, sr.; F Stephaisa Doctor, 5-11, Sr.
5. HIALEAH (Coach Denoff Johnson, 13th year, 189-108). Last year: 13-10 (Regional quarterfinalist). Top players: G Taylor Jones, 5-7, Jr.; F Diamond Celestine, 5-10, Jr.; G Ja’Keira Betties, 5-5, Jr.; G Cheyenne Brown, 5-5, Jr.; F Rodneaze Thimogene, 5-7, Sr.; G-F Rebecca Darote, 5-8, Fr.
6. CORAL GABLES (Coach A.J. Sheppard, 3rd year at CG, 5th overall, 52-23). Last year: 9-8. Top players: PG Tamia Grant, 5-9, Fr.; SG Jessica Lansberg, 5-5, Sr.; SG Tamara Grant, 5-9, Fr.; PG-W Jada Thurston, 5-7, Jr.; PF-C Alyssa Lamadriz, 5-11, So.; C Brianna Curran, 6-3, Fr.
7. NORTH MIAMI (Coach Louis Presume, 2nd year, 19-5). Last year: 18-5. Top players: G Tia Bailey, 5-7, Jr.; F Geraldine Seide, 5-9, Fr.; G Britney Bernard, 5-5, Sr.
8. PALMETTO (Coach Lisa Nanninga, 5th year at Pal, 10th overall, 85-76). Last year: 15-9. Top players: PG Kiley Kross, 5-6, So.; G Jordan Pivik, 5-4, Sr.; G Madison Martin, 5-4, Sr.; F Samantha Joseph, 5-8, Jr.; C Ashle Palmer, 5-11, So.; G-F Alice Cardet, 5-7, Sr.
9. AMERICAN (Coach Paul Torres). Last year: 9-11. Top players: PF Katherine Martinez, 6-0, Sr.; G Nia Webster, 5-6, Sr.; G Amaya Dixon, 5-8, So.; PG Ashley Borjon, 5-3, So.; F Reneisha Chisolm, 5-10, Jr.
10. VARELA (Coach Ryan Schneider, 9th year, 109-78). Last year: 15-9. Top players: PG Natasha Polanco, 5-6, Jr.; SG Cassandra Iglesias, 5-5, Sr.; F Andrea Nieto, 5-8, Sr.; F Leana Lu, 5-8, Jr.; F Daniel Guillama, 5-8, So.; G Laura Chirino, 5-5, Sr.
11. BRADDOCK (Coach Janis Drummonds, 31st year). Last year: N/A. Top players: F-G Jany Miranda, 5-6, Sr.; G Kaitlin Sanchez, 5-0, Sr.; F Alysia Long-Moses, 5-6, Sr.; G-F Damaris Artola, 5-6, Fr.; G Ruby Lopez, 5-2, Fr.; C Briana Cham, 5-7, Sr.
12. SOUTHWEST (Coach Donna Nieto-Thomas, 7th year at SW, 16th overall). Last year: 9-15. Top players: PG Mya Thomas, 5-9, So.; SG Sofie Cueto, 5-6, Sr.; F Mia Thomas, 5-7, So.; G Romina De Leon, 5-4, Jr.
13. CORAL PARK (Coach Marcela Anderson, 9th year). Last year: 5-16. Top players: G-F Yulissa Torres, 5-6, Sr.; G Katherine Tapia, 5-5, Sr.
14. CORAL REEF (Coach Mark Wynn, 3rd year at CR, 76-64). Last year: 5-13. Top players: F J’Kira Delancy, 5-8, Sr.; G Olivia Finol, 5-4, Sr.; G Anae McDonald, 5-8, Jr.; G Victoria Sanchez, 5-4, Sr.; G Natalie Lage, 5-5, Sr.; F Abigail Gilzean, 5-9, Jr.
1. MATER ACADEMY (Coach Daniel Rodriguez, 4th year, 30-32). Last year: 12-11. Top players: PG Emily Acosta, 5-7, Sr.; SG Angelica Gutierrez, 5-7, Jr.; PF Melanie Sequeda, 5-8, Sr.; C Sophia Osorio, 5-11, Jr.; SG Ansley Jimenez, 5-5, Fr.
2. REAGAN (Coach James Sanchez, 9th year, 74-101). Last year: 7-16. Top players: G Valentina Velez, 5-7, Jr.; G Elexis Walls, 5-9, Jr.; G Jade O’Connor, 5-7, Jr.
1. NORLAND (Coach Carla Harris, 17th year). Last year: 19-10 (State semifinalist). Top players: F Tyana Williams, 6-3, Sr.; G Brittney Huell, 5-9, Sr.; PG Ashley Bostick, 5-1, Sr.; G-F Kazia Clarke, 5-8, Sr.; F Brienne Williams, 6-2, Jr.; G Edreanna Jackson, 5-5, So.
2. DORAL (Coach Rey Perez, 4th year, 43-29). Last year: 21-7 (Regional semifinalist). Top players: SG Daniela Barrios, 5-3, Fr.; SG Yari Martinez, 5-5, Jr.; PG Paula Guerrero, 5-3, Jr.; C Daniela Rondon, 5-9, Sr.; F Danielle Arriete, 5-5, Fr.; C Samantha Vega, 6-5, So.
3. MIAMI SPRINGS (Coach Marvin Bradley, 1st year). Last year: 10-5 (Regional quarterfinalist). Top players: PF-SF Leslys Romero, 5-9, Sr.; SG Raveen Flowers, 5-6, Sr.; SF Catrice Jones, 5-10, Jr.; PG Monique Moise, 5-8, Sr.; PG Amanda Parson, 5-8, Fr.; PG Jaquasnia Cater, 5-6, Fr.
4. CAROL CITY (Coach Amaury Alvarez, 1st year at CC, 15th overall). Last year: N/A. Top players: G-F Alexandra Rosario, 5-5, Sr.; G Khyla Cooper, 5-3, Fr.; G Lashaunte White, 5-2, Jr.; F-G Paris Simmons, 5-5, Sr.; C Roneisha Deese, 6-1, Sr.; G Althea Wright, 5-1, Jr.
5. TERRA (Coach Kim Kelly). Last year: 3-15. Top players: F Cailin Donnelly, 5-8, Sr.; G Caitlyn Cuello, 5-1, Sr.; G Melissa Reyes, 5-4, Jr.; G Noemi Martinez, 5-4, So.; G Veronica Campos, 5-4, So.; F Samantha Chutkan, 5-8, Fr.
1. MONSIGNOR PACE (Coach Adam Hopkins, 2nd year at MP, 18th overall). Last year: 19-3 (Regional finalist). Top players: SG Destiny Wilson, 5-7, Sr.; PG Vernesha Jenkins, 5-7, Jr.; C Amber Barber, 6-0, Sr.; G Thammar Peticar, 5-7, Sr.; SF Jada Johnson, 5-8, Sr.; SF MyKayla Samuels, 5-8, Sr.
2. GULLIVER (Coach Jay Zambolla, 9th year at GP, 13th overall, 205-104). Last year: 20-8 (Regional quarterfinalist). Top players: PG Shannon Kunkel, 5-8, Jr.; F Mikayla Thomas, 6-2, Jr.; G Alana Pinder, 5-5, So.; G Brianna Bahadue, 5-7, Sr.; C Jada Pyatt, 6-0, Sr.; F Lauren Jim, 5-9, Sr.
3. ST. BRENDAN (Coach Mickey Falla, 3rd year, 29-24). Last year: 12-14. Top players: G Carolina Prieto, 5-3, So.; G Val Sanchez, 5-4, So.; G Emma Dominguez, 5-3, Sr.; F Lil Padro, 5-7, Sr.; F Brigit Barrial, 5-7, Fr.; F Alyssa Soublette, 5-4, So.
4. RANSOM EVERGLADES (Coach Christine Peluso, 11th year at RE, 19th overall, 242-150). Last year: 13-6. Top players: Claire McDowell, Sr.; Mia Schatz, So.; Casey Quanstrom, So.
5. LA SALLE (Coach David Fernandez, 2nd year, 16-8). Last year: 16-8. Top players: Jailene Cruz, 5-11, Sr.; Gabriella Xiques, 5-5, Jr.; Andrea Sophia Benavides, 5-7, So.; Mati De Leon, 5-9, Sr.; Cristina Hernandez, 5-3, So.
6. KEYS GATE (Coach Ben Drummer, 3rd year, 17-25). Last year: 11-11. Top players: PG Brittney Tyre, 5-5, 8th; F Angela Denis, 6-0, So.; SG Yesenia Velez, 5-6, So.; PG Riana Moore, 5-2, 8th; F Alexandra Calderon, 5-9, Fr.; F Delores Charlton, 5-10, 8th.
7. CARROLLTON (Coach Kevin Davis, 1st year). Last year: 2-13. Top players: G Carolina Shriver, 5-9, Fr.; PG Nina Paneque, 5-4, 8th; F Cordella-Jane-Ingram-Noel, 5-9, Sr.; G Tanya Eathakotti, 5-5, So.
1. MIAMI COUNTRY DAY (Coach Ochiel Swaby, 12th year, 237-78). Last year: 32-2 (State champions). Top players: PG Channise Lewis, 5-8, Jr.; G Kelsey Marshall, 5-9, Jr.; G Maria Alvarez, 5-7, Fr.; G DaShaun Jackson, 5-11, Jr.; G Samantha Provenzano, 5-6, Sr.; F Marsha Edwards, 5-10, Sr.
2. ARCHBISHOP CARROLL (Coach Oscar Gonzalez, 2nd year at AC, 3rd overall, 22-22). Last year: 7-8. Top players: C Nicole Kozak, 6-1, Jr.; G Nataly Medina, 5-9, Sr.; F Ayana Seabrook, 5-10, Sr.; F Jewlia Fernandez, 5-8, So.; G Carolina Caldera, 5-7, Jr.; G-F Valeria Ordonez, 5-7, So.
3. ARCHBISHOP CURLEY (Coach Marissa Sanderson, 1st year). Last year: 12-5. Top players: PG Sarisha Wiggins, 5-5, Jr.; SG Ashley Savain, 5-7, Sr.; SF Cecilia Saunders, 5-6, Jr.; PF-C Kayla Forbes, 5-9, Fr.; C Janelle Forbes, 5-9, Jr.; PF-C Gianni Domond, 5-9, So.
4. SLAM (Coach Michelle Smith, 1st year). Last year: 9-13. Top players: G-F Nayelee Velasquez, 8th; G Marta Franco, 8th; G-F Jacqueline Garcia, 8th; G Greilys Rodriguez, Jr.
5. RIVIERA PREP (Coach Sarah Kemper, 4th year). Last year: N/A. Top players: PG Janelle DeMoya, 5-7, So.; C Gabriela Groso, 5-11, Sr.; G Ann Gottenger, 5-6, Jr.; G Gabriella Junco, 5-5, Sr.; G Maria Portes, 5-5, Jr.; F Erika Arvelo, 5-10, Jr.
NOTE: Schools not listed did not return outlook forms to The Miami Herald.