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Basketball season opens for Columbia County high schools

Posted: November 13, 2011 - 12:05am

The 2011-12 high school basketball season is upon us.

It started unofficially with Saturday’s 2011 Ga/Lina Hoops Preview Preseason Tournament that featured Evans and Greenbrier high and middle schools at the four sites.

Evans, Greenbrier, Lakeside, Grovetown and Harlem were part of a field of more than 30 schools from Georgia and South Carolina.

Meanwhile, the regular season starts Tuesday when Harlem plays host to Greenbrier and Augusta Prep plays host to Alleluia.

Every team has intriguing storylines for the upcoming season.

Here’s a brief look at a few of them:

Can Malia Kency fill the shoes of departed star Ebony Wells at Grovetown?

Admittedly, it isn’t fair to put that much pressure on the sophomore point guard.

Wells was the star and face of a Warriors program that went 25-3 and made the state playoffs.

However, Kency looked like a seasoned veteran while running the offense as a freshman.

With Wells now at Florida State, perhaps Kency will follow in her footsteps as a star in the program.

How will Greenbrier replace the production from last year’s senior trio of Chad Waddell, Justin Cofer and Dejon Britton?

Those three talented players helped the Wolfpack to the state playoffs last season.

Fortunately, Greenbrier had several role players last year who got plenty of experience they can draw on with the trio departed.

The most intriguing of them is Thomas Brown, a football standout,

Brown is a force inside and has progressed by leaps and bounds. He’ll only be better in his senior season.

Can Stefanie Basinger be as successful at the high school level as she was at the middle school level?

The new Greenbrier girls coach has overseen a ridiculous run of success in recent years at Riverside Middle School.

She faces a tall task in reviving a program that struggled last season. She’s excited about the challenge, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Wolfpack show plenty of improvement.

How will Mark Weidenaar take to the basketball court upon returning?

The Lakeside senior didn’t play as a junior after tearing his ACL in a preseason football game.

A pure athlete with size, Weidenaar should provide a solid complement to standout senior Chris Hall on coach John Kucela’s team.

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