The 2016-2017 Sunshine State Athletic Conference Girls Basketball is shaping up to be the biggest and most exciting yet. The conference will feature 16 teams from throughout the state, divided into four divisions. The conference tournament will being on the weekend of January 13-14 and conclude on January 28.
Leading the way in the Central Division will be the defending conference champions from International Community School. Coach Bill Terwilleger inherits a team that went 18-10 last year and return a number of key players, including: Meredith Slack, Meaghan Slack, Lydia Hough and Amanda Balash. Faith Christian, Trinity Christian-Deltona and Windemere Prep round out the Central division. Key matchups include a January 6th Faith Christian @ International Community School game, along with the January 12th Windermere Prep @ Trinity Christian Deltona. Both games will likely play key roles in determining seeding for the tournament.
The winner of the South Division, consisting of Berean Christian, Saint Edward’s School, Highlands Christian and Boca Raton Christian, is set to match up with the winner of Central division in semi-final play on Saturday January 14 at Saint Edward’s School. The South is led by last year’s conference runner-up Berean Christian. Under Mike May, the Bulldogs finished 17-9 last season and return senior forward Jessica Nodell (10.7ppg 7rpg) and sophomore point guard Jenna Brannon (4asp). The Bulldogs have a key matchup with Boca Raton Christian on January 6. Highlands Christian, coming off a 16-6 season last year, returns key seniors Danielle Domino and Gina Olivia, along with junior Ellen Allen. Coach Ramona Caputo will led the Knights against long time opponent Boca Raton Christian on December 16. Saint Edward’s School rounds out the division that stretches from Vero Beach to Pompano Beach. The Pirates are led by the backcourt of junior guard Maya Jenkins (16.5ppg), junior Tea Tee (6spg) and sophomore Katy Rodriguez. Saint Edward’s will open up it’s first year of SSAC girls basketball play by hosting Highlands Christian on December 9.
The West Division consisting of Bishop McLaughlin Catholic, Zephyrhills Christian Academy, All Saints Academy, Bell Creek Academy leads a strong group of teams from throughout the west coast of Florida region. Under Coach Anita Davis, Bishop McLaughlin went 13-11 last year and returns the duo of Emily Dykeman (5.1 ppg/7.5rpg/1.4spg) and Olivia Downing (3.3. ppg/5.4 rpg/1.0spg). All Saints Academy, joins the SSAC this year under Head Coach Shannon Skeans who holds a career record of 88-46. Sophomores Payton Dunbar (6 ppg/3 apg/4spg) and Jill Rex (5ppg/7rpg) led the way for the Saints. All Saints and Bishop McLaughlin will face off early in the season on December 2. Zephyrhills Christian will look to build on last season’s winning record under Coach Shaun Ormond. The Warriors kick off the season on November 15 with a league matchup against All Saints Academy. Bell Creek rounds out the West Division which will play the winner of the North Division for a place in the league championship on Saturday January 14th at All Saints Academy.
The North division consists of Legacy Charter, Central Florida Christian, Seven Rivers Christian and City of Life Christian encompasses teams from around the greater North-Central region of Florida. Seven Rivers Christian, led by Coach Gary Dreyer, return Ami Culi (7.8 ppg/3.7 spg), Maloni Lewis (12.5 ppg/14.5rpg/2.2 spg) and Abby Kuntz (5.1 ppg/4.8 rpg/1.2 spg). On January 5th all four North divisional teams will be in action for a key night to determine tournament seeding. Seven Rivers Christian will travel to Legacy Charter and Central Florida Christian Academy will travel to City of Life Christian.