This past girls basketball season was a unique one in Montgomery County.
Not only did one of the schools have one of its greatest seasons in program history, but two other schools advanced to the region semifinal – something District 10-AAA hasn’t done since 2017.
Additionally, the city produced several college basketball players that will be heading off to their respective schools this fall.
Coming into the year, the hierarchy was pretty clear – but some teams did exceed expectations while others might have fallen short, especially at the end.
Now that the season has ended, we will take a look at all eight teams, ranked first to last based on their season performance.
1. Clarksville Academy Lady Cougars, 31-4
The Lady Cougars put on the absolute best season in Clarksville Academy history behind the instruction of coach Carrie Daniels and the on-court dominance of Mercer signee Sydneey Boykin. Along with Boykin were co-stars Diamond Bryant, Vana Pridgen, Makayla Artis and Jayden Adolphin. The team locked up defensively and scored plenty to earn their way to the most wins in the city regardless of gender. They won their first 16 games, but two of their losses came to Goodpasture – whom they also beat twice.
After defeating Christian Academy of Knoxville in the DII-A State Quarterfinal, they were defeated by top-ranked Trinity Christian, bringing an end to the Lady Cougars’ dream season. While they lose some key seniors, Daniels has successfully completed a culture shift and the Lady Coogs could be a force in Montgomery County for years to come.
2. Rossview Lady Hawks, 26-4
Speaking of a force in Montgomery County, the Lady Hawks made their eighth straight District 10-AAA championship and have now won for two years in a row. Justin Woods and the Hawks, fronted by District MVP Kayla Gilmore, Ever Walker and Courteney Daniels, took out Wilson Central by a sizable margin in the Region 5-AAA quarterfinals before eventually falling to state qualifier Lebanon. After starting 2-2, Rossview won 24 of their next 25 games – including the district and region tournaments, showcasing arguably the most dominant stretch in the entire city this season. They even swept their archrival across three games. Incredibly, they only had three district contests decided by single digits.
Several seniors will graduate from Woods’ squad, but they’ve lost great players before. At this point, it feels like there’s nothing that can dim Rossview’s shine.
3. Northwest Lady Vikings, 19-12
Don’t let the record fool you – the Lady Vikings were pretty darn close to elite. No, they didn’t have the completely lopsided record like the top two teams, but they played most teams tough and won the games they were supposed to. They were inconsistent at times and went 0-4 against Rossview and Clarksville Academy, but they weren’t far off from taking a few of those games. Madison King and Ta’Mia Scott were among the best players in the county all season long and carried the Lady Vikes off several dominant performances all season with contributions from solid secondary players.
They advanced to the district title game for the first time in a long time and even won a region game against Gallatin. To say that this was their best season of the decade – and beyond – would be an understatement.
Most significantly, they are only two years removed from a being among the worst teams in the district. That kind of turnaround is incredibly impressive. Though King will graduate, Scott will stick around and will likely be an early favorite for District MVP for the next two seasons. As long as she is around, Ben Wallace and Northwest have plenty of reason to be optimistic.
4. Clarksville Lady Wildcats, 14-14
Every team deals with injuries, but perhaps nobody was hit as hard this season as CHS. At least four starters missed significant time with injury along with a handful of key reserves, with many playing less than half the season.
They had a solid campaign regardless. After starting 4-7, the Lady Cats turned on the jets to win 11 of their next 15 and won their first-round region game, but sputtered out against the top competition of the district and region. Guards Erin Lackey and Macy Brown stood tall in the absence of their co-stars while forward Mya Collins and guard Alexis Wimberly emerged as strong contributors along the way. Collins, only a sophomore, is perhaps the tallest player in the city and could become one of the most difficult offensive players to cover in Montgomery County moving forward.
The biggest upside to this season is that the Lady Cats only lose one senior – Maddie Berner – who hardly played all season due to several injuries. This means that practically the entire Clarksville team is slated to return for the 2020-21 season with a full year of experience in hand.
5. Northeast Lady Eagles, 15-14
The past decade was a difficult one for the Lady Eagles, but they ended it by achieving their first winning record since 2009-10. Former Austin Peay basketball star and head coach Tracie Mason-Blair had a star guard of her own in Cierra Bowser, who helped the team to an over-.500 record in District 10-AAA as well. Northeast was consistent, sweeping every team that fell below them in the standings, but as a trade-off, being swept by every team above them except for Northwest, whom they beat on Dec. 3.
They didn’t manage to win a district tournament game, but after achieving a strong season, they will return their top scorer in Bowser and could look to build on the success next season. Instead of a string of seasons with losing records, they could start a strand of consecutive winning years.
6. Kenwood Lady Knights, 5-20
Despite the record, Kenwood coach Charles Clark was often encouraged by what he saw in 2019-20. Like Northeast, they beat the teams they were supposed to and lost to the ones that were expected. They didn’t have very many close losses, but their wins were all by double digits aside from one close contest.
There’s good news: this season very well could have been the valley of the Lady Knights’ rebuild. Their record has progressively fallen off over the past few seasons, but their top four players – Iyanna Curtis, Reagan Fisher, Shayanna Vaughn and Dante’sha Brandt – were all either freshmen or sophomores this past season. Improvement could be in the cards moving forward with a potential contention season coming.
7. Montgomery Central Lady Indians, 5-22
Similar to the MCHS boys’ team, the Lady Indians have struggled in their transition to AAA, with only 15 wins in the last three seasons and seven in the last two. Three of their wins in 2019-20 came against the final team in the standings, and they failed to reach 30 points 14 times. There was talent on the roster, but not enough true basketball players to round up enough victories.
Though they weren’t at the bottom of the standings this season, the Lady Indians will be hard-pressed for improvements this season, especially with the departure of their starting point guard and key player Madisen Hodges. The program is in a tough spot. They weren’t in the cellar, but they’d likely be better off in AA due to the size of their school relative to the competition.
8. West Creek Lady Coyotes, 2-23
Good news: the Lady Coyotes had their best season of the last three years and doubled their win total from 2018-19. Bad news: they still only finished with two wins, both over the same opponent (Fort Campbell). While all the other teams in the county were focused on running complex offenses and playing aggressive defense, West Creek was still having to teach the basics of basketball at practices. Instead of focusing on wins and losses, they had to set goals on how many points they’d score or how few turnovers they’d commit. If they could achieve those goals, even if it meant losing by a lot, they saw it as a win.
They’ll return their top player, Alexis Parkes, and get reinforcements from their middle school team who went to the region semifinals.