Pillow Girls

Coach: Durwin Carpenter (718-196 in 27th year at PA; 1,078-381 overall coaching record)

Starters back: Kaylee Jones, Caroline Brock, Madeline Kelly, Julia Love Lyon, Anna Taylor Hudson

Other key players: Sarah Presley Howard, Kayla Brown, Madline Mattox, Georgia Caroline Self

Biggest strength: Experience and depth

Biggest concern: Injuries and COVID-19

From the coach:  “The girls come in everyday with a great attitude wanting to get better, so that’s made it fun for the coaches. When they’re working hard, trying extremely hard, it makes it fun for us.”

So far: 2-1 (does not include Tuesday night’s game at JA).

Next Game: at Hartfield Academy Thursday.

Pillow Boys

Coach: Wes Prather 24-29 in third year at PA)

Starters back: Lawes McCool, Frazier Rose, Nelson Hodges

Other key players: Eli Jones, Britt Reichle, Drew Lamb

Biggest strength: Effort, intensity and heart

Biggest concern: Players adjusting to new roles

From the coach: “The big thing is going to be filling different roles from last year. We don’t know who we are. Once we figure out who we’re going to be, I’m really excited what that’s going to look like.”

So far: Played at JA Tuesday night

Next game: At Hartfield Academy Thursday

Greenwood Girls

Coach: Ted Barrett (83-95 in seventh year at GHS)

Starters back: Antwanette Regular, Arieyanna Glover

Other key players: Alexus Taylor

Biggest strength: Working as a team

Biggest concern: With just six players on the roster, any injury will leave the team playing with no subs

From the coach: “We are feeling positive and confident that they will gain a higher basketball IQ and better knowledge of the game. We are young, but we will push through fighting.”

So far: 1-0 (does not include Tuesday night’s game against North Side)

Next game: Host Cleveland Central Nov. 12

Greenwood Boys

Coach: Fred Ford (169-123 in 11th season at GHS. Won State 4A title and went 26-7 last year)

Starters back: Javardrick Jackson, Devonte Darby, Jaydon Nwachi

Biggest strength: Experience with three returning senior starters

Biggest concern: Lack of depth due to the departures of two-sport star DeAndre Smith and three other football players who transferred to private schools

From the coach: “We’re looking to make it three-straight years as District champs and trying to become back-to-back state champions.”

So far: 0-1 (does not include Tuesday night’s game against North Side)

Next game: Host Cleveland Central Nov. 12

Leflore Co. Girls

Coach: Rosetta Washington (5-19 in second year at Leflore)

Starters back: Jakya Thompson and Dkayla Young

Biggest strength: Teamwork, sharing a common vision

Biggest concern: Roster shortages due to COVID-19

From the coach: “I feel very optimistic about this season because we have put in the work and hard work pays off.”

Season opener: At Marks Palmer Thursday

Leflore Co. Boys

Coach: Michael Higgins (3-22 in second year at Leflore)

Starters back: Andre Payne, Jaylen Jackson, Cameron Williams, Derek Singleton

Other key players: Tavion Dean

Biggest strength: Size with four players 6-foot-4 or taller

Biggest concern: Strength and ball-handling

From the coach: “We’ve been watching film from last year on our mistakes. Overall I feel a whole lot better because we’re teaching and starting to get feedback from them that they understand more.”

Season Opener: at Marks Palmer Thursday

Amanda Elzy Girls

Coach: Michael Curry (20-37 in third year at Elzy)

Starters back: Ashley Cooper, Zamiya Brown,

Other key players: Allyson Anderson, Kennedy Johnson, Zakyra Jasper, Ty’Christian Smith, Antwanashia Mitchell

Biggest strength: Inside presence with post players

From the coach: “Our ultimate goal is to compete at a high level.”

Season opener: Host Greenville Weston Thursday

Amanda Elzy Boys

Coach: Jamond Klines (58-100 in seventh year at Elzy)

Starters back: Darius Donley, Freddius Ferguson

Other key players: Ladarius Davenport, jr., guard; Keithrick Parker, fr., guard; Caleb Brownlow, fr., guard; Detrick Munford, fr., forward.

Biggest strength: A positive and  hungry group

Biggest concern: Lack of experience

From the coach: “Despite the late start, lack of summer and offseason workouts, expectations are still the same. We will still compete by all means.”

Season opener: Host Greenville Weston Thursday

Carroll Aca. Girls

Coach: Frank Miller (he is in 1st season at CA, which was 19-12 in Sherry Fulton’s 6th and final year. She was 133-66 overall)

Starters back: Dru Chamblee, Mary Lakyn Boutwell, Kaitlyn Chamblee

Other key players: Meri Brynn Reeves, Bella Carter, Georgia Neil, Madison Clark, Mary Braxton Cobb

Biggest strength: Team-oriented players, ball handling and defense

So far: 2-2

Next game: Host Kirk Thursday

Carroll Aca. Boys

Coach: Tommy Acy (45-34 in fourth year. CA was 23-4 last season as it lost in quarterfinals of Academy Overall)

Starters back: Brett Harper, Noah Beck

Other key players: Hunter Grantham, Luke O’Bryant, Bryce Collier, Graham Jackson, Brennan Blaylock, Mathis Beck, Maddox Carpenter, Drake Dunn

Biggest strength: Experience, size and speed

From the coach: “We set expectations high. We want to win district, North State and State.”

Season opener: Waiting for football season to end

J.Z. George Girls

Coach: Yvonna Macon (first season at J.Z. George, which was 7-19 in LeQuell Allen’s only season)

Starters back:  Zoey Townsend, Jacarra Sherrod

Other key players: Shay Gladness, KaMya Williams, Trinity McCaskill

Biggest strength: Aggressiveness

Biggest concern: Cohesiveness

Season opener: Against Kosciusko Saturday at Grenada Cancer Classic

J.Z. George Boys

Coach: Gerald Glass Sr. (first season at J.Z. George, which was 9-15 in LeQuell Allen’s only season)

Starters back: Keldrick Glover, D’Anthony McGlothan, Jordun Normal

Biggest strength: Overall quickness

Biggest concern: COVID-19 and depth

From the coach: “If we stay healthy, we should be competing for a chance to make the playoffs.”

Season opener: Against. Kosciusko Saturday at Grenada Cancer Classic

Delta Streets Boys

Coach: Justin Childs (second season. DSA went 15-14 last season)

Starters back: Labrodrick Gooch, Steve Patterson, MJ Davenport

Other key players: JT Lawrence, Javion Smith, Dekari Johnson, Dequarionne Jones, La’Andre Pittman, Kizear Little

Biggest strength: Experience and depth

Biggest concern: Eligibility and consistency

From the coach: “This may be the best team I’ve ever coached. We will play extremely fast.”

Season opener: At Winston Academy Nov. 13

Follow @GWC_Sports on Twitter for updates and analysis all throughout basketball season.

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