Photo by Mark Jones
Ashlee Moore and Hamilton went 27-6 last season and will look to improve. They're one of the state's top five girls teams coming in.
MaxPreps 2013-14 Arizona Girls Basketball Preseason Fab 5 presented by the Army National Guard
1. Desert Vista (Phoenix)
2012-13 record: 18-11
Head coach: J’ontar Coleman
A year after a coach was removed mid-season, the Thunder look to be the team to beat with two Division I talents in senior Emily Wolph (Santa Clara) and junior Kristine Anigwe flourishing in the system run by Coleman, who was named interim coach last year before officially getting the job in the offseason. The addition of Sabrina Haines from Mesa Mountain View gives Desert Vista plenty of firepower.
2. Highland (Gilbert)
2012-13 record: 32-3
Head coach: Miner Webster
The Hawks might be a surprise to be placed this high after last year’s senior-laden team lost in the semifinals, but Webster always get the most out of his talent. The Hawks have a pretty highly recruited, yet unknown, post in Hadley Nielson and Melinda Myers was a very good player for them last year as well. They aren't as experienced in the guard spot, but Kendall Perry will get the job done.
3. Westview (Avondale)
2012-13 record: 33-2
Head coach: Lisa Contreras
The Knights have a real chance to be the first westside school to win a big school state championship in girls basketball. Westview features great guard play and a team that returns almost everything: Five of the top six scorers from last season's final four team. Airianna Sesma and Saylair Grandon are the ringleaders of what will be a very entertaining team.
4. Hamilton (Chandler)
2012-13 record: 27-6
Head coach: Jeff Kain
The Huskies had a very good summer with some young, talented club players that should transition well to the high school game. Payton Whitmore is a good sophomore guard and they return the glue of last year's Final Four team in track star Ashlee Moore and shooter Shelby Hartman.
5. Dobson (Mesa)
2012-13 record: 22-8
Head coach: Tyler Dumas
This might be the deepest team Dumas has had, including the 2010 state championship squad. Tori Lloyd, NAU verbal, and Miyah Leith are both seniors who have scored more than 1,000 points in their careers. The Mustangs also have a number of quality guards to go with up-and-coming posts.
Jason P. Skoda, a former Arizona Republic and current Ahwatukee Foothills News staff writer, is an 18-year sports writing veteran. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 480-272-2449.