With young teams and two new head coaches, Arlington County’s three girls high-school varsity basketball teams didn’t muster an abundance of victories last season.
This winter, which was expected to begin this week, the Wakefield Warriors, Washington-Liberty Generals and Yorktown Patriots are expecting improved results in what will be a condensed campaign of just 14 regular-season contests for each, because of the public pandemic.
Of the three, only Wakefield, under first-year head coach Jamar Hicks, had a winning record, at 13-10, including a 1-1 playoff mark, in 2019-20. Wakefield’s season ended with a playoff loss to the co-state champion Edison Eagles.
Top returning players for Wakefield are expected to be senior guard Ioanna Lincoln, sharp-shooting senior guard/forward Taylor Thompson, senior forward Nora Broyles and sophomore guard Maya Solis.
Thompson was a second-team All-Sun Gazette selection last season with Lincoln and Solis honorable mention choices.
Wakefield was scheduled to open its season Dec. 22 against Washington-Liberty.
As for W-L, the Generals finished 5-17 last season as the team and first-year head coach Faith Randolph were adjusting to each other. Randolph was hired only a few weeks before the season began, making the transition more of a challenge.
Top returning players for the Generals are expected to be juniors Bridget Bartz, Caitlin Miller, Mary Elsabeth Pisigan and Claudia Andrade-Ayala.
Bartz, Miller and Andrade-Ayala were All-Sun Gazette honorable mention selections last season.
Washington-Liberty was scheduled to open its season against Westfield on Dec. 21, with a game against Wakefield the next day.
With a roster that included seven freshmen, who all played, the Yorktown compiled a 9-14 record last season, losing a number of close games. Many of those players now return as sophomores, along with veterans like juniors Ana Bournigal, Tess Monticello and Emma Nelson. Bournigal was a second-team All-Sun Gazette player last season with Nelson and Monticello honorable mention selections, along with Grace Maria, one of the freshmen.
Joining Yorktown as a transfer is senior Malina Goodwin. Her younger sister Asha Goodwin was one of those freshmen last season.
Other freshmen last season were Sofia Tran, Taylor Chase, Emily Stafford and sisters Brooke and Megan Smythers.
Yorktown was scheduled to begin its season Dec. 22 at Hayfield. Its second game is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 30 at 3 p.m. at home against the defending state co-champion Madison Warhawks of Vienna. Each are non-district contests.
NOTE: All three Arlington teams will qualify for this season’s 6D North Region Tournament, which will include each squad from the Liberty and Concorde districts, the two leagues that make up the region . . . Only the region champion in 2021 will advance to the Virginia High School League’s Class 6 state tournament. Two teams qualified in past seasons.