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Duluth Girls Basketball Season Preview

Duluth’s Katie Powell

Duluth’s Katie Powell

COACH: Chad Pittman

2012-13 RECORD: 18-11

RETURNING REGULARS:

Katie Powell, 6-3, Sr.

Alyah McGriff, 6-0, Sr.

Taylor Auzenne, 5-6, Sr.

Jazmyn Johnson, 5-10, Sr.

OTHERS TO WATCH:

Brianna Dixon, 5-11, Fr.

Endia Banks, 5-9, Fr.

OUTLOOK: How seniors mix with freshmen will determine Duluth’s success this season. The returning players include four seniors — Katie Powell, Alyah McGriff, Taylor Auzenne and Jazmyn Johnson — who will mix with a pair of standout freshmen from a successful Duluth Middle team. Powell, a TCU commitment, is the team’s top returning player and a prolific scorer inside and out. The 6-3 post averaged 17.8 points (seventh-best in Gwinnett) and a county-best 9.8 rebounds as a junior. McGriff also was a big contributor last season with her defense and athleticism, which also a strength of Johnson. Auzenne gives the Wildcats a boost in perimeter scoring.

WORTH NOTING: Head coach Chad Pittman is expecting immediate contributions two freshmen, Brianna Dixon and Endia Banks. Dixon is a 5-11 point guard with great court vision, Pittman said. Banks, a 5-9 wing, is an excellent athlete who excels in transition. … A few key players graduated off last season’s state tournament team, including Joi Jones (now at Appalachian State) and Aerial Carruthers (Auburn-Montgomery). … The Wildcats will host a new holiday tournament, the Jingle Jam, on Dec. 27-28. They are joined by girls teams from Brookwood, Creekview, Fayette County, North Cobb, Hillgrove, Alcovy and Centennial.

FAST FACT: Duluth has reached the state tournament the past three seasons, but has lost in the first round each time.

2013-14 SCHEDULE

Nov. 19 Brookwood

Nov. 26 MLK in Atlanta Hardwood Classic at North Atlanta (boys)

Nov. 27 Shiloh in Atlanta Hardwood Classic at North Atlanta (boys)

Nov. 23, 25-26 at North Forsyth Tip-Off Tourney (girls)

Nov. 30 Luella in On the Radar Hoops Showcase (boys)

Dec. 6 at Peachtree Ridge

Dec. 7 at Mill Creek

Dec. 10 at Collins Hill

Dec. 13 North Gwinnett

Dec. 14 Alpharetta

Dec. 16 at Mountain View

Dec. 20 at Centennial

Dec. 21 Archer at Loganville in Coaches vs. Cancer Showcase

Dec. 27-28 Duluth Jingle Jam

Jan. 7 Norcross

Jan. 10 Habersham Central

Jan. 14 Peachtree Ridge

Jan. 17 Mill Creek

Jan. 18 at Meadowcreek

Jan. 21 Collins Hill

Jan. 24 at North Gwinnett

Jan. 28 Mountain View

Jan. 31 Meadowcreek

Feb. 4 Norcross

Feb. 7 at Habersham