Photo by Theo Tate
Juniors Haley Crider, Robyn Pointer and Addaya Moore will be the key players for the Granite City girls' basketball team this winter.
After two weeks of practice, Whitney Sykes-Rogers has high hopes of junior Addaya Moore.
“Addaya is a nice addition,” the second-year Granite City coach said. “She’ll provide us with a little height, which we haven’t had in a while. She has a good leap and athletic ability, so she’ll be the focal point in a lot of stuff.”
The 6-foot Moore transferred to Granite City from Riverview Gardens this year.
She will lead a Granite City team that lost seven players to graduation — including the team’s leading scorer Catherine Jakich — and returns only three players with varsity experience.
“She’s very athletic and she’s got a nice jump shot and can handle the ball,” Sykes-Rogers said. “She does a little bit of everything. She’s very versatile, so we can put her wherever we need to inside and outside and she’ll adjust to that. She can make a little bit of a matchup issue for other teams because she’s pretty tall and most post players won’t be able to guard her.”
The Warriors begin their season on Nov. 30 at the Orchard Farm Tournament in St. Charles. A year ago, Granite City finished 1-2.
“We’re looking forward to it just to see where they’re at and see how well Addaya fits in and playing against other teams,” Sykes-Rogers said. “It’s going to be fun.”
Granite City is the only Illinois school in the Orchard Farm Tournament. The other teams include Lutheran North, Duchesne, Francis Howell North, Timberland, Orchard Farm and Fort Zumwalt North.
“It’s a good tournament for us,” Sykes-Rogers said. “We’re always competitive, so that’s a good starting point for us.”
The Warriors went 3-24 last year. They beat Confluence in the Orchard Farm Tournament, the West Central junior varsity team in the Carrollton Tournament and Quincy in a first-round game at the Class 4A Alton Regional.
Granite City returns only juniors Haley Crider and Robyn Pointer and sophomore Maya Ware from last year’s team. Crider and Pointer each played 15 games and Ware played in 8.
Sykes-Rogers is pleased that Crider and Pointer are back for another season.
“Haley is a post player. She’s a solid defender and rebounder and that’s kind of what we need,” Sykes-Rogers said. “Robyn is one of our guards. She’s a decent shooter when she’s on. She’s very quick and gets up and down the floor.”’
Khadija Helms and Mercedes Gregory make up the Warriors’ senior class. Helms played with the junior varsity team last year and Gregory is in her first year with the team.
Sophomores Viktoria Johnson and Donyai Garrett also will see some playing time with the varsity.
The Warriors start their Southwestern Conference season on Dec. 8 at Belleville West. Last year, Granite City went 0-14 in league play.
Sykes-Rogers said the SWC will be very competitive this winter.
“The usual teams are going to be good,” Sykes-Rogers said. “Edwardsville is going to be good. O’Fallon is going to be good. Alton is decent. So you’ve got your typical teams in there. Collinsville is going to be good and they’re a very experienced team and they have a bunch of kids coming back. We, Belleville East and Belleville West are probably the most inexperienced groups, but it is what it is.”
NAME HT POS
Khadija Helms 5-5 G
Haley Crider 5-8 F
Akila Fultz 5-6 G
Addaya Moore 6-0 F
Robyn Pointer 5-5 G
Donyai Garrett 5-9 F
Viktoria Johnson 5-7 G
Makenzi Meador 5-8 F
Maya Ware 5-4 G