Lexington most likely will dominate the boys' Central Carolina 3-A / 2-A Conference this year with a pair of twin towers, but North Davidson and Thomasville look capable of challenging the Yellow Jackets for the league crown.
In the girls' program, Randleman could possibly play giant killer to North Davidson and Lexington. Thomasville will be uncharacteristically short on experience. Ledford may also pull a few surprise wins.
Central Davidson Spartans LEXINGTON - Central Davidson's boys will have good height, but will be young and inexperienced. The Spartans will look to improve their 10-15 record of last year.Six possible starters will move up from the junior varsity team. They include: center Josh Regan (6-3, Jr.), wing Travis Tysinger (6-3, Jr.), center Anthony McMillon (6-1, Jr.), center Chris Beck (6-3, Jr.), wing Kelvin Bell (6-0, Jr.) and guard Stuart Long (5-9, Jr.).
First-year girls' coach Danny Davis expects to have a good defensive team. Central will be anchored by 5-8 junior forward Sandy Tysinger.
E. Davidson Golden Eagles THOMASVILLE - East Davidson will have a young but fast boys' team.
Returnee Ryan Saia, a 5-10 junior guard, may be especially effective from the 3-point line. Center Shawn Norton (6-2, Sr.) is perhaps the team's most versatile scorer.
After posting a 23-5 record and advancing into the regional tournament last year, the Golden Eagle girls will return only one starter. Melissa Everhart, a 5-6 junior guard who averaged 10 points, will anchor the team, which has seven seniors. Forward Denise Emmons (5-6, Sr.) added five points per game last season and center Wendy Samuels (5-6, Sr.) averaged six rebounds.
Ledford Panthers THOMASVILLE - Ledford looks to be an improved team this year with 10 returning lettermen. The Panthers went 15-13 last year and advanced into the sectional finals.
Three returning players will form the nucleus of the team. Brian Hege, a 6-2 junior guard, is among the area's best players. He averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds last season.
Guard Matt Ridge (6-2, Jr.) contributed 10 points and four assists, while center Ryan Murphy (6-3, Sr.) chipped in six points and six rebounds.
The Ledford girls will return five starters from a 9-16 team and expect to see improved shooting this year. Julie Baughn, a 5-6 senior guard contributed four assists and three steals per game last season. Wing Lesli Chastain (5-10, Sr.) will be an offensive threat from outside, shooting 38 percent from 3-point territory.
Lexington Yellow Jackets LEXINGTON - Lexington will return eight players who started at least one game last year, including guard Mike Arnett (6-4, Sr.) and center Antoine Dalton (6-7, Sr.), both all-conference picks. Arnett averaged 12 points, seven rebounds and six assists, while Dalton chipped in 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Lexington will be looking to improve on its 17-11 record of last year, when it won the conference tournament and was a sectional finalist. It will be hard to top the Jackets, who have eight players over 6-3.
Lexington's girls' team will be largely young and inexperienced. Tecola Kellam is the only returning starter from last year's 13-11 team.
N. Davidson Black Knights WELCOME - The North Davidson boys will return three starters from last year's 18-8 team and will be looking to fill the role of graduated all-conference player Bryant Lyons, who led the team in scoring and rebounding.
Center Jason Mills, a 6-2 returning all-conference player, will lead the Black Knights' inside offense. Mills averaged nine points and six rebounds last year. Guard Brian Ellis (6-3, Sr.) will return to the starting lineup, as will forward Matt Stout (6-2, Sr.).
North Davidson's girls' team hopes to improve on its third-place finish in the conference. The Knights went went 17-9 overall, 9-5 in the conference and finished second in the sectional tournament.
Senior Nicole Griffin, a 5-10 center / forward, will return to the lineup. She contributed 18 points and eight rebounds per game last year and will figure prominently in North's offense. Guard Tedra Lindsay (5-5, Sr.) chipped in 13 points and three rebounds last year.
Randleman Tigers RANDLEMAN - James Cox, a 6-10 junior center, will carry much of the load for a young Randleman team this year. Cox averaged eight points and four rebounds as a sophomore and will be counted on even more this season.
Other returnees include: forward Eddie Gunter (6-0, Sr.), forward Doug Beeson (6-2, Sr.) and guard John Allen (5-10, Jr.).
The Randleman girls look to be a strong conference contender, returning eight players and six starters from a 20-7 team. Their size and experience, combined with the play of Jennifer McGinn and Wendy Sisk, could catapult the Tigers to the top of the conference.
McGinn, a 6-0 senior forward, averaged 12 points and 10 rebounds last year, while Sisk, a 5-4 senior guard, averaged 12 points and four rebounds.
Thomasville Bulldogs THOMASVILLE - Thomasville will have an experienced team this year with considerable depth. The Bulldogs will have three returning starters, including all-conference and all-county player Kerry Mock, a 6-3 senior forward who averaged 11.2 points and 9.5 rebounds last year, Leon Thomas, a 5-11 all-county guard who averaged 10.2 points and four rebounds, and 6-3 senior forward Miguel Weldon, who scored 9.2 points and averaged 6.8 rebounds.
Thomasville's girls' team will be young and may lack depth this year with the graduation of conference player of the year Stephanie McClary, who moved on to UNC Charlotte, and Catherine Herring, who now plays at Guilford College.
The Bulldogs were 17-10 last season. Center Princess Johnson (5-11, Sr.) and forward Sherri Clark (5-8, Sr.) are returning starters.
W. Davidson Dragons TYRO - Four experienced starters with good height and quickness should help West Davidson improve on last year's 7-17 record.
The Green Dragons will have key leadership from returning point guard Sammy Staten, a 6-0 senior who led last year's squad with 13 points and seven assists per game. Other returning starters are: Scott Andrews, a 6-7 senior center who averaged 10 points and 10 rebounds; Carlton Hurt, a 6-2 sophomore forward who averaged 11 points as a varsity freshman; and top defensive player Jon Hairston, a 5-8 junior guard.
The West girls plan to use a three-guard offense to improve on last year's 3-20 record. Returning starters Shannon Snyder, a 5-5 senior forward, and Janet Owens, a 5-3 junior guard, will provide leadership for the young team.