Girls Basketball

Reynoldsburg, Africentric poised to return to state

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Adam Cairns/ThisWeek
Reynoldsburg’s Alyssa Rice grabs a rebound in front of Northland’s Brooklynn Peterson during a Division I regional final March 10 at Otterbein University. The Raiders won 47-37 and play Twinsburg in a state semifinal at 8 p.m. Friday, March 16, at Ohio State.

Despite a wealth of talent throughout central Ohio, the Reynoldsburg High School and Africentric Early College girls basketball teams appear poised to again get to the state tournament this season.

There are 11 seniors who signed Division I scholarships among the teams in the preseason Super 7, including Reynoldsburg’s Destini Cooper (Ohio), Yamonie Jenkins (Ohio) and Shiloh Murphy (Morehead State).

The Raiders’ most-recruited player is 6-foot-3 junior post player Alyssa Rice, who is among the leading candidates to be this year’s Super 12 captain.

Last year’s captain and district Player of the Year, Northland senior Alexis Peterson, would seem to be in for a huge season as well.

With an inexperienced cast and without the services of senior post player Jasmine Weatherspoon until sometime in January, Northland likely will lean heavily on the multi-talented abilities of Peterson. She’s a Syracuse recruit at point guard, who also might be the area’s best outside shooter.

While Reynoldsburg has advanced to the state tournament two of the past three seasons and Africentric is the defending Division III state champion, Gahanna, Olentangy Orange and Pickerington North also should be in for big seasons.

Weatherspoon is among a group of talented players who are expected to return sometime in early 2013 from injuries along with Olentangy’s Brooke Zwayer, Gahanna’s Reyna Montgomery and New Albany’s Hannah Scipio.

Welcome to the 2012-13 central Ohio girls basketball season.

Because of the area’s deep pool of talent, it should be a memorable one.