By Jordan Burton (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
Basketball season is underway in Missouri. Below are the Class 5 Girls Basketball Players to Watch along with a breakout player.
NOTE: MSHSAA won’t be releasing new class and district assignments until Friday, Dec. 11. WE ARE USING LAST YEAR’S CLASSIFICATIONS for our watchlists. There will be SIGNIFICANT changes to classes when the new assignements come out, as Missouri is adding a sixth class of basketball this year.
• Kaemyn Bekemeier, Republic Sophomore
As a freshman she proved she belonged among the state’s elite, averaging 15.3 points and five rebounds. The 5-foot-9 guard is a great athlete with versatility to match. She can score inside-out and is solid defensively as well. Her two-way ability is the reason why Grand Canyon, Missouri State and Saint Louis have already offered.
• Makaiya Brooks, Central Senior
Brooks is an absolute walking bucket. As a junior she averaged 24.9 points and knocked down 99 3-point FG. Few players have the natural scoring ability that Brooks has. She enters her senior year with 1,674 points and 244 career 3s. The Memphis signee is 66 triples away from the fifth-highest total in state history.
• Naudia Evans, Waynesville Senior
Evans is one of the most dynamic point guards in Missouri with Allen Iverson-like quickness. The 5-foot-6 senior averaged 22.3 points as a junior and trending towards 1,500 points in her career. Her elite ability not only earned her All-Ozark Conference and All-District honors, but Evans has already signed with D1 program Grand Canyon.
• Hailey Fullerton, Carthage Senior
Fullerton is a four-year starter that has excelled in making her presence felt on both ends. Last year she was named to both the All-COC and All-District team, averaging 11.8 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.4 blocks. Offensively she has range out 3, which makes her even more difficult to defend at 6-foot-1.
• Indya Green & Bella Fontleroy, Kickapoo Senior & Junior
There might not be a more physically imposing duo than this. Green was an all-stater last year, averaging 16.4 points and 11.7 rebounds. The 5-foot-10 combo forward cleans glass and is impossible to stop on the block. Fontleroy is coming off a torn ACL, but is currently ranked 12th nationally in the 2022 class. The 6-foot-2 combo guard has an overwhelming skillset. She’ll have her pick of blue bloods for college.
• Anna Hitt, Ozark Senior
A 5-foot-10 guard, Hitt has earned a reputation as one of the top defenders in the Ozarks, behind her freakish athleticism. The Drury signee can defend any positon on the floor and is a nightmare in transition. She’s a two-time All-COC pick and an all-state track athlete as well.
• Ali Kamies & Macie Conway, Nixa Juniors
Nixa will have one of the most explosive backcourts in Missouri with Kamies and Conway. Kamies, an All-COC pick last year, averaged 14 points and three steals as a sophomore. Conway, who is a move-in from Kickapoo, averaged 16 points and was an All-Ozark Conference pick. Both gym rats spent their summer in the gym, which is why D2s are lining up for their services.
• Kamari Ouck & Mikaela Whalen, Parkview Seniors
One of the top duos in the area, Ouck and Whalen have played a combined 150 games in a Parkview uniform. As juniors, Ouck averaged 15.7 points and 6.5 rebounds while Whalen added 14 points, 8.1 rebounds and 3.7 steals. Both players will surpass the 1,000-point mark this winter in what have been extremely decorated careers for the All-Ozark Conference players.
Others to Watch
• Makayah Alexander & Raegan McCowan, Lebanon Junior & Sophomore
• Addalyn Adamson & Junior Brielle Adamson, Willard Senior & Junior
• Ella Hafer, Joplin Junior
• Katie Kamies, Nixa Senior
• Jazzy Kirby & Savanah Powell-Goodman, Republic Seniors
• Emily Phillips, Glendale Senior
• Heaven Shockley, Central Sophomore
• Rachel Senn & Madie Barrett, Kickapoo Seniors
Breakout Player: Breona Hurd, Waynesville
Get familiar with the name because it’ll be a popular one over the next decade. Hurd is a 6-foot-1 forward that is currently ranked in the top 25 of the 2024 class nationally. She already owns an offer from Oklahoma and is coached by former Mizzou standout Sierra Michaelis. Hurd will be next in what has been an impressive run of nationally-recognized players from the Ozarks.