Parkwood girls basketball team ready for SCC challenges

The Parkwod High girls basketball team celebrates a recent win.

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At A Glance

Parkwood High girls basketball

Coach: Brian Morris

2016-2017 Record: 17-9 overall, 8-2 Rocky River Conference

Notable: Head coach Brian Morris is in his second year as the head coach. … Parkwood returns three starters from last year’s team. … Giulia Belinazzi is an exchange student from Italy and the senior is expected to contribute.

Parkwood High seems ready for the step up in competition the Rebels girls basketball team will face this season.

Parkwood jumps from Class 2A to the Class 3A Southern Carolina Conference this season and the Rebels seem prepared for the increased competition.

Parkwood played four different SCC opponents last season — splitting with Cuthbertson and Weddington along the way — and the Rebels return three starters from last year’s team that advanced to the Class 2A State Tournament.

“Last year, we played those teams and have a familiarity with them and we know them,” said Rebels coach Brian Morris. “It’s going to be fun. Every game is going to be close.”

Senior wing Molly Setliff (5-foot-8) averaged 14 points a game last season while sophomore point guard Kennedie Gaither (5-8) averaged 12 points a game. Junior Addison Laney (5-10) also returns to the starting lineup.

Setliff is averaging 16.4 points and five rebounds a game four games into the season. She is shooting 47 percent from the field.

“Molly was our best overall player last year and she is our best overall player this year,” Morris said. “She is a jack of all trades and she is going to score for us. She is going to rebound, she is going to defend, she is going to pass. She is getting some college looks.”

Gaither is averaging 8.5 points and 5.7 assists a game so far this season.

“Kennedie is extremely quick,” Morris said. “Kennedie is a tremendous on the ball defender and athletically she can be a matchup problem for some folks. She has tremendous potential.”

Laney is averaging 10 points and six rebounds a game.

“Addison is going to score points for us this season,” Morris said. “She is a very good player.”

Seniors Courtney Fink (5-7) and Daisy Hardy (5-9) are the other two Rebels’ starters. Fink is averaging 5.3 points a game while Hardy is averaging 5.3 points an outing.

“Courtney was a reserve guard for us last year,” Morris said. “Daisy was our first post player off the bench last season. Daisy is one of the hardest working girls that I have seen. What she lacks in size she can overcome with her effort and tenacity. Courtney has developed a good outside game.”

Morris also said that Italian foreign exchange student Giulia Belinazzi (5-7) will also contribute. She is currently averaging 4.3 points a game.

“She is still learning the American game,” Morris said. “It has been tremendous how the team has embraced her. She will definitely give us minutes off the bench this year.”

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Paul Nielsen
Nielsen was a sports writer for what is now the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for nearly 32 years before moving to North Carolina in February 2016. At the Democrat-Gazette, Nielsen's primary responsibility was beat coverage for Rogers High School. Rogers is a Class 7A school located in Northwest Arkansas.
Nielsen, a University of Arkansas graduate, covered the Northwest Arkansas Naturals Minor League Baseball team from 2008-2015. The Naturals are the Double-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.
Nielsen has experience covering University of Arkansas athletics, including NCAA Tournament basketball games and several football bowl games. He also covered amateur and professional golf tournaments in Northwest Arkansas.
Nielsen lives in Matthews with his wife, Susan. He can be reached at