2017-'18 Season Coverage
updated: 11/17/2016 2:11 PM

Scouting Stevenson

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  • Stevenson's Kiana Cencula, left, drives to the basket against Libertyville's Maggie Piazzi last season in a matchup in Lincolnshire.

      Stevenson's Kiana Cencula, left, drives to the basket against Libertyville's Maggie Piazzi last season in a matchup in Lincolnshire.
    Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer



Coach: Ashley Graham (second season)

Last season: 25-6, 11-1 in North Suburban Lake, lost to Zion-Benton in Class 4A Wheeling regional final

Key losses: G Jessica Burke, G Janine Fajardo

Returning players: Sr. PG Ashley Richardson (5-7), Jr. F Klaire Steffens (6-0), Sr. F Madison Wicklund (6-0), Jr. G Kiana Cencula (5-9), Jr. G Julia Osuch (5-6), Jr. F Isabella Paldrmic (5-10)

Newcomers: Sr. G Sam Friedman (5-6), So. G Krissy Hill (5-7), Fr. F Avery King (5-11), Jr. F Gina Shanley (5-10), Sr. G Ashley Campos (5-5)

Outlook: Ashley Graham hasn't needed her husband to be a sounding board lately when she comes home from basketball practice. Which means all is well for the Patriots and their coach. "You know it's a good practice when my husband says, 'You don't really talk about basketball much,' " Graham joked. It's Year 2 at Stevenson for Graham, and her 25-win squad from last season returns a strong group headed by four-year varsity point guard Ashley Richardson. So there's little to complain about. Both Richardson (14 ppg) and junior post Klaire Steffens (7 ppg) are coming off all-area and all-conference seasons. Kiana Cencula also started last season for the North Suburban Conference champs, while Madison Wicklund was Graham's first player off the bench. Richardson is a three-time all-conference selection. Graham said the senior has visited UW-Oshkosh, Pratt Institute in New York, North Central and Cornell. Graham's starting five figures to be comprised of Richardson, Steffens, Cencula, Wicklund and Izzy Paldrmic, who got minutes off the bench last season. Juniors Cencula, Steffens and Paldrmic were all up as freshmen. The senior Wicklund also is playing her third season on varsity. "We're returning great experience so it should be another fun year for us," Graham said. Among the newcomers is 5-11 freshman Avery King, who is the granddaughter of hall-of-famer/former New Trier coach John Schneiter. "She's extremely offensively talented," Graham said. The Patriots are seeking their eighth 20-win season in a row and should get there. "What's exciting for us is just all the experience that we return," Graham said. "Last year there was such a big learning curve with a new system, and this year it's been like we never ended last season. We've just kept rolling. We had a very strong summer, we had a great fall and we've had excellent practices."

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