Antioch aiming high once again

 
 
Updated 11/19/2015 8:09 PM
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  • Montini's Tiara Wallace fouls Antioch's Alexis Duehr during supersectional action last season at Hoffman Estates.

      Montini's Tiara Wallace fouls Antioch's Alexis Duehr during supersectional action last season at Hoffman Estates. John Starks | Staff Photographer

NSC PRAIRIE

ANTIOCH

Coach: Tim Borries (ninth season)

Last season: 30-4, 11-1 in NSC Prairie, NSC champions, lost to Montini in Class 3A supersectionals

Key losses: C Carly McCameron (Augustana), G Shannon Zogran (Lake Forest)

Returning players: Jr. G Ashley Reiser (5-4), Jr. G Amy Reiser (5-8), Sr. F Kelly Johnson (5-10), Sr. G Alexis Duehr (5-6), Jr. G Erika Gallimore (5-7), Sr. C Madalyn Murillo (5-11), So. F Jill Everett (5-6), Sr. G Annie Horner (5-5)

Newcomers: So. G Taylor Feltner (5-2), So. G Olivia Ori (5-5), Jr. G Danielle Tebbe (5-5), So. F Julia Murillo (5-9), Jr. F Megan Kelly (5-8), Sr. C Ashley Cunningham (5-9), Jr. F Rebecca Cleven (5-8)

Outlook: Ever since the Sequoits' best season in school history ended with a loss to eventual Class 3A state champ Montini in the Hoffman Estates supersectional, coach Tim Borries says he's been waiting for this season. It's understandable considering the Sequoits return dynamic junior twins Amy and Ashley Reiser as well as fellow veterans Kelly Johnson and Alexis Duehr. The Sequoits opened their season Tuesday with a win over Richmond-Burton. "My concern is, 'Are we satisfied? Did we get complacent?' " Borries said heading into the game. "Once we get our first game under our belt, I think we'll be fine." Amy and Ashley Reiser were named co-captains of the Daily Herald Lake County All-Area team last season. Amy Reiser led Antioch in scoring (13.6 ppg), while also averaging 6.9 rebounds, 3.9 steals and 2.3 assists. Ashley, who's started at point guard since her freshman year, averaged 12 points, 5.9 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 3 steals. The sisters also combined to sink 63 3-pointers. "They're more polished now than they were last year," Borries said. "I'm seeing more of a leadership role out of them now." Duehr led the team in rebounding (6.5 rpg) as a sophomore, despite her 5-6 frame, before missing more than half her junior season with a fractured leg. "I think she's hungry," Borries said. "She's on a mission to show she can play basketball." Duehr was called up to varsity midway through her freshman year, while the 5-10 Johnson also was up as a freshman. Johnson, who's athletic enough to play on the wing or in the low post, is starting for the third year in a row. She was an honorable mention all-NSC choice as a junior. Junior Erika Gallimore and senior Madalyn Murillo played a lot coming off the bench last winter. Counting Jill Everett, who was on the varsity roster all last season, Borries has four sophomores up. The others are guards Taylor Feltner and Olivia Ori and forward Julia Murillo. They add depth to an experienced roster. "Practice is not like it used to be (in past years)," Borries said. "They battle." The biggest difference for the Sequoits will be playing without 6-foot Carly McCameron, whose long wing span, athleticism and experience were especially valuable at the defensive end. McCameron was also an all-area player. "We'll push the ball a little bit more," Borries said. "People thought we ran last year. We're going to run a little bit more this year." The Sequoits' postseason run last season ended just short of a berth downstate. That still doesn't sit well with them. "Our goal is to advance one more game," said Borries, whose Sequoits beat Stevenson in the NSC championship game. "If we win tournaments or conference along the way, great. If we don't, that's OK. Our goal is to keep playing (past the supersectional). The girls are hungry. But they're staying humble at the same time."

GRANT

Coach: Kathie Swanson (first season)

Last season: 11-18, 5-7 in NSC Prairie, lost to Crystal Lake South in Class 4A regional semifinals

Key losses: Andrea Weaver

Returning players: Sr. G Jasmine Sangster (5-6), Sr. G McKaylie Krey (5-3), Sr. G Kaleigh Zielinski (5-5), Sr. G/F Jasmine Glover (5-8), Jr. G/F Keyana Linbo (5-9), Sr. F Brett Aichholzer (5-10), So. F Mallory Harrity (5-11), Sr. G/F Jordynn Hundley (5-10), Sr. C Taylor Drake (6-3)

Newcomers: Fr. G Ally Mahinay (5-8), So. G Roxanne Temple (5-5), Jr. F Morgan Tesch (5-7), Jr. G Ameerah Muhammad (5-2), Jr. G Charneice Burns (5-6)

Outlook: She's won before, both at Libertyville and most recently Elk Grove. Now, Kathie Swanson will try to build the Bulldogs into a consistent winner again. "Coaching for me was always, practice first, game second," Swanson said. "I just like that teaching aspect of it, and I feel like (this Grant team) is very receptive to the learning." Under Swanson, who coached Libertyville to three NSC championships in a row (2010-12) , before guiding Elk Grove to 19 wins in 2012-13, Grant's players will learn that playing defense will keep them on the court. Swanson inherits a team with seven seniors, including two-time all-conference guard Jasmine Sangster and 6-foot-3 Taylor Drake. Sangster is four-year varsity player. "She has a lot of potential and a lot of athleticism," Swanson said. "It's been a shift for her in terms of how she's used to doing things. We're coming in and doing a whole new system. We're pushing her to go to a whole new level, and I've seen her really accept that in the last two weeks." The return of Drake is big on more than one level. A difference maker as a sophomore with her rebounding and shot-blocking ability, Drake averaged 14 points in Grant's first five games last season, before missing the rest of the season due to personal reasons. "I don't envision many people being able to compete with her size," Swanson said. "So if she uses her skills, she should be able to be very successful in the post." McKaylie Krey is another returning guard. She earned honorable mention all-NSC honors as a junior, then moved to Wheaton this past summer, Swanson says. Krey has caught the attention of her new coach. "She gets after it, and she seems to value defense a lot," Swanson said. Returning senior Jordynn Hundley provides versatility, as she's able to play inside as well as hit outside jump shots. With her athleticism and basketball IQ, senior Jasmine Glover has the potential to be a defensive stopper, Swanson said. Brett Aichholzer was in the starting lineup at the beginning of last season, before missing essentially the rest of the season with an injury. Junior Keyana Linbo and sophomore Mallory Harrity both contributed on varsity last season, as did senior guard Kaleigh Zielinski. The newcomers include 5-2 junior Ameerah Muhammad, who's another player whose defense has caught the eye of Swanson. Sophomore Roxanne Temple ran for Grant's state-qualifying cross country team. Swanson is also high on 5-8 freshman guard Ally Mahinay. "There's a lot of individual talent," Swanson said. "It's just finding a way to put all of those pieces together. The key thing I stress to them is the consistency in every single thing they do, both on and off the basketball court."

LAKES

Coach: Brian Phelan (first season)

Last season: 15-18, 5-7 in NSC Prairie

Key losses: C/F Olivia Pawlak, G Alyssa Brey, G Nicole Denman

Returning players: Sr. G Ellie Haviland (5-11), Jr. F/C Natalie Pawlak (5-11), Jr. F Izzy Quaranta (5-10), Jr. G Natalie Iacopetti (5-5), Jr. F Sarah Zellmann (5-10), Jr. G Shannon Hurlbut (5-5)

Newcomers: Jr. G Amber Mitchell (5-1), Jr. C/F Julia Deferville (6-1), Jr. G Jacque Pettigrew (5-6), Jr. F Savannah Sikora (5-11), So. G Abbie Korjenek (5-6), So. F Madison Kilroy (5-10)

Outlook: Former Lakes boys basketball coach Brian Phelan replaces Pete Schneider, who brought respectability to the girls team during his six-year run. And Phelan says, yes, there is a difference coaching girls as opposed to boys. "One apparent thing is that all my alley-oop plays are now in a file," Phelan said with a laugh. Basketball is basketball, all joking aside, and Phelan likes that his Eagles are serious about this sport. "I see girls that when they have questions, they support each other, and they're good at making sure everybody is on the same page," he said. "Which is pretty cool." The Eagles head into season at less than full strength. Phelan says junior Natalie Pawlak, who's been a varsity player since her freshman year, blew out her knee in April. She just recently got back on the court and figures to miss the first couple of weeks of the season. Junior newcomers Jacque Pettigrew and Amber Mitchell both have been sidelined by ankle injuries. "One day we had six at practice," Phelan said. As a result, Phelan promoted sophomores Abbie Korjenek (5-6) and Madison Kilroy (5-10), who might or might not stick around once the Eagles get their older players back. The Eagles do boast a returning all-conference player in Ellie Haviland, who will be playing her third season on varsity. As a junior, she found her niche coming off the bench. She is the team's only senior. "Ellie is dialed in this season," Phelan said. "She got herself in better shape. In practice, she's dominating. She's just that classic girl who going into her senior year got ready in the off-season." Junior forward Izzy Quaranta is another player who's been up since her freshman year. "I know soccer is her main sport, so she came (into the season) in shape already," Phelan said. "She's dialed in too." Guards Natalie Iacopetti and Shannon Hurlbut and forward Sarah Zellmann all played a lot as well last winter. Junior Julia Deferville (6-1) came up late last season. Junior Savannah Sikora (5-11) did not play basketball last season. "We're going to play with moxie," Phelan said. "We're not going to be fast-break. We're not going to be walk-the-ball-up. We're just going to have our few things in that we do well. If the game plan changes because the other team calls different defenses, we're just going to have five coaches on the court and we'll adjust."

ROUND LAKE

Coach: Howard Conkling (sixth season)

Last season: 7-22, 0-12 in NSC Prairie, lost to Warren in Class 4A regional play-in

Key losses: G Raven Nicoline

Returning players: Sr. F Miyah Johnson (5-9), Sr. C Tatyana Steadman (5-10), Jr. G Lesley Diaz (5-3), Jr. C Amparo Vargas (6-1)

Newcomers: So. G Griselda Martinez (5-5), Sr. C Kiara Terry (5-10), So. G Yami Lopez (5-5), So. G/F Allie Ramirez (5-6), Jr. G Emely Martinez (5-6), So. C/F Alesia Jimdar (5-10), So. F Hannah Brooks (5-8)

Outlook: The Panthers have a mix of experience and youth, as coach Howard Conkling has five sophomore newcomers in Griselda Martinez, Yami Lopez, Allie Ramirez, Alesia Jimdar and Hannah Brooks. "They had a pretty good year as freshmen," Conkling said. "These sophomores played all summer against varsity competition." Jimdar is 5-10 and figures to be a factor. "She's pretty tough under the boards, and she goes after the loose balls," Conkling said. "She's going to turn some heads." The veterans include 5-10 senior Tatyana Steadman, 6-1 junior Amparo Vargas and junior guard Lesley Diaz, all of whom are playing their third season on varsity. Senior forward Miyah Johnson, who started last season, can shoot the 3 and has the potential to be a consistent double-digit scorer. Junior guard Emely Martinez is a transfer from Grayslake North and a good defender. "I think we're going to be more competitive," Conkling said. "They're shooting better. ... And we actually have a little bit of size, too."

VERNON HILLS

Coach: Paul Brettner (16th season)

Last season: 22-8, 9-3 in NSC Prairie, lost to North Chicago in Class 3A sectional semifinals

Key losses: G Haley Lieberman, F Kasey Firnbach, F Monica Bahlmann, G Mia Polisky, G Kristin Guglielmi, F Katie Brettmann

Returning players: Sr. G Danielle Comitor (5-8), Sr. G Dana Meline (5-8), Jr. G Becky Bahlmann (5-9), Sr. F Katie Long (5-8), Jr. G Katie Burrows (5-7), Jr. G Sophia Lehocky (5-9)

Newcomers: Jr. G Sarah Demas (5-4), Jr. G Sammie Beide (5-5), Jr. G Emma Pappano (5-4), Fr. G Dakiya Daniels (5-8), Fr. F Kayla Caudle (5-11), Fr. G Piper Bedell (5-6)

Outlook: After graduating a pair of Division-I recruits, including Sydney Smith, who was the captain of the 2014 Daily Herald Lake County All-Area team, the Cougars didn't rebuild. They simply reloaded. They won 22 games and a regional title for the fourth year in a row. "Walking in, I wasn't quite sure what would happen," said Paul Brettner, who's the varsity's only head coach in the history of the program. "It kind of depended on how the seniors took to being seniors, and they did a great job. They really rose to the challenge." Kasey Firnbach, Haley Lieberman and Monica Bahlmann all graduated after earning all-conference honors. The Cougars return only two starters in junior guard Becky Bahlmann (honorable mention all-NSC last season) and senior guard Dana Meline. Senior guard Danielle Comitor played a lot coming off the bench and figures to run the offense. All three played on varsity two years ago, when the Cougars won the NSC championship. Brettner has promoted three freshmen: guards Dakiya Daniels (sister of former VH star DaVaris Daniels) and Piper Bedell and forward Kayla Caudle. Daniels and Caudle spent most of the summer with the varsity. Sophia Lehocky and Katie Burrows played on varsity as sophomores last season. Senior forward Katie Long was injured most of the season. "I'm hoping having those three (Lehocky, Burrows and Long) on varsity (last season)," Brettner said, "really gives them a chance to contribute right away, as opposed to having to figure out what varsity is all about."

WAUCONDA

Coach: Jaime Dennis (eighth season)

Last season: 9-15, 3-9 in NSC Prairie, lost to St. Viator in Class 3A regional semifinals

Key losses: F Jessie Wood, G Natalie Harding, F Jackie Lung, G Anna Wisniewski, G Paige Motley, G/F Maddie Gaschler

Returning players: Sr. G Corrina Vaughan (5-6), Jr. C Katie Rossetti (6-2), Jr. C Hayley Redmann (5-10), Sr. G Marissa Miller (5-6)

Newcomers: Fr. F Allie Tylka (5-10), So. G Michaela Kimbell (5-0), Jr. G Hayley Sutherland (5-5), Jr. F Alyssa Gussarson (5-11), Jr. C Mallory Carver (5-8), Jr. F Sydney Pikel (5-10), Jr. F Sarah Ricci (5-8), Sr. G Cassie Salisbury (5-5)

Outlook: Before the Bulldogs' 2015-16 season even started, they were off to a good start. That's because they formed their own Thanksgiving tournament during the off-season. Last year's last-minute collapse of Marian Central's tourney left Wauconda without a season-opening tournament. "We missed out a lot last year not having that tournament," coach Jaime Dennis said. The Bulldogs graduated more than half their roster, but they return 6-2 all-conference junior center Katie Rossetti and senior point guard Corrina Vaughan, who was honorable mention all-NSC last season. Junior center/forward Hayley Redmann got some starts last season too and played regularly. "We have a good solid core with Hayley, Corinna and Katie," Dennis said. "It's just going to be a matter of how quickly the younger ones come along. It's going to take a while to get a little bit of team chemistry " The Bulldogs have eight new players on their roster. The most intriguing might be freshman Allie Tylka, a 5-10 forward who's expected to start. She's a three-sport athlete. "Basketball is her No. 1 (sport), though," Dennis said. "I saw her this summer at open gyms and camp and was really impressed and pleased with her. Then she came to tryouts and really did a nice job. She earned her spot." Michaela Kimbell, a 5-foot sophomore, will back up Vaughan at point guard. Junior guard Hayley Sutherland and senior guard Marissa Miller were also expected to start the Bulldogs' season opener against Round Lake on Thursday night. "We're rebuilding a little bit," Dennis said. "Although we have that good foundation with Katie, Corrina and Hayley, there are going to be some ups and downs."

NSC LAKE

LAKE ZURICH

Coach: Chris Bennett (11th season)

Last season: 13-16, 5-7 in NSC Lake, lost to Buffalo Grove in Class 4A regional semifinals

Key losses: F Elly Daleske, G Rachel Dawson

Returning players: Sr. G Abby Pirron (5-9), Sr. G Rachel Kuehr (5-6), Sr. G Vanessa DiVincenzo (5-2), So. F McKenna Zobel (6-0), Sr. F Kelly Heffernan (5-10), Sr. F Nicole Gaggiano (5-11), So. G Grace Kinsey (5-10)

Newcomers: Jr. G Sarah Blase (5-7), Jr. F Lauryn Johnson (5-10), So. F Katie Guy (5-11), So. F Claire Jones (6-0), Fr. G Anna Biergans (5-5)

Outlook: The Bears have gone from 5 wins three years ago to eight two seasons ago to 13 last season. See a pattern? "We're slowing building it back up to where we want to be," coach Chris Bennett said. "Our goals are, first, to have a winning record and then see if we can get some kind of trophy at the end of the year. Any piece of hardware will do." The Bears have at least one player who has the potential to earn postseason honors. Guard Abby Pirron is starting on varsity for the fourth year in a row, and her coach is confident she'll have a strong season. Pirron was an honorable mention all-conference selection last season. "She's looking stronger and faster, more and more confident," Bennett said. "I think she's really into the senior role of being a leader, and her jump shot has gotten more consistent. I know she's been working hard on that." Another reason for optimism? Half of the players on Bennett's roster saw significant time last season, either as a starter or reserve. Senior Vanessa DiVincenzo missed her sophomore campaign due to an ACL tear, but she was a regular contributor last season. "Same thing (as Pirron)," Bennett said. "She's looking strong and faster. I think it's just more of a confidence thing with the knee, and now she's ready to go." Bennett calls returning senior guard Rachel Kuehr easily his team's best defender. Senior Nicole Gaggiano, who was a spot starter last season, is another good defender. Senior Kelly Heffernan is in the mix for playing time as well. Besides 5-10 guard Grace Kinsey and 6-foot McKenna Zobel, both of whom played varsity last winter, the Bears boast two other sophomores in newcomers Claire Jones and Katie Guy. Freshman guard Anna Biergans is going to play immediately. Biergans, DiVincenzo and Kinsey are all capable of playing the point. "We're trying to play a little faster," Bennett said. "We're going to be very guard-oriented, but at the same time we got a couple of taller guards, so I'm not really worried about guarding people."

LIBERTYVILLE

Coach: Greg Pedersen (fourth season)

Last season: 17-12, 7-5 in NSC Lake, lost to Fremd in Class 4A regional finals

Key losses: C Becky Deichl (Wisconsin-Whitewater)

Returning players: Sr. G Maggie Piazzi (5-5), Jr. G Hannah Heraty (5-7), Jr. F Claire Keefe (6-0), Jr. G Riley Weis (5-7) Jr. F Caroline Frea (6-0), Jr. G Molly Cayce (5-8), Jr. G Maggie O'Sullivan (5-7), Sr. F Maddie Guiard (5-10), Sr. F Gabbie Haws (6-0), Sr. G Erin Dunleavy (5-9)

Newcomers: Sr. G Allison Watson (6-0), Jr. G Simone Mikaelian (5-5), Jr. F Sarah Pavelske (5-10), Jr. G Jenna El Ghatit (5-7), Jr. F Veronica Tarello (5-9)

Outlook: The Wildcats are loaded with varsity experience, as they return 10 players from a season ago, including all-conference junior forward Claire Keefe and senior guard Maggie Piazzi, both of whom are starting for the third year in a row. Not that veteran players necessarily guarantee success. "There's a lot of optimism, but there's a lot of awareness that we have to work really hard," cautioned coach Greg Pedersen, whose 2014-15 squad posted 17 wins, seven more than the previous season. "We're not going to be winning anything just because we got older. We're going to have to improve, we're going to have to play smart, we're going to have to play better, and we're going to have to be stronger and tougher. If that stuff comes along with being older, then we might have some success." Like Keefe, Riley Weis, Hannah Heraty, Caroline Frea and Molly Cayce all played regularly last season. The 6-foot Frea might be able to help compensate for the graduation of all-area center Becky Deichl (11.5 ppg, 8 rpg). Weis scored 25 points in the Wildcats' 2-overtime win over Lake Forest in the regional semifinals. Guard Maggie O'Sullivan, who's another junior that played on varsity last winter, is much improved, Pedersen said. The newcomers include Loyola volleyball recruit Allison Watson, who's a transfer from New York. She's listed as a 6-foot guard. "She's going to contribute," Pedersen said. "We want her to contribute and need her to contribute." Senior forward Erin Dunleavy missed essentially the last two seasons due to injury but put together an all-conference volleyball season. The Wildcats should be able to build off last season. "We took some lumps last year with the learning experience of the younger kids," Pedersen said. "I think they're rearing to go to show that they've improved and to show that we're a better team at this point."

MUNDELEIN

Coach: Martin Pazanin (first season)

Last season: 15-18, 3-9 in NSC Lake, lost to Stevenson in Class 4A regional semifinals

Key losses: G Maggie Mahar (Judson), G Natalie Busscher (Webster), G Maria DeVito, G Maddie Zazas

Returning players: Sr. F Madison Davis (6-0), Sr. G Amy Richards (5-9), Jr. G Rachel Tipperreiter (5-8), Sr. F Caity Pieklo (5-10), Jr. G Kendall Wald (5-8), Sr. G Debbie Wood (5-5)

Newcomers: So. G Kelsy Austwick (5-5), Jr. G Carly Bonczkowski (5-9), Jr. G Sarah Ouimet (5-7), Sr. G Lexi Fiolka (5-5), Jr. F Alana Goodson (5-10), Jr. F Taylor Parola (5-9)

Outlook: Martin Pazanin, who twice went downstate in the three-point contest when he was at Antioch a decade ago, will encourage his team to shoot open shots. "I would never pass up an open shot," he said with a laugh. But Mundelein's first-year coach knows his team will win with defense, just as the Mustangs did under former coach Brian Evans, who stepped down following last season. Pazanin will try to bring out some physicality and aggressiveness from his team. "The fouls, at this point, I'm not even upset about," Pazanin said. "When I first met them, I don't think they would have fouled one player the whole game. I think they've gotten much tougher during this process that we're going through." Pazanin inherits a pair of returning starters in senior guard Amy Richards and senior post Madison Davis, both of whom have played on varsity since they were freshmen. Pazanin wants the skilled Richards to be more assertive at the offensive end. Kendall Wald, a good shooter, and Rachel Tipperreiter, who was in the starting lineup Opening Night, both contributed on the varsity as sophomores last winter. Senior Caity Pieklo and sophomore guard Kelsy Austwick also earned Opening Night starts. "The biggest thing is, they bring energy and effort all the time," Pazainin said of his players. "I demand it. And they follow my lead. I think they have the potential to be a very good defensive team."

STEVENSON

Coach: Ashley Graham (first season)

Last season: 26-5, 12-0 in NSC Lake, lost to Buffalo Grove in Class 4A regional finals

Key losses: F Taylor Buford (Butler), G Sophia Way (Johns Hopkins), F Melanie Despinich, G Skylar Blackstock

Returning players: Jr. G Ashley Richardson (5-7), Sr. G Janine Fajardo (5-5), Sr. F Jessica Burke (5-9), So. F Kiana Cencula (5-9), So. C/F Klaire Steffens (6-0), Jr. C/F Madison Wicklund (6-0), So. F Isabella Paldrmic (5-10)

Newcomers: Sr. G Ashley DePew (5-6), Sr. G Coline Keane (5-6), Sr. G Calista Ramirez (5-7), So. G Julia Osuch (5-6), Sr. F Maxene Harris (5-10)

Outlook: Hall-of-fame coach Tom Dineen is gone, replaced by Ashley Graham (Sandstead), who played for him at Buffalo Grove and then coached under him for three seasons at Stevenson. She wins too, as she led Prospect to three regional championships in as many years. "We're an up-tempo basketball team, both on the offensive and defensive end," Graham said of her new squad. "We want to get out in transition and score easy baskets, whether it's in our early transition or secondary break. Then defensively -- and this might be different from what some people are probably used to -- we'll get up and pressure people, both in the full and half court and hopefully put them in what we think are uncomfortable situations. We want to get up and down for 32 minutes, that's for sure." Graham believes she has the athletes to run her system. She inherits two-time all-conference point guard Ashley Richardson, who will run the offense for the third year in a row. As a sophomore last season, Richardson averaged 12.4 points and nearly 3 assists per game. Janine Fajardo also returns to the backcourt after making the all-NSC squad last season. Fajardo and fellow senior Jessica Burke both have been on varsity the last couple of years. Burke played varsity as a freshman, too. Sophomore Kiana Cencula started last season as well. An unexpected loss was promising guard Skylar Blackstock, who logged heavy minutes for Dineen last season as a freshman. She moved back to South Carolina. The Patriots have a pair of 6-footers in junior Madison Wicklund and sophomore Klaire Steffens, and both should contribute more after coming off the bench last season. "I've just been really impressed with their commitment to the preseason as well as fall," Graham said of her players. "We just built off all the stuff that we implemented over the summer. The first two weeks here, the kids have been going extremely hard."

WARREN

Coach: John Stanczykiewicz (17th season)

Last season: 13-16, 4-8 in NSC Lake, lost to Wheeling in Class 4A regional semifinals

Key losses: G Sammi Jo Nixon

Returning players: Jr. F/F Rebekah Foley (5-10), So. G Jordyn Hughes (5-8), So. F Kaylen Dickson (5-11), Sr. F Jocelyn Bell (5-9), Jr. F Kiara Mabien (5-6), Sr. G Alexis Young (5-1), Sr. F Alaja Young-Keyes (5-8)

Newcomers: So. G Alexandra Beien (5-5), Fr. G/F Caitlyn Britton (5-9), Jr. G Leah Davis (5-4), Jr. G Asha Lake (5-7), Fr. F Dana Lundtveit (6-0), So. F Abigail Mellican (5-9)

Outlook: Guard Jordyn Hughes looks to build off a stellar freshman season in which she scored a team-best 355 points and earned all-conference and all-area honors. She's a team captain this season along with senior Jocelyn Bell and junior Rebekah Foley. The 5-10 Foley had been a regular on varsity since her freshman year. Another freshman who played well last season was 5-11 Kaylen Dickson. The Blue Devils have new young talent again this season, as 6-foot freshman Dana Lundtveit and 5-9 freshman guard/forward Caityln Britton have earned roster spots. The newcomers also include sophomores Alexandra Beien and Abigail Mellican.

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