Scouting the Mid-Suburban West
BarringtonCoach: Babbi Barreiro (26th season)
Last year's record: 10-17, 5-5
Graduated players: Kaitlyn Henke, Tess Conforti, Rachel Mori, Morgan Kelly
Returning players: Tori Meyer (5-9 Sr. G), Taylor Thompson (5-11 Jr. C), Anna Mae King (5-8 Jr. F), Shanna Turczynski (5-6 Jr. G), Katie Tomczyk (5-8 Jr. F), Emma Bergquist (5-6 Jr G), Anna Gehrisch (5-7 Jr. G)
Newcomers: Michaela Goetze (5-6 So. G), Sydney Granby (5-10 Fr. F), Laura Mahlum (5-11 Fr. F) Alison Funk (5-6 Fr, G), Hailey Schmidts (5-7 Jr. F), Mary Tierney (5-6 Jr. G), Sarah Kennefick (5-7 Jr. G)
Outlook: As she begins her 26th season, the dean of MSL coaches, Babbi Barreiro (403 career wins), points to one area of this year's team that stands out. "I love the athleticism of this group," she said. That athleticism includes a pair of returning all-area players in Thompson and Meyer, who is committed to DePaul for softball. Meyer averaged 12 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals last winter while Thompson led the Fillies with her 19.9 points and 13.6 rebounds. "We have an excellent nucleus returning both on the perimeter (Meyer, King and Turczynski) and around the basket (Thompson)," Barreiro said. "We are very excited about the newcomers who I believe will fill in the gaps and contribute significantly. The Mid-Suburban League is always competitive and we have a very tough nonconference schedule. Our kids will be tested early and often. While young in spots, I really look for them to rise to the challenges that lie ahead this season."
Conant Coach: Todd Strauch (1st season)
Last year's record: 10-17, 6-4
Graduated players: Ania Baker, Taylor Cyr, Cate Fitzgerald, Amanda Klingsporn, Lauren Murphy, Cassandra Jones, Morgan Ragusin
Returning players: Hannah Shulman (5-10 Sr. G), Abbey DiSalvo (5-10 Sr. F), Stephanie Mazurek (5-8 Sr. G), Amber Licari (5-8, Sr. G), Taylor Anderson (5-6 Sr. G)
Newcomers: Chikere Oduocha (6-1 F), Rachel Kutella (5-9 F), Alex Chernick (5-6, G), Breanna Wiseman (5-11, F), Neeha Kakuturu (5-2, G), Maya Rahman (5-2, G), Ashanti Young (5-6, F), Ellie Galovich (5-7, F)
Outlook: With a good mix of returning varsity girls and talented newcomers, first-year Conant coach Todd Strauch is hoping the Cougars can build off their third-place finish in the West last winter. Helping to spark that finish was all-area guard Shulman, who averaged 6.8 points, 3.4 assists and 2.9 rebounds in her first season on the varsity. "Hannah had a great off-season to build off last year," said Strauch, who was an assistant in the girl's program for five years after being an assistant in the boy's program for three. " We look forward to seeing her grow as a leader in the program." In addition to the five returning players, Strauch also welcomes eight newcomers to his first varsity club. "The newcomers will add an interesting mix to the team as they have some quality size and athleticism," Strauch added.
FremdCoach: Dave Yates (13th season)
Last year's record: 18-13
Graduated Players: Colleen Kennedy, Alyssa Honickel, Danielle Lovelace
Returning Players: Angie Zara (5-8 Sr. G), Emily Klaczek (5-10 Jr. G), Caroline Cochrane (5-10 Jr. G), Crystal Kim (5-4 Jr. G), Ella Burns (5-7 Jr. G), Madeline McCarthy (5-9 So. G), Olivia Hill (6-0 Jr. F), Katie Hansen (6-3 Jr. F/C), Ruthie Montella (6-0 So. G), Grace LaBarge (6-3 So. G/F)
Newcomers: Ally Sheehan (5-8 Jr. G), Allie Prigge (5-6 Jr. G), Sam Prigge (5-10 Jr. F),, G/F, Grace Cox (5-11 Jr. F), Kendall Maloney (5-10 Jr. G), Eleanor Klink (6-3 Jr. G), Brianna Wooldridge (6-2 Fr. F)
Outlook: After a record eight straight MSL West titles, Fremd placed second to crosstown rival Palatine last winter. The Vikings will look to get back into a title groove as they return 10 players who saw significant playing time last season along with some very talented newcomers. Despite all the returning players, Zara is only senior who returns for her third varsity campaign. "Angie brings a level of toughness that every team needs," said Fremd coach Dave Yates, who owns a 269-105 record in the past 12 seasons. "Angie made some huge plays at the end of last year that our young team desperately needed." The Vikings will be talented, tall and deep. "The best part of this year's team is everyone is a year older and we found out last year that experience matters," Yates added. "It can't be taught. It is learned and we had some bumps in the road that our program really hasn't experienced in the last five years. The most exciting byproduct of last year is how hungry our players are." Yates said his players went to work addressing weaknesses throughout the entire offseason and showed significant growth during summer play. Fremd had more than 20 Division 1 schools attend its fall open gyms. "The best part about that is they came to watch multiple kids we have" Yates said. "This year's team still has the potential to be a very strong team by the end of the season The future is very bright."
Hoffman EstatesCoach: Mike Koester (5th season)
Last year's record: 11-19, 1-9
Graduated players: Tayler Williams, Kruti Kadiwala, Jasemin Sertesen and Mary Bean,
Returning players: Kate Mongold (5-9 Sr. G), Alysa Dupart (5-4 Sr G), Raven Wilson (6-1, Sr, F), Nora Thomas (5-5 Jr, G), Berry Chukwuyem (6-3, Sr. F), Samantha Sarullo (5-9 Jr. G,) Patricia Wadas (5-10 Jr. F)
Newcomers: Catya Hargrove (5-5 Sr. G), Madison Barnes (5-11 Jr. F), Kalicia Sims (5-9 Jr. F), Ritika Prasad (5-4 Jr. G), Anastasia Sturgis (5-9 So. G), Ashley Oliver (5-5 Fr. G), Julia Hostetler (5-5 Fr. G).
Outlook: As he begins his fifth season, coach Mike Koester has one of his most experienced teams with seven returning players, including four starters from a team that got into double figures in wins. The one graduated starter is all-conference Tayler Williams, an all-area selection who averaged 10 points and connected for a MSL West high 21 3-pointers (59 total). She also led the West with her 83 percent free throw shooting. "That leaves a hole in our scoring but we are expecting big things from our four returning starters (Mongold, Dupart, Wilson and Thomas)," Koester said. All four had at least one double-figure scoring game. "We should be very well balanced in scoring with so many returners with varsity experience," Koester added. "We have some newcomers that have been fitting into our system very well. I feel like we have a very tight-knit, hardworking group this year and expect them to continue to gel as the season goes on."
Palatine Coach: Mark Johnson (6th season)
Last year's record: 22-8, 8-2
Graduated Players: Kacie Filian, Sydney Rzepka, Kendra Lindell, Anja Jacobsen, Sarah Jasonowicz, Jenny Myslinski, Tiana Henderson
Returning Players: Amanda Stanczuk (5-11 Sr. F), Amy Vitulli (5-5 Sr. G), Melanie Simon (5-8 Jr. G), Sarah Arnold (5-6 Sr. G)
Newcomers: Kayla Miotk (6-1 So. F), Madi Stark (5-7 Fr. G), Olivia Radtke (6-0 Jr. F), Jennifer Lopez (5-6 So. G), Daniela Casillas (5-4, Jr. G), Malaysia Gresham (5-5 Jr. G), Montfloyea Davis (5-5 Jr. G), Rhiann Dick (5-8 Jr. F), Julianna Mandarino (5-5 Jr. G), Jasmine Jackson (5-9 Sr. F), Angela Killigrew (5-5 Jr. G), Yunah Shin (5-6, Jr. G)
Outlook: The Pirates graduated seven of their top players, including all-area selections Rzepka, Lindell and Filian, from last year's MSL West championship team. But coach Mark Johnson is optimistic with the girls he will put on the floor this winter. "We graduated a ton of minutes from last year so our learning curve will be short," he said. "We will still come out and ressure the other teams and hopefully our pressure will translate into wins for the team. We have excellent senior leadership. Hopefully that will get us off to a great start."
SchaumburgCoach: Jackie Strauch (3rd season)
Last season's record: 5-23, 3-7
Graduated players: Kayla Patterson, Sarah Miller, Yadi Cortez, Sydney Sturino, Emma Aguliar, Janalee Lyke, Kendall Fredrickson, Mykala Birch
Returning players: Ariana Doroskin (5-10, Sr. PG), Vicky Aguirre (6-2, Sr. C), Talia Torosian (5-5 Jr. G), Meghan Luecht (5-8, Sr. G/F)
Newcomers: Emma Raupp (5-5, So. G), Katie Smith (5-9, Jr. PG), Jackie Drs. (5-11 Jr. C)
Outlook: The Saxons will feature power in the paint with Aguirre and Doroskin along with interchangeable guards who can move throughout positions. "We'll have fast break opportunities with our guard speed," said Saxons coach Jackie Strauch. Aguirre has the ability to dominate her defender inside the paint. "Her ability to see the court allows her teammates to cut off her and get to the hoop," the coach said. "Her passing from the post will be a large part of our success." Doroskin led the Saxons in many areas last winter. "Her ability to score will be a key to our offense," Strauch added. "Ari can bring the ball up, play the wing, and defend a post. She is an all-around asset to our offense and defense." Torosian begins her third season on the varsity. "Her first two years were quiet but she contributed the little things to the game to help her team," Strauch said. "This will be her breakout year. She should be in the top three to five in scoring and will hit the 3-pointer from anywhere. Talia's passion for competition is contagious, and she will be a strong leader on our team." Strauch already likes the team chemistry. "These girls care about each other on and off the court," she said. "With a smaller team in numbers, the athletes have made a commitment to care about one another in all facets of the game and in school. Some of our players are best friends and it contributes to our successes on the court."
East Suburban Catholic
St. ViatorCoach: Jason Raymond (4th season)
Last year's record: 21-10
Graduated Players: Myia Clark (playing at St. Louis), Olivia Solimene (playing at DePauw), Michaela Mueller, Haley Robinson, Maddie Fitzpatrick, Grace Sexton, Olivia Isufi, Katie Kroszka
Returning Players: Bridget DeZellar (5-9 Sr. F), Sam DeJulio (5-7, Sr. G), Elise Horbach (5-5 Sr. G), Natalie Krause (5-6 Sr. G), Payton McDonnell (5-6 Sr G), Cara Denton (5-6 Sr. G)
Newcomers: Joy Bergstrom (Fr. G), Nora Ahram (-4 Fr. G), Emma Morrissey (5-3 So. G), Aubrey Horbach (5-9 So. F), Keely McLellan (5-5 So. G), Ava McLellan (So G., out with ACL), Abby Longstreet (5-7 So. G), Michele Maslowski (5-4 Jr. G), Elise Bollard (5-5 Jr. G)
Outlook: With the graduation of all five starters, the Lions are looking to reload this winter. "We had a really good summer of implementing some things that we want to do for this year," said coach Jason Raymond. "So as far as summer basketball goes I am encouraged. From an offensive standpoint we had our best summer since I have been at Viator." A good number of players can put the ball in the basket, including DeZellar and DeJulio. "Bridget has a whole year under her belt recovering from an ACL tear," Raymond said. "She looks to have her athleticism back and brings a tough defensive mentality to our team. Sam is one of our three captains and an extension of our coaching staff when she is on the floor. She will be moved to the two-guard position to better use her ability to get to the basket and free throw line." Horbach is another captain and four-year varsity player. "She's is also a tough defender, in addition to being a very streaky shooter and explosive offensive player," Raymond said. "When she gets going, points come in bunches." Krause was the Lions' third-leading 3-point shooter last year. McDonnell (three-sport athlete) is the third captain and is a very versatile defender and rebounder from the guard position. "She is a really nice player in the open court and does a great job of generating steals," Raymond said. Denton is a two-year varsity player is leader by example who was on the freshman B team. Coming off a 21-4 sophomore season as freshman, Morrissey, Aubrey Horbach, McLellan and Longstreet look to contribute right away. Morrissey is a tough two-way player who is a combination guard who can run the point or slide to a shooting guard spot. Aubrey Horbach is a smooth versatile player and nice scorer around the basket. McLellan and Abby Longstreet provide solid depth. Freshmen Bergstrom and Ahram are guards who could make immediate impacts. "We would like to win our regular-season tournaments, challenge for the upper half of the conference, fight for a top-four seed in our 3A sectional," Raymond added. "We want to improve our team and individual basketball skills every day, and be playing our best basketball in February."
Christian LibertyCoach: Steve Rowland (4th season)
Last year's record: 4-16
Returning players: Emma Wolke (5-6 Sr. F), Annika Dinkelman (5-8 Sr. F), Megan Ng (5-5 So. PG), Christine Seon (5-6 So. G/F)
Newcomers: Audry Law (5-6 Fr. G), Julia Wolke (5-4 Fr. G), Melissa Castro (5-4 Fr. G), Hannah Mindak (5-9 Fr. F/C) Ellie Dinkleman (5-5, Fr. G), Dayna Mateo (5-5 Fr. G), Sandile McCoy (5-4 Fr. G), Shiny Seon (5-4 Fr. G), Joanna George (5-5 Fr. G)
Outlook: Coach Steve Rowland is returning to the job he held four years ago. "I am so excited about the leadership returning from last year's squad," said the veteran coach. " Coming back to coach at CLA and to have this group of girls is exciting." The Chargers are young (nine freshmen and two sophomores) but Rowland said there are still girls who the younger players can look up to. "We had a fantastic summer league and workouts," Rowland added. "And we will have a totally new-look Chargers team from the past few years. The girls and I are excited about the season and ready to get it underway."
Schaumburg ChristianCoach: Jim Toth
Last year's record: 9-10, 5-3
Graduated players: Veronica Woods, Melissa Mucci, Caitlyn Thomas
Returning players: Nicole Toth (Sr. G), Faith Rahn (Sr. F), Lauren Onnezi (Sr. G), Courtney Campbell (Jr. G), Rachel Csoka (So. G)
Newcomers: Lindsey Onnezi (Fr.), Summer Reid (Fr.)
Outlook: Schaumburg Christian, hoping to be among one of the top two teams in its conference, will be led by seniors Toth, Rahn and Onnezi this winter. Toth average 12 points, 7 rebounds and 3 steals per game last winter. Rahn has height and will help the team with points and rebounds while Lauren Onnezi serves as an important defender and rebounder. Campbell brings a lot to the table with speed and quickness on both sides of the court and will be a big part of the team's defense. Csoka was the team's second-leading scorer last year and looks to continue to help the team offensively. Coach Jim said that his freshmen Lindsey Onnezi will definitely see minutes at the varsity level. "We have experienced seniors who will lead the way this seasons" Toth added. "We are a younger team once you get past the seniors, but the sophomores and freshman have a lot of skill and will be immediate contributors. The key to success early on will be figuring out the lineup and players roles since there are several new players who will be seeing playing time."