Scouting the Metro Suburban
IC Catholic PrepCoach: Todd Fisher (third season)
Last season's record: 9-5 overall, 9-3 in conference
Top returning players: Claire Wagner, sr. (F, 5-11); Analisa Raffaelli, so. (G, 5-6)
Top new players: Allie Geiger, so. (F, 5-11); Kelsey McDonough, so. (G, 5-5); Frances Cook, sr. (G, 5-5)
Worth noting: The Knights graduated stars Gia Gaudio and Alia Johnson, but the cupboard is far from bare. Wagner is a four-year starter, and sophomores Raffaelli, Geiger and McDonough are poised to make a major impact. ... ICCP will host a Thanksgiving tournament with Timothy Christian. Sixteen teams will participate, including Marian Catholic, Niles North, Rosary, Reavis and DePaul Prep. ... "We've had some great practices, but for us, it's taking the next step for a lot of these players," Fisher said. "We've got a hungry bunch of kids who want to do well."
RosaryCoach: Emily Duckhorn (first season)
Last season's record: 12-5 overall, 10-3 in conference
Top returning players: Emily Hurst, sr. (F, 5-10); Lauren Hawkins, sr. (G, 5-5); Brooke Pfeiffer, jr. (G, 5-5); Brooke Stumm, sr. (F, 5-8)
Top new players: Grace Stumm, jr. (G, 5-7); Maggie Seraphin, jr. (F, 5-11); Megan Molenhouse, soph. (G, 5-6)
Worth noting: First-year coach Duckhorn was an assistant at Lake Park under Brian Rupp. What attracted her to the Rosary job? "Just the opportunity to take on a head coaching role," she said. "We're returning three starters, which is huge. We will be playing high intensity up-tempo basketball and we're just looking to make our mark and compete."
St. EdwardCoach: Michelle Dawson (16th season)
Last season's record: 6-7 overall and in conference
Top returning players: Brooke Biggins, sr. (G, 5-7); Delaney Lutzow, sr. (G, 5-4); Alexia Alfaro, sr. (G, 5-5); Delaney Nolan, sr. (F, 5-9)
Top new player: Maggie Jarzemsky fr. (F)
Worth noting: Biggins scored her 1,000th career point on the last play of the last game of last season. "Brooke is really a dynamic player, she's the leader of this team and all the girls feed off her energy," Dawson said. "We're looking for her to have a strong start of her senior year and bringing that energy to the rest of the team." ... What's next for Biggins, who stands at 1,001 career points? "The next point is to have the incoming freshmen, sophomores and juniors improve their skill work so when I and my senior teammates graduate, the program can be the best it can possibly be," she said.
St. FrancisCoach: Jeff Gerdeman
Last season's record: 10-6 overall, 9-4 in conference
Top returning players: Lauren Bruce, sr. (G, 5-7); Katie Anne De Craene, sr. (G/F, 5-9); Sara Dziengel, sr. (F, 5-9); Dolly Smith, soph. (G, 5-4)
Top new players: Katherine Lilly, jr. (F, 5-10); LeAnn Ringsrud, jr. (G/F, 5-6); Natalie Doyle, soph. (G/F, 5-6); Halle Rubino, soph. (F, 5-6)
Worth noting: After a late-season call-up to varsity her freshman year, De Craene returns as a senior captain. "She excels on both ends of the floor. On offense, Katie can score from inside and out; on defense, she can guard any position," Gerdeman said. ... "The key to our season will be how quickly and how well we can generate team chemistry," Gerdeman added. "If the first week of practice is any indication, we could surprise a lot of our opponents. We are looking to play up-tempo on both offense and defense -- which should be fun for the girls to play and fans to watch."
Timothy ChristianCoach: Jill Groenewold (third season)
Last season's record: 14-2 overall; 10-2 in conference
Top returning players: Maddie Drye, jr. (G, 5-9); Grace Roland, jr. (C, 6-1); Tegan Gunn, sr. (G, 5-4); Ella Vander Molen, sr. (G, 5-6); Cailey Schuurman sr. (F, 6-1)
Top new players: Sami Drye, fr. (G, 5-6); Mili Martens jr. (G, 5-5)
Worth noting: "All my 6-footers are gone," Groenewold said with a laugh. That includes Greta Hoogstra, who is playing volleyball at Colgate, and Hannah Schuringa, who averaged 20 ppg last year and is playing at Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights ... Maddie Drye said the example those players provided are already paying dividends. "They were just good all around people," she said. "Me and some of the other girls were able to see their example how hard they played, and use that and have another great season."
WestmontCoach: Thomas White (second season)
Last season's record: 0-13 overall, 0-11 in conference
Top returning players: Jordan Karesh, sr. (F, 5-7); Dieillza Dalipi, jr. (C, 5-10); Jillian Mackinnon, jr. (G, 5-5)
Top new players: Payeton Pickens, fr. (G, 5-5); Dasha Savchuk, fr. (F, 5-6); Evalise Papish, so (G, 5-6); Danielle Hoover, fr. (F-C, 5-8)
Worth noting: It was a tough go of it in White's first season. Not only was there the COVID-19 pandemic to contend with, the team only had seven players. But things are looking up. First and foremost, he said, "we're excited to have 14 players which allows us to scrimmage, and have subs and play an energetic style." ... Karesh is a four-year player who has played every position for the Sentinels. Expect to see her at all five again this season, but start at small forward. ... Papish transferred in from Morton.
Editor's note: Aurora Christian doesn't have a team this year due to low numbers.