Olmsted's Mackenzie Lynes makes a strong move to the basket
last Saturday night against Avon. (West Life photo by Larry
tip off hoops season
By Jim Horvath
Published Dec. 1, 2010
As the 2010-11
girls basketball season gets underway, both Magnificat and Rocky
River are looking to build off last season’s successes and take
the next step.
the Demons are looking to take the step abruptly denied last year.
to the Division I regional tournament the previous season, Westlake
saw last year come to a halt at Medina. That’s when Kalpana Beach
was lost for the tournament with an injury and the Demons finished
River, on the
other hand, had its best season ever, winning its first Division
II championship and advancing to the Elite eight before getting
eliminated by Walsh Jesuit. Magnificat went on a late-season run
and got all the way to the Division I district title game out at
Valley Forge, losing to Brecksville.
Well, the Pirates
and Blue Streaks return nearly their whole squads for this season.
And Westlake, with a healthy Beach already signed at Ohio State,
is looking to step back into contention as well.
Beach, a 6-1
senior forward, averaged 19.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and 1.8 steals
last season. The future Buckeye also garnered first-team Southwestern
Conference honors and made second-team All Ohio.
for head coach Chip Weiss is 6-0 junior forward Katie Carroll, a
second team SWC selection who averaged 6.2 points and 5.7 rebounds
last season. And with Magnificat transfer Rachael Trujillo and senior
Kristie Prendergast at guard, the Demons have experience in the
Katie give us size, versatility and experience,” Weiss said. “Rachael
is a smart player and is very solid on both offense and defense,
while Kristie gives us experience at guard as well. Our goals are
to win the SWC and get back to regionals this season.”
nine players off of last year’s team as head coach Meghann Hubach
begins her sixth season.
really excited for the season to begin,” Hubach admitted. “Our practices
have been very intense and competitive. With last year’s experience,
the girls have a better idea of what to expect. They’re ready to
The Blue Streaks,
one of the youngest teams in the area last year, have four seniors
on this year’s squad. Returning are guards Emily Sterba, Christine
Ferry and Maura Weir as well as post player Brigid Murray.
senior Emily Sterba, shown here last season, is one of nine
Blue Streaks returning for 2010-11. (West Life photo by Larry
The team’s junior class is a strong one, featuring
point guard Megan Barilla and the team’s leading 3-point shooter,
junior Stephanie Haas. Haas had 16 treys last season. Also in that
group is post player Maddie Barry, who averaged just under eight
rebounds per game, and guard Paige Wise, who will be the team’s
sixth man this season, according to Hubach.
“Like last year,
we’re all kind of the same size out there,” Hubach said about her
roster. “We’ll rely on our press and half-court defense to help
get us into our transition game where we can take advantage of our
athleticism and quickness.”
has won four straight West Shore Conference championships and will
be looking to make it five under first-year head coach Mike Sislowski.
this season with high hopes,” Sislowski said. “We only graduated
two players from last year’s team, so the expectations are higher
than ever. With the great balance of post and perimeter players
we have, anything is possible for this season.”
One reason for
all the optimism is the return of junior forward Hannah McCue. The
6-0 McCue averaged 17.5 points and 9.7 rebounds per game last season
and is considered a solid Division I college prospect. She was the
WSC Most Valuable Player as well as a first-team district and a
special mention All-Ohio selection.
Maeve Kessler returns after averaging seven points and four rebounds
per game last year. In the backcourt, the Pirates bring back junior
point guard Allyson Helleis and senior Emily Townsend. Helleis averaged
just under five assists per game last season, while Townsend usually
guarded the opponent’s best ball handler.
Swartz also returns as a backup guard, while junior forward Ciara
Kessler will be counted on to provide both scoring and rebounding.
Another junior, Katie McNally, will be counted on for additional
scoring as well.
At rival Bay,
the Rockets are in full rebuild mode with no returning starters
from last year’s 13-9 team. Head coach Chris Brewer begins his eighth
season with a group of mostly untested young players.
only three players with any varsity experience,” Brewer said. “We’ll
have multiple freshmen playing varsity, even though none of them
are ready for it yet. So we’ll be very young and very inexperienced.”
One player Brewer
can build around is sophomore forward Taylor Seton. The 6-1 Seton
played all 22 games as a freshman last year, averaging six point,
four rebounds and nearly three blocks per game. She recorded 57
blocks for the year, just shy of the school record for a season.
into the season with a new head coach in veteran Bill Harvey, who
spent six seasons as the head coach at Maple Heights. He’ll welcome
five letter winners from last year’s team that finished 5-16 overall
and 3-12 in the WSC.
“I think we
have a chance to really turn things around,” Harvey said. “The girls
are buying into the up-tempo game, so I think we can cause some
problems. Each day we add new things, and I see them getting more
the Warriors are senior point guard Kayla Iwais (10 points per game),
senior center Bri Finnerty (eight points, eight rebounds), junior
guard Erin Wolansky, junior forward Morgan King (seven points, eight
rebounds) and sophomore point guard Rosie Morrison.
Back in the
SWC, North Olmsted is looking to rebuild as well under first-year
head coach Cheryl Bansek, the former head coach at Admiral King.
“We’ve got a
very, very young group,” said Bansek, who led the Admirals to a
Division I district championship in 2008 and was Ohio Coach of the
Year that season. “We’ve got great talent at the freshman level,
and our sophomore class is loaded as well. I see us as a program
on the rise, so it’s pretty exciting.”
Brianna Wensik, junior point guard Erika Kabak and junior forward
Megan Branchick will provide experience and serve as the team tri-captains
this season, according to Bansek. A pair of sophomore guards, Tara
Kelley and Haley Reines, will try to help the Eagles improve on
last year’s seven-win season.
is looking to bounce back after a 3-18 season last year. Head coach
Matt Fulton begins his fifth season as the leader of the Bulldogs.
“This year we’ll
again be very young, plus we don’t have a lot of height,” Fulton
said. “Most of our players are sophomores and juniors with very
little varsity experience. We’ll probably take some lumps early
in the season with hopes that we can get better throughout the year.”
Kelly Clancey and Sarah Dischinger will provide some experience
as their young teammates grow into varsity players.
four points and two assists per game and will provide leadership
for the team, Fulton said. She’ll move from the point guard spot
to the off guard position this season. Dischinger had five points
and three rebounds per game and is known for her defensive play.
She’ll also make a move, manning a post position for the Bulldogs.
to make an impact are juniors Amber Black, Amanda Abraham and Bridget
mental as well as sophomores Mary Gorski, Julia Newhouse and Jaime