Saturday, December 6, 2008

2008-09 girls high school basketball preview - large schools

Hopefully you picked up a hard copy of our preseason girls basketball teams, but for posterity's sake, here is a digital version.

The Record's
2008-09 large school girls basketball preseason preview:

Top 10 teams

1. Averill Park – The Lady Warriors were highly ranked all season long last year and they proved it in the Section II Class A tournament, dismantling Mohonasen 55-26 in the title game.
The good news for Averill Park is that much of the team is back for another run. The bad news is that the target is squarely on their back.
Averill Park returns seven key players and none of them are seniors this year – meaning the Warriors are poised for a long stretch of dominance.
Brittany O'Shea, the team's junior point guard, will run the show on offense.
"She's got a great first step, but at times, she's almost too unselfish," said head coach Sean Organ. "She looks to set her teammates up and she's also stepped up her defensive play."
Brooke O'Shea, a freshman, is the team's utility player and she can play any position from the two-guard to center. Juniors Katie Hawes and Amber Dushensky again will be the big rebounders.

2. Bethlehem – The Eagles were Section II runners up in 2007, but the nucleus of the team is back, including Meg Olsen, Taylor Teal and Kiersten Swete.
Alex McCullough, who stands 6-foot-1, is one of the premier post players in the Suburban Council.
Many girls on the basketball team played soccer or volleyball in the fall and both of those teams were Section II Class AA champions.
"(Bethlehem head coach) Mark Nealon does a fine job getting them to buy into the team concept," said Averill Park head coach Sean Organ. "They play so well as a team."

3. Lansingburgh – The Knights have a veteran core – only one senior graduated – but they know they have their work cut out for them in the always challenging Colonial Council.
"We should be optimistic, but other teams may think we should be at the top too," said head coach Mari Warner. "They're going to be gunning for us."
Erin Glikes returns after missing some of last season with injury problems. Warner calls her a very intelligent player, who also earned Colonial Council MVP honors as the Lady Knights’ ace pitcher during softball season.
Sharpshooter Alyssa Fane is another of the young Lansingburgh players that have the Knights poised for a big year.

4. Schenectady – Shooting guard Shelia Dixon will be one of the top scorers in the Big 10 and she hopes to lead the Patriots deeper into the Class AA Section II tournament.
Samara Butler is the Patriots’ point guard and she does a great job of getting Dixon the ball in space.
Schenectady finished in a tie for third place in the Big 10, but the Patriots were bounced by Saratoga Springs in the opening round of the Sectional tournament.
"They just might be the team to beat," said Troy head coach Paul Bearup. "Shelia Dixon is a very talented player."

5. Bishop Maginn – Mariah Stewart will be playing Division I basketball at Virginia Commonwealth University next year, but the Griffins have a host of complimentary players.
"We don't rely just on her," said first-year head coach Julie Reilly, a Bishop Maginn graduate and former player at the College of Saint Rose.
Sophomore center QuiEssence Price and freshman guard Janae Lyde will also pick up the scoring for the Griffins.
The boys team at Maginn won the state championship in 2007-08 and that energy has been contagious with the girls.
"They think they want it too," Reilly said. "I have seven seniors and this is their year to do it. They feel like this is their year, but they know they have to work for it."

6. Shenendehowa – The Lady Plainsmen lost all five starters to graduation from the 2007-08 team which won the Suburban Council's Blue Division and finished the season with a 21-2 record. Shenendehowa, as always, has reloaded.
Senior guard Mandy Ferro has been a leader of the field hockey team and is Shenendehowa's star pitcher during softball season. Along with junior forward Marissa Ray, Ferro will be expected to become a leader on the hardcourt as well.
Head coach Ken Strube won his 500th game last season and he’s aiming to add to his legendary total.

7. Catholic Central – Olivia DeMarco, a member of The Record's second team All-City squad in 2007-08, is nearing her return from a broken ankle and the Crusaders should again figure into the mix in the Big 10.
Carly LaBombard has been the team’s leading scorer with DeMarco out, averaging over 13 points per game so far this season.
Dana Spiak runs the point and Maria Foglia and Colleen Dignum also look like major scoring threats for Catholic Central.

8. Troy – Shannon and Emily Jones are inseparable on the softball diamond and on the volleyball court and the two seniors are going to be the leaders of the Flying Horses hoops team as well.
Shannon takes control on the point, while Emily leads the way inside at one of the forward positions.
"They are just good all-around athletes with a good understanding of the game," said Troy head coach Paul Bearup. "They're such smart players that get the most out of their ability."
Jamiesha Bruton, a 6-foot, junior transfer from Lansingburgh, will immediately play a role at center for the Flying Horses.
Senior Katie Heyward, who played inside a season ago, is going to shift to the perimeter.

9. Burnt Hills – Georgie Farrow was the big scorer a year ago and she has the team ready for another run through the Suburban Council.
The Spartans will have a new coach as former assistant Don Juron slides up to take the head coaching position. George Dudas moved over to guide the boys team upon Bill Martin's retirement.

10. Holy Names – The team will miss Jessica Walton, who was one of the finest players in the Colonial Council as a senior.
Juniors Fallon Witte and Kierra Moore, however, have Holy Names poised for another dash through league play and the Section II Class A tournament.

Preseason Dream Team


Meg Olsen
5-foot-10, senior, point guard
Bethlehem
Olsen led the Eagles to the Section II Class AA championship game last year, averaging 13.7 points per game along the way. A New York State Class AA eighth team All-Star, Olsen will play basketball at Division II Saint Michaels of the Northeast-10 upon graduation.
"She's a four-year varsity player and our captain," said Bethlehem head coach Mark Nealon. "She is our point guard and our leading scorer, so we're relying again on her to be a leader of this team."
The Suburban Council All-Star and member of the Section II Class AA Tournament Team will be counted on again for her ability to slash her way to the hoop.


Mariah Stewart
5-foot-11, senior, shooting guard
Bishop Maginn
Stewart signed her letter of intent to play at Virginia Commonwealth University after averaging nearly 15 points per game as a junior.
The Griffins were 5-7 in Big 10 play but finished 14-8 overall a season ago and Stewart should have the Golden Griffins in line for a Big 10 Championship run.
"She's really great at driving and kick¬ing," said Bishop Maginn head coach Julie Reilly. "She's good at creating. She's also been much more vocal and stepping into a lead role."


Ariana Youngs
5-foot-8, junior shooting guard
Lansingburgh
Youngs is an athletic guard that can put up points quickly. She led the Knights in scoring as a sophomore with 10.1 points per game and has developed a deadly long-range shot.
The Lady Knights finished with a respectable 9-7 Colonial Council record and 12-9 overall in 2007-08 but with Youngs back to lead a squad that lost only one senior, this Lansingburgh team is looking up.
"She's been a varsity player since eighth grade," said Lansingburgh head coach Mari Warner. "Everybody returning is a lot stronger this year, especially Ariana. She'll have some stronger moves."

Katie Duma
5-foot-10, junior, forward
Averill Park
As a sophomore, Duma averaged 16.7 points per game, the sixth highest total in Section II. She led the Warriors to back-to-back sectional titles and was named to the All-State Class A first team in 2007-08.
A threat to score both in the paint and behind the arc, Duma scored over 20 points seven times and was a First Team All-Area selection by The Record and was named a Suburban Council All-Star.
"Katie does a really good job getting to the rim," said Averill Park head coach Sean Organ. "She really worked in the offseason to get stronger. She's a multi-dimensional player. She's aggressive and good at getting in the passing lanes. We use her to anchor the team and the different full-court presses that we run."

Olivia DeMarco
6-foot, senior, power forward
Catholic Central
DeMarco was a member of the The Record's All-Area second team and a Big 10 All-Star second team selection after averaging 9.8 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. A forward with the athleticism of a guard, DeMarco will now be asked to lead after the departure of Alison McGrath, who is now playing at Saint Rose.
DeMarco has signed a letter of intent to play at the University of New Haven, a member of the Division II Northeast-10 Conference.
Cleared to start practicing on Wednesday, DeMarco will miss some time because of a broken ankle and should be a second half boost to the Crusaders.
"I think the injury has benefited her," said head coach Chris LoBombard. "She matured a lot by watching her teammates work hard and I think she learned a lot about the game from sitting and watching."

Second String
PG Brittany O'Shea, junior, Averill Park
SG Shelia Dixon, senior, Schenectady
F Alex McCullough, senior, Bethlehem
F Georgina Farrow, senior, Burnt Hills
F Gabi Regan, senior, Columbia

-- Compiled by Will Montgomery

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Girls schools said...

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December 11, 2008 at 12:00 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How could Columbia girls not be mentioned in pre season look at large schools? Columbia is in Rensselaer County, home of the Troy Record and beat Troy by 20 points in the AP tournament. There is no comparison...

December 21, 2008 at 11:04 PM 
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July 28, 2010 at 6:37 AM 

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