The Morning Call (Sunday)

HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS BASKETBALL

COLONIAL LEAGUE TEAM-BY-TEAM PREVIEWS

- By Tom Mugavero

COLONIAL LEAGUE NORTHAMPTO­N/ BUCKS COUNTIES

BANGOR

Coach: Bill Bisci (125-76, ninth season at Bangor, 327-225, 22nd season overall).

Last year: 19-8 overall, 13-5 league.

Postseason: Beat Palmerton and lost to Notre Dame in league semifinal; beat Southern Lehigh and lost to Blue Mountain in 5Adistrict final; lost to Abington in PIAA tournament. Returning starter: 5-10 Sr. C Brooke Baker.

Otherretur­nees: 5-8 Sr. GMadison Kluska, 5-8Jr. F McCormick Karner, 5-7 Sr. F Nicole Smith, 5-7 Sr. GEmma Stout.

Newcomers: 5-4Jr. GJayleigh Figurski, 5-6Jr. GAnalise Mendez, 5-8Jr. F Emily Ohland, 5-7 So. F Brynn Holland, 5-7 So. F EmmaToth, 5-7 So. GMadeline Stout.

Outlook: The Slaters lose four starters and three other seniors to graduation but have a handful of returnees to build around. Bisci was working on fundamenta­ls and conditioni­ng in the few practices he held before the state shutdown. The main objects of the team will be to run the floor in an up-tempo format and work on rebounding.

MORAVIANAC­ADEMY

Coach: Steve Turpening (32-21, third season).

Last year: 19-9 overall, 15-3 league.

Postseason: Beat Wilson and Northweste­rn and lost to Notre Dame in its first-ever Colonial League final.

Returning players: 6-1 So. G-F Sofia Ettle, 5-8 So. FTianna Tout-Puissant, 5-8 So. F Gianna Tout-Puissant.

Newcomers: 5-6 Sr. GPaige Busch, 5-3 Sr. GChloe Wreaks, 5-9 So. F Lindsay Williams, 5-6 Fr. GLena Nifong, 5-6 Fr. GAlicia Gorson, 5-5 Fr. GQuinn Lauden, 5-6 Fr. GMayuka Karthik. Outlook: Easily the youngest and least-experience­d team in the area. Tthe Lions finished last season tied for the secondmost wins in school history but lose their top six players: four starters to graduation and two transfers.

NOTREDAME-GREENPOND

Coach: Josh Kopp (275-140, 17th season).

Last year: 24-3 overall, 18-0 league.

Postseason: Beat Bangor and Moravian Academy to win league title; beat Northern Lehigh, lost to North Schuylkill in 3A district final; lost to Loyalsock in PIAA tournament.

Returning starters: 6-1 Jr. GAntonia Bates (10.8 ppg, 38 3s), 5-5 Sr. GGrace Medei, 5-7 Sr. GSydney DeFranco, 5-7 Jr. G Raegan Cooper (8.8, 62 3s).

Otherretur­nees: 5-7 So. GAnna Micklos, 5-4 Sr. GMaya Santos, 5-10 Sr. FAbigail Grim, 5-5 Sr. GClaire Gormley, 5-4 So. GEmmaAltmi­re, 5-8 So. F EmmaZambo.

Newcomers: 5-6 Sr. GSarah Atileh, 5-7 Fr. GSkyler Howlett, 54 Fr. GRylin Becker, 5-9 So. FJulia Pohl, 5-11 Fr. F Carly Campbell. Outlook: The team to beat in the Colonial League with four starters returning. Will be led by Bates, perhaps the best all-around talent in the league. The defending league champs begin the season with a 42-game regular-season league winning streak intact.

PALISADES

Coach: Gregg Dietz (10-12, second season).

Last year: 10-12 overall, 7-11 league.

Returning starters: 6-1 Sr. FTrinity Williams (17.2 ppg, 996 career points), 5-6 Sr. GLiv Marton, 5-8 Sr. GLibby Stiansen, 5-6 Sr. Alayna Stiansen, 5-7 So. GAshley Amato. Otherretur­nees: 5-8 Fr. GBri Hunter, 5-7 Sr. GJemmaAmat­o, 5-7 Sr. GLilia Meadows, 5-8Jr. GKaatelyn Shoemaker. Newcomers: 5-6 Fr. GKaylei Gruver, 5-5 Fr. GChesney Mosher,6-0 Fr. F Cora Anderson, 506Jr. GBrooke Balsamo, 5-11 Sr. F Delaney Hilferty, 5-5 Fr. GDelia Pavlinsky,

Outlook: The Pirates look to rebound from a relatively subpar season behind Williams and might be one of the few teams in the league that could give Notre Dame a good run. There are improved outside shooters on the team, led by Libby Stiansen. Would like to play inside-out offensivel­y more than in prior years.

PENARGYL

Coach: Devin Olenick (first season).

Last year: 5-17 overall, 4-14 league.

Returning players: 5-6 So. GJillian Morro, 5-9 Sr. F 5-7 Sr. F Chloe Sisson, 5-8 Sr. F Sophie Wagner, 5-7 Jr. F Rose Falletta, 5-6Jr. GEmmaKupre­s, 5-8 So. F Hailey Frey, 5-4 So. GCallie Scheck, 5-5 Fr. F Nichole Tomczyk.

Newcomers: 5-8 Fr. GEllie Walleillic­h, Fr. Macy Kotulkag. Outlook: Lost seven seniors from last season and have a new coach in Olenick, an East Stroudsbur­g South graduate who has coached 10 years on the scholastic level in South Carolina and Utah. Morro is the only player who saw significan­t playing time last year, so this will be a work in progress.

SAUCONVALL­EY

Coach: Kathy Davidowich (2-20, second season).

Last year: 2-20 overall, 2-16 league.

Returning starters: 5-8 Sr. GAlly Frace, So. GAllison Cort Otherretur­nees: So. Sophie Babashak, Sr. Kelsey Cyphers, Jr. Katie Hlavinka,Jr. EmmaRudolp­h (missed last season due to injury).

Newcomers: Sr. Keara Bradley, So. Sara Good, Sr. Jorryn Kyra, So. Teegan Lannon, Fr. Elizabeth Miller, Sr. Ayanna Nuttall, So. Aubrey Peterson, So. Hannah Robertson.

Outlook: Frace, a four-year varsity player and threat behind the arc, was named an honorable-mention Colonial League All-Star the last two seasons after leading her team in scoring. She broke her school’s single-season girls 3-point mark with 54 as a sophomore and unofficial­ly has 86 in her career.

WILSON

Coach: Sondrine Gutierrez (63-56, fourth season).

Last year: 13-11 overall, 10-8 league.

Postseason: Lost to Moravian Academy in league quarterfin­al; lost to Tamaqua in 3Adistrict quarterfin­al. Returning starters: Sr. GMakayla Grant,Jr. GJoci Heinemann, So. GMakayla Days.

Otherretur­nees: So. GKeyearah Volious, Sr. FAlyssa Caiati, Jr. F Brielle Reidinger.

Newcomers :5-10 Jr. F Ly ni ah Fitzpatric­k ,5-10 Jr. F Mae-Lyn Hankers on ,5-6 So. G Mady son Cart age na ,5-3 Fr. G Dave ne Javier.

Outlook: Lost almost all of its scoring power from last year but has Reidinger, who started as a freshman, back after she sat out last season with a shoulder injury. Alittle bit of height has joined the program, which is unusual for the Warriors. Guard play should be in good hands with Grant, Heinemann and Days leading the way.

COLONIAL LEAGUE LEHIGH/ CARBON COUNTIES

CATASAUQUA

Coach: Mark Seremula (8-36, third season).

Last year: 5-17 overall, 3-14 league.

Returning starters: 5-3 Sr. GLexi Rushatz, 5-0 Sr. GEmma Hawk, 5-9 Sr. F Olivia Emery, 5-3Jr. GBronwyn Pacchioli, 5-5Jr. GAidan Gerhard.

Newcomers: 5-6Jr. GJhasmin Polanco, 5-10 So. F Cora Soltis, 5-6 So. GBriell Carvalho, 5-6 So. GKaylee Weidaw, 5-8 Fr. F Delaney Troxell, 5-10 Fr. F Sophia Becker, 5-6 Fr. GJordan Soltis, 5-6 Fr. GLailey Polanco, 5-3 Fr. GAlivia Bear.

Outlook: Rushatz is a four-year starter who poured in 21 points with five 3-pointers in a game last season. There’s plenty of experience among the top five and Seremula says the number of participan­ts in the program is on the rise and a nice ninthgrade group is developing. The Roughrider­s seem to be on the right path.

NORTHERNLE­HIGH

Coach: Ken Shankweile­r (29-60, fifth season).

Last year: 10-13 overall, 7-10 league.

Postseason: Lost to Notre Dame in 3Adistrict semifinal. Returning starters: 5-Jr. GEmmaNiebe­ll (10.8 ppg. 45 3s), Sr. F Madison Seier (8.1), Jr. GSophia Lear.

Other returnees: So. F Danielle Dougherty, So. F Cadence Peters. Newcomers: Jr. GStefany Steckel, Fr. GCadence Whalen, Sr. G Riley Griffith, Sr. F Emily Hun sick er, Fr. C Aubrey Pollard, Jr. C Raven Klimek.

Outlook: Coming offthe best season in eight years, Shankweile­r has done a tremendous job since taking over after the program was left in tatters. With depth, height and quickness this is easily his best all-around team. Just how big of a leap the Bulldogs take this season is intriguing.

NORTHWESTE­RN LE HIGH

Coach: Chris Deutsch (284-150, 1th season).

Last year: 18-6 overall, 15-2 league.

Postseason: Lost to Moravian Academy in league semifinal; lost to Central Catholic in 4Adistrict quarterfin­als.

Returning starters: 5-11 So. F Paige Sevrain (11.2 ppg), 5-8 Sr. GAlexandri­a Lister (9.6), 5-6 Sr. GKailyn Jones (6.7). Other returnee :5-9 Sr. F Sara Ledeboer, 5-4 Sr. F Caitlyn Miller5-2 Fr. GCamryn Fitch, 5-10 Sr. FAdana Funk5-6 So. G S yd neyNy ce ,5-10 So. F Maci Fisher ,5-6 Jr. F Maria Kirkopoulo­s. Newcomers: 5-3 So. GKate Betz, 5-5 So. F Daniella Lister, 5-3 So. GNina Miller, 5-5Jr. GBrynn Balliet.

Outlook: The Tigers have averaged 18 wins a season the last six years but have just two division titles to show for it. Sevrain will be a huge matchup problem for most Colonial League opponents. If Northweste­rn can find some steady scorers, a league championsh­ip game berth should follow.

PALMERTON

Coach: Dan Beck (26-23, third season).

Last year: 15-9 overall, 12-5 league.

Postseason: Lost to Bangor in league quarterfin­als; lost to North Schuylkill in 3Adistrict semifinals.

Returning starters: 5-8Jr. GBrianna Moore (10 ppg), 5-6 So. PG Bethie Morgan (12.5 ppg., 27 3s), 5-6Jr. GRaegan Nemeth (7.3).

Otherretur­nees: 6-0 Sr. F Kiersten Gursky.

Newcomers: 5-6Jr. GSydney Frantz, 5-7 Fr. GHannah Barry, 5-9 Fr. F Megan Matsko, 5-7 So. F Kelsey Balliet.

Outlook: Reached the league playoffs for the first time in five seasons and just the third time in 22 seasons. The ingredient­s are there to take it a step or two further than the quarterfin­al round this season. If the Blue Bombers can add some depth, watch out.

SALISBURY

Coach: Dan Reichenbac­h (3-31, third season).

Last year: 0-22 overall, 0-17 league.

Returning players: 5-5-3Jr. GQuinn Wittman (9 ppg.), 5-9

Sr. GMelena Koutch, 5-7 Sr. F Bryn Kubinsky, 5-7 Sr. GSierra Rauch, 5-7 Sr. GAri Young ,5-7 Sr. F Krystal Aungst, 5-10 Jr. F Krista Bonge, 5-6 Sr. GKerry Seiler, 5-2 Sr. GRoryWatso­n. Newcomers: 5-6 Fr. GKatie Seiler, 5-10 So. F Hannah Kamp. Outlook: TheFalcons suffered through an injury-plagued year and didn’t win agameforth­e first since the modernera began in 1970. But there’s plenty to be optimistic about as this season’s squad features some speed, size and experience, plus it gets back K out ch, who started as a sophomore and averaged eight points perg ame but missed last season with an ACL injury.

SOUTHERN LEHIGH

Coach: Matt Cooper (138-28, seventh season).

Last year: 11-13 overall, 8-9 league.

Postseason: Beat Selinsgrov­e, lost to Bangor in 5Adistrict semifinals.

Returning starters: 5-5-10 Sr. F Lauren Conron (10 ppg), Sr. GCaroline Bennett (7.3), 5-6 Sr. GHolly Walter (6.9), 5-8 Sr. G Kaya Mobley (6.0).

Otherretur­nees: Jr. GIrish Gluck, 5-10 Sr. F Steph Schmitt. Newcomers: 5-7 Jr. GRiley Macintosh, 5-8Jr. F Katie Wierer, 5-8Jr. F Sarah Wierer, 5-8Jr. FAshley Meinhold, 5-8Jr. FAshley Pearson, 5-6 So. GDanika Lewis, 5-8 So. GAlexis Barder. Outlook: It was a tough act to follow after losing the final parts of what was the Spartans’nine-year dominance of the league. But they did end up winning 11 games and played better as the season progressed. Schmitt is a nice addition after she missed all but the final four games with an ACL injury.

Colonial League predicted finish (with last season’s records): 1. Notre Dame (24-3); 2. Northweste­rn (18-6), 3. Palisades (10-12), 4. Palmerton (15-9); 5. Southern Lehigh (11-13); 6. Northern Lehigh (10-13); 7. Bangor (19-8); 8. Wilson (13-11); 9. Moravian Academy (19-9); 10. Pen Argyl (5-17); 11. Catasauqua (5-17); 12. Saucon Valley 2-20); 13. Salisbury (0-22).

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