Hope Springs Eternal for Section 1 Hoopers
Local Teams Begin Preparation for Abbreviated 12-Game Season
By Ray Gallagher
Examiner Sports Editor @Directrays
It looks like it’s finally here: Go time! As of Monday’s Examiner deadline, some of the hurdles and hoops had been jumped over and through to get a Section 1 girls’ basketball season underway. NYS Gov. Andrew Cuomo and local county executives agreed to permit high-risks sports to #LetThemPlay despite the potentially harmful effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, student athletes, coaches and superintendents were still awaiting clearance from department of health officials throughout NYS, including the four counties comprising Section 1; Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess and Rockland.
School superintendents and athletic directors are awaiting final word, concerned that potentially unrealistic modifications and mandates that could complicate the situation. That said, players and coaches are prepared to do whatever they need to do to have an abbreviated season, with a 12-game regular season and a regionalized playoff format similar to what Section 1 had in the fall.
“We have been waiting for senior year for a long time,” Walter Panas senior Caileen Nolan said. “We are so excited and grateful that we are having a season. As a team, we want to thank everyone that made it possible for us to have some sort of season. We are psyched to get back in the gym and practice this week. It’s been a while, but basketball is back!”
We reached out to every girls’ hoops coach in the Examiner region from White Plains to the Dutchess County border for team-based information, and discovered that while most programs are excited to begin the 2021 season, there is so much work to do before we see something resembling what we’re used to. Many players won’t be in “game shape” when the season starts, they won’t be as sharp in their sets, nor will they be completely familiar with coaching systems, especially rookies. So, it could be a few weeks before we see teams in “game shape’, playing with tempo and continuity, and before we know it the season will be over if it ever starts. Strap up, buckle in and accept that it is what it is.
Ossining, Hen Hud, Peekskill, Lakeland, Panas
After winning the first sectional title in school history, Class A Hen Hud will be forced into a life without Caitlin Weimar, now a MAAC sensation at Marist. Three starters in all will have graduated from the Sailor lineup, arguably the best team in school history. Ossining came back to the pack last season after one of the greatest nine-year runs in state history, but the former nine-time defending champion Pride did get a nice surprise in the form of Christ the King transfer Tyler Dendy. If the Putnam-Northern Westchester regionalized playoff format is similar to the one Section 1 used last fall, both Ossining and Walter Panas would be a strong contender, along with Mahopac. Panas is stacked with veteran leadership and expects to contend for any league or tourney title that comes in their direction. Peekskill 8th-grader Bethani Overby is a year the wiser in her second varsity season and has the kind of potential to make her an all-time great. Lakeland is always a tough out.
2019-20 Record & playoff result: 23-1 Section 1 Class A champs as No.2 seed
Coach: Ken Sherman (12th season, 1 sectional title, 2 league titles)
Key Departures: Caitlin Weimar (23.4 points per game and 16.3 rebounds per game); Mylene Smith; Jacky Kenny
Key Returners: senior G Grace Moretti (HM All Section/All League), senior G Kira Varada (All-Tournament Final 4, All-League); junior G Colleen Ryan
Key newcomers: Jr. G Alex Figueroa (amazing story, survived bone cancer her freshman year and sat out last year due to extensive treatments); Kaitlyn Raguso, 8th grade; Shannon Ellis, Jr. (daunting task of replacing Weimar)
League Favorites: Ossining and Panas. Panthers return many players and have a solid team. Ossining will be down by Ossining standards, but Coach Ricci will still be a favorite.
By the Numbers: Moretti (9.9 PPG); Varada, (7.3 PPG + energy)
Team Goals: Haven’t set too many team goals yet but that is because of the uncertainty of everything going on. We have been able to have a few off season workouts so we will see.
Coach’s Comments: Unfortunately, last year is over. I am probably one of the few that did not want 2020 to end. I am so excited at the opportunity to coach again and will do everything in my power to make this a safe and enjoyable season for these girls. This will be your typical Hen Hud team that will be in your face for 32 minutes and play hard every second. This is such a fun team to coach and this team will be totally different than last year’s team with a different style because we have to be. We are losing basically all of our rebounding and that will be a glaring weakness. We will be up tempo with using a lot of the bench rotating players in. We are pleased beyond belief that Alexa Figueroa is back and ready to play.
2019-20 Record & playoff result: 13-9, 5-0 (league champs), No.6 seed lost in quarterfinals to No.3 Lourdes.
Coach: Dan Ricci, 30th season, 513-168 (10 Sectional Championships, 9 regional championships, 5 state championships, 1 federation title)
Key Departures: Lost three starters, Brooke Weeks, Adrianna McFadden, Julia Iorio
Key Returning Players: senior G/F Ede Walker; senior G Tamia Dimmie; senior G Kacie Scarduzio; junior G Michelle Metcado; junior C Katie Marx
Key Newcomers: Tyler Dendy (Chris the King transfer)
League Favorite: Panas
By the Numbers: Walker averaged 6 PPG/RPG. Dimme averaged 3 APG
Team Goals: Defend, play with pace
Coach’s Comments: We have one new addition, Tyler Dendy, who transferred here from Christ the King and will be a valuable member of our team. We don’t have the scoring power of Ossining teams of the past, so we will be relying on our defense to win games for us. We are so happy to get this opportunity to play when most thought this would never happen!
2019-20 Record & playoff result: 15-7, No.7 seed lost in the quarterfinals to eventual champ Hen Hud
Coach: Matt Evangelista, 181-115 (Boys and Girls), sectional title with Briarcliff boys 2007, Final 4 appearances 2006, 2007, 2017, 2019
Key Departures: Kristen Scrobola (Manhattanville); Kat Reynoso
Key Returning Players: Alex Sudol – PG, Senior, 5’3, 4th year on varsity; Kristen Cinquina – G, Senior, 5’7, 2X All-League, All Conference (sophomore), All Section (junior); Cailean Nolan – G, senior 5’7, All-League (sophomore), All Conference (junior); Kelsey Cregan – F, soph., 5’7; Erijona Rraci – C, senior 5’11; Elizabeth Bergamini – F, junior 5’8; Lindsay Kagan – G, junior, 5’3
Key Newcomers: Julia Gallinger – F, soph., 5’8; Sarah Chiulli – G, soph., 5’6
League Favorite: Ossining. Hard to not put them here given their history. We hope to compete for this as well. All of the teams in the league will be very competitive.
By the Numbers: Cinquina and Nolan both averaged 14 PPG last year, Rraci 8 PPG, 7 RPG, Cregan (5 RPG)
Team Goals: 100% Effort always; Enjoy this gift of a season; Win our league and any post-season tournaments.
Coach’s Comments: This is one of the best returning teams that I have ever had. We return four players who have regularly started and our first forward (Cregan) off the bench from last year. We hope to build off the success of recent years and have another very successful season. We are hoping to play fast and space the floor to allow Rraci to score in the post and give Cinquina and Nolan room to drive and get open looks. We should be able to defend at a high level as well. Sudol will help run the team and bring leadership along with the other seniors. I am just so thankful that this group that has been such a huge part of the program for many years will get a chance to compete during their senior year.
2019-20 Record & playoff result: 4-16
Coach: HC Jaycee DeGroat, Asst
Key Departures: Sage Overskei-North, early graduation
Key Returning Players: Bethani Overby (8th Grade); Takyla Cowan-Hongach (Jr); Amani Clevelan (Jr); Afua Yeboah (Jr); Kiara Mercado (Jr)
Key Newcomers: TBA
By the Numbers; Overby averaged 10 PPG and 10 RPG as a rookie 7th grader. That is potential through the roof.
Coach’s Comments: We are very excited to get back into the gym. We are going to try and block out all the distractions of Covid and focus on working on our craft. This season will be like no other season, and we will try and get every bit of enjoyment out of it we can. This is the second year in a row we will feature returners that are not seniors. That is very exciting in terms of long term growth and development.
Coach: Miranda Mangan (19-20 record, 5-15 last season)
Key Departures: graduated three players, two starters, including Alexa Cole
Top returning players: senior G Amanda Cole (led the team in rebounds last season); All-League junior G/F Hannah Devane (led the team in scoring); junior G Tyler Hormazabal; fresh. PG Nichole Ljuljic; senior G Sarah Pinkowski; senior G Nancy Pagliaroli; senior F Nicole Haughney; senior F Angelina Ameneiros
Coach’s Comments: We are very grateful for the opportunity to be able to have some sort of a season. Our student athletes have been through a lot this past year and we are looking forward to a return of some sort of normalcy. We return a core group of players that saw a lot of action last season, mixed with talented youth. We hope to have a balanced scoring attack and use our versatility on defense to makeup for our lack of size. Overall we just want the girls to have fun and enjoy every moment of the season.
Mahopac, Carmel, Somers, Yorktown, Brewster
Talk about a tough competitive league, look no further than here. Mahopac is looking like the team to beat based on all the Indians return this winter, including five gritty starters who have improved significantly in the off-season, plus a spark off the bench. It’s hard not to like Mahopac to win this league outright and challenge deep into the playoffs. However, both Yorktown and Brewster bring back a solid nucleus of veteran players looking to build on solid 2020 campaigns, and all three would be contenders for a Putnam-Northern Westchester regional playoff title should there be such a tournament. It’s the start of a new era in Somers, who will be without graduated point guard Dani DiCintio for the first time since 2016. Carmel may struggle to keep pace as they graduate six seniors and take on a new coach.
2019-20 record & playoff result: 15-7, No.5 seed lost in quarterfinals to No.4
Coach: Chuck Scozzafava (1 sectional title, 1 regional title, 1 NYS Championship, 5 league titles)
Key Departures: None
Key Returning Players: All-Section Caitlyn O’Boyle, senior, C; All-Conference Mia Klammer, senior, G/F; All-Conference Melanie DeMeo, junior, G; Lauren Beberman, soph., G/F; Julie DeBrocky, junior, G; Julia Paolicelli, junior, G; Kristina Rush, soph., G; Marissa McCarney, junior F; Amanda Beberman, senior, F
Key newcomers: Gianna Rispoli, soph., G; Jessica Sterbens, soph., C
League favorite: No clue.
By the numbers: O’Boyle averaged a double double PPG/RPG. Klammer and DeMeo both averaged double digits.
Team goal: Haven’t had the conversation with the girls yet.
Comments: I just want the girls to play hard and improve on the good season we had last year.
2019-20 record & playoff result: 10-12, No.15 seed beat Nanuet 50-34 (outbracket), lost 45-42 at No.2 Hen Hud opening round
Coach: Brian Mundy, 3rd season, 23-20 overall
Key Departures: Jesse Barer (team leader in assists, steals, deflections and charges), Lindsey Boyle, Alyssa Giannasca
Key Returning Players: Ashley Zeolla (F, Sr., 6’0″, All-League 2019-20, All-League HM 2017-18 and 2018-19); Melissa Severino (G, Jr., 5’7″); Emily Ward (G, So., 5’3″); Olivia Lucas (G, So., 5’6″); Alyssa Perrino (F, Sr., 5’8″); Haley Caricati (F, Sr., 5’6″); Erisa Krasniqi (F, Jr., 5’10”); Artesa Gashi (F, Jr., 5’10”)
League Favorite (top teams to watch): No idea (maybe Mahopac)
By the Numbers (top scoring/rebounding averages of returnees): Ashley Zeolla 11 pts., 8 reb. Melissa Severino (10 pts., 5 reb., 30-3FG); Emily Ward (5 pts., 4.5 reb); Olivia Lucas (in 5 games being pulled up from JV: 5.4 pts., 8-3FG), Perrino (4.0 reb.), Caricati, Krasniqi and Gashi are forwards that all contributed throughout last season who could figure into the starting mix at times.
Team Goals: To get through the season with everyone safe and healthy. Be as competitive as possible while playing as aggressively as possible, while enjoying our family atmosphere after such a tough year.
Coach’s Comments: “I’m so proud of these kids for taking the safety precautions seriously while we’ve been having workouts. They know what to expect during the season so there won’t be many surprises. They’re chomping at the bit to compete against other teams. We all enjoy being around each other. Everyone has positive attitudes and the girls feed off each other.”
2019-20 Record & playoff result: 12-10 No.14 seed outbracket win vs Eastchester, opening-round loss to TZ
Coach: Mike Castaldo, 89-74
Key Returning Players – Bears return the entire starting five from last season: Center- Grace Galgano, Forward-Alexis Mark, Guard-Carly DeLanoy, Guard-Madison Dakin, Guard- Sophia Alzugaray, and reserves Guard- Adrianna Calicchia, Guard-Sam Ferrara, Center-Liana Riley, Center-Katie Bergstrom
League Favorite- We are in a new league this year due to COVID so this will be the first time we will be seeing Carmel and Mahopac in a while. I know Mahopac is very good and return a lot of key players from last year that were very successful in AA. (Mahopac, Carmel, Somers, Yorktown,
By the Numbers: Grace Galgano led the team in points and rebounds and led the section in blocked shots last season. Alexis Mark almost averaged a double-double with 10 points, 9 boards a game.
Team Goals: This season we want to take advantage of this opportunity and play as many games as we are allowed. If there are some type of modified playoffs we would love to make a deep run considering we return everyone back from last season.
Coach’s Comments: We are really looking forward to this opportunity and getting back to doing what we love. Everyone needs to be smart and realize we may only get one shot at this season. Let’s take advantage of this, have a lot of fun and hopefully win some games in the process.
2019-20 Record & playoff result: 15-7, No.8 seed lost in quarters to No.1 Rye
Coach: Marc Hattem, 5th year
Key Departures: Nine seniors in total, including DiCintio. We are starting all new this season.
Key Returning Players: Natalia Rukaj, sr., 5’9” co-captain (varsity since 10th grade); Amy Lasher, jr., 5’7” co-captain (varsity since the 9th grade); Ava Guidice, 5’5” soph. PG; Lauren McCartin, 5’10” soph; Alexa Warycha, 5’11” soph; Lauren McCartin, soph. G
Key Newcomers: No idea yet.
League Favorite: Our league is stacked. Brewster has a great front court, Yorktown is so well-coached and balanced, and Mahopac returns so much from an amazing season.
By the Numbers: Lasher led Somers in four categories among the returnees; points, rebounds, assists and steals.
Team Goals: Get better and have fun doing it. Love this group that’s returning. High character kids. As the year goes on look forward to watching them grow and execute better at both ends of the floor.
Coach’s Comments: I’m as excited to start this year as any since I began in Somers. My Captains have done so much since joining the team a few years back, and it’s now their time to play big minutes. I believe Ava Guidice and Alexa Warycha have a chance to be the bet one-two combination in our league by their senior year, if not sooner. And the player that the coaching staff has such high hopes for is 10th grader Lauren McCartin. Her potential and athleticism is limitless, she just needs game experience which she’ll see plenty of this year.
2019-20 Record & playoff result: 6-16, No.17 seed beat Port Chester in outbracket lost, to No.1 Ursuline in opening round
Coach: John Sullivan (entering 2nd year) 6-16 record last year
Key Departures: Danielle Bello, Caroline McIntyre, Stephanie Ogbebor
Key Returning Players: Caitlyn Webber (G/F, Sr., 5’8); Lili Alexander (F/C, Sr., 5’11); All-League HM Madelyn McMath (F, 6’0)
Key Newcomers: TBA
League Favorite: Mahopac
By the Numbers: McMath averaged 10.5 PPG & 7 RPG last season.
Team Goals: Being given an opportunity to play this season, especially for our seniors, is special enough. Compete every night.
Coach’s Comments: We’re looking forward to the opportunity to play this year, focusing on health and safety, while pushing the girls to develop their skills and progress as a team. We’re hoping to build off the momentum from last season, where we won our first playoff game in six years.
Byram Hills, Fox Lane, Greeley John Jay CR
Byram Hills is coming off the best season of the grouping and the athletic Bobcats are being touted as the team to beat, despite being the smallest school in the league.
2019-20 Record & playoff result: 4-16, missed playoffs
Coach: Sarah Schum
Key Departures: Jess Harris and
Key Returning Players: Kaylin Genda Guard/F Junior, Julia Herzner Guard Junior, Jess Ji Guard/F Junior, Emma Rose Guard Sophomore
Key Newcomers: Bella Schulman G Freshman; Ava Gusba F Freshman
Team Goals: This season we are just thankful to be on the court together. We are an extremely young team with not many minutes played at the varsity level. We are excited to use this year to grow together as a team and to use this season as a building block for next season and seasons to come.
Coach’s Comments: I am thrilled that the girls will get to be on the court together this year. Unfortunately we will not have our full returning roster but I am excited for those that will be putting on a Greeley uniform this season to get minutes and grow both individually and together. We are a very young team with the majority of the past three seasons of minutes graduating the last two years. Young is exciting! I am sure we will have some growing pains but getting the girls together this year at all is going to be great for our program moving forward. The Greeley girls have worked extremely hard since I have taken over and each year are more and more dedicated. I am very excited to see what we can do this year!
2019-20 Record & playoff result: 15-5 regular season, 16-6 overall, No.5 seed lost to No.4 Harrison in quarters
Coach: Tara Ryan, Assistant Kim Reznicek (league titles in 2018-19)
Key Returning Players: Beth Corelli G, JR All-Section HM; Grace Corelli G, Fr.; Gabby Ripka Sr. G.; Olivia Picca: SR, G All League; Olivia Barry JR, G
Key Newcomers: TBD!
League Favorite: new league, not
By the Numbers: Beth Corelli (13 PPG), Picca (7 PPG, 6 RPG), Ripka (5 PPG)
Team Goals: Rebound and run!
2019-20 Record & Playoff Result: 10-11, No.11 seed lost to No.6 Ossining in opening round
Coach: Kristopher Matts
Key Departures: Sofia Zinzi (her rebounding and shot blocking will be difficult to replace); Sophia Garten (only real height Foxes had, anchor of defense)
Key Returning Players: NYU-bound Natalie Pence: Senior Captain-Guard, 5’9” 2X All-League/All-Conf.(twice) 1,000 point scorer (194 away from the all-time school record); Holly Ades: Senior Captain-Guard, 5’10”; Quoya Schnell: Junior Guard, 5’3”, All-League; Nicole Picinich Junior Guard, 5’3” (does the dirty work); Susannah Kimsal Junior Forward, 5’8”; Lauren Antolino Freshman Guard, 5’4” (a precocious talent); Ella Bahari Junior Forward, 5’9”; Ibby Moccia Junior Guard, 5’6”; Rachel Ward: Junior Forward, 5’11”; Jordan Daglio: Senior Forward, 5’9”
By the Numbers: Pence (15 PPG/RPG, 4 APG, 2 BPG)
Team Goals: Improve on last year’s successes while giving more responsibility to younger players.
Coach’s Comments: We overachieved last year, doubling our win total from the year prior. With a young squad, we may be ahead of schedule, but in this strange environment, I am looking to maintain our progress while making sure everyone has as much fun as possible. We want to win every single game, but as long as I see a ball in everyone’s hands, the season is already a success. We go as Natalie goes. Lucky for us, that’s usually a positive direction. She’s a consummate leader, a cold-blooded shooter, a natural scorer, a phenomenal passer, an underrated rebounder, and a surprising shot blocker. Holly sees passing angles no one else does. She can shoot the lights out, having the best form in the program, but she’d usually rather make the game winning pass. Last year was Quoya’s coming out party. Her jumper keeps you honest, but her knack for getting to the rim means you need to pick your poison.
CONFERENCE III CENTRAL
Rye Neck, Blind Brook, Briarcliff, Pleasantville, Valhalla, Westlake
Briarcliff hasn’t lost many league titles under veteran Coach Don Hamlin, but rival Pleasantville is sure to challenge in 2021 with its entire roster returning. With 16 league titles since 1995, the Bears are always a heavy favorite under veteran Coach Don Hamlin, one of the most respected coaches in the section. This grouping, with the exception of Briarcliff, will likely see one another right up through the small school Southern-Westchester regional playoffs. Don’t sleep on Westlake!
2019-20 Record & playoff result: 20-3, No.1 seed advanced to Class B sectional semis, lost to runner-up Irvington
Coach: Don Hamlin, 411-133 (27th year),16 league championships, 2 section titles, 1 NYS title, 1 Federation championship
Key Departures: Bears lost five key seniors. Alana Lombardi (who is playing at Lafayette), Julia Barbalto (playing at the US Marine Academy), Kaitlyn Ryan and Julia Dallesandro, Baily Zednick
Key 2021 Players: Caroline Barbalato So., Cassidy Carrafiello So., Dylan Zednick So., Paola Galilano Sr., three-year starter Jordan Smith Sr. (6’2″), Rebecca Kratz Jr., Eliza Alldridge Jr., Lulu Luttkus Jr., Kyla Miller Jr.
By the Numbers: Smith averaged just sort of a double-double (10.4 PPG, 8.6 RPG) and nearly 3 steals and 3 blocks per game.
Team Goals: As are many teams, we feel very fortunate to be given the opportunity to play this season. I’m just praying that our players and coaches made excellent decisions to allow us to continue to play.
Coach’s Comments: At the end of the 2020 season, after starting 14-0, we lost our leading scorer and steals leader to injury. This season we are very fortunate to have 3-year starter 6’2″ Jordan Smith back and healthy. We will be looking for her and Paola Guliano, our other senior, to provide leadership and to set the tone on how hard we are willing to work. In addition, we have three exceptional sophomores in point guard Caroline Barbolato, shooting guard Cat Carrafiello and power forward Dylan Zednick. That should allow us to play great defense and get out on the break. Four Juniors, Rebecca Kratz, Eliza Aldridge, Lulu Lutkus and Kyla Miller round out our roster and will be making major contributions to the team.
2019-20 Record & playoff result: 14-8; No.6 seed lost to No.3 Hastings in quarterfinals.
Coach: Dillon Clark (3rd year, 30-14)
Key Departures: None
Key Returning Players: Jenna McAllister, G, Senior, 2x All-League; Lila Donohue, F, Senior; Mary Grace O’Neill, G, Senior, All-League; Julia O’Reilly, F, Senior; Tina Matica, G, Junior, All-League
Key Newcomers: Ruby Donohue, F, Soph.; Gianna Doto, G, Soph.; Mia Hoxhaj, Soph
League Favorite: Briarcliff
By the Numbers: McAllister (11.4 PPG, 11.4 RPG, 3.5 APG, 2.5 SPG); O’Neill (11.4 PPG, 5 RPG, 2.5 APG, 2.5 SPG); Matica (10 PPG, 60 made threes, 2.1 APG)
Team Goals: Our team’s goal is to go into the season with the same momentum that we finished last season with. We’re a close team and look forward to continuing to develop the chemistries that make our team competitive. Having this group that has played together for so many years, we are optimistic about making this season a memorable one, especially for our seniors.
Coach’s Comments: Same as what my captains communicated for the team goals. The combined number of varsity seasons for this season class entering this year is 18 seasons.
2019-20 Record & playoff result: 7-15, No.16 seed lost to No.1 Briarcliff in opening round
Coach: Sean Mayer, 20th season
Key Departures: None
Key Returning Players: All five starters return. Allie Castellone, soph. G; Nicole Karaqui, sr. G; Julie Lyden, jr., F; ToniAnn Mastracchio, soph., point guard; Sami Oswald, soph., G;
Key Newcomers: TBD
League Favorite: This could be Pleasantville’s year, though Briarcliff is alway stough.
By the Numbers: Castellone 11 PPG; Karachi 8 PPG, 171 rebs, 34 steals: Lyden 7PPG, 173 boards; Mastracchio 7 PPG, 34 steals
Team Goals: Challenge for league title and seriously improve upon 7-15 record
Coach’s Comments: Allie is a special talent. Nicole is our only senior so her leadership is key. Julie plays year round and provides a post presence. We have some really good shooters in the mix. We were young last year and had lost four starters from the year before but we battled. I was very excited to see their smiling faces in the limited pre-season workouts we had. We’ve got our top five back, so we’re excited.
Putnam Valley, Haldane, North Salem, Croton, Pawling
This should be Put Valley’s league to win; it’s certainly there for the taking. The Tigers are the defending league and Section 1 Class B champions (their first ever), and have the league’s premier talent in 5’10” sophomore point guard Eva DeChent, who scored 39 points in a regional semifinal last March before the COVID-19 pandemic ended the Tigers’ dream of a state title. Teamed with Arianna Stockinger and Amanda Orlando, the Tigers might have the top trio in the league and can certainly contend for the Putnam-Northern Westchester small school regional title should Section 1 go that route.
2019-20 Record & playoff result: 21-3, No.2 seeded Section 1 Class B champions, NYS regional round winner
Coach: Kristi Dini (over 150 wins, 1 Section 1 title, 7 league titles between PV, Somers
Key departures: Kelli Venezia, Cierra Daughtry
Key Departures: Kelli Venezia (tough loss for a coach and a program, one of the top guards in the entire section last year); Cyera Daughtry; Alex Waters
Key Returning Players: Pace-bound senior F Arianna Stockinger; DI prospect Eva DeChent, soph G; junior G Amanda Orlando
Key Newcomers: Natalie Mazza, F; Brianna Foodie, talented fresh.,G
League Favorites: Hastings and Irvington will be really good again.
By the Numbers: DeChent averaged 18 PPG, 8 RPG; Stockinger 14 PPG, 9 RPG
Team Goals: Every year we have daily goals, weekly goals and then season goals. Daily goals change everyday based on our practice plan and what we are focusing on. Obviously daily we want to be focused, bring energy, and get better in practice. We want to be the most prepared team every day and every game. But our daily goal could be a focus on rebounding or post D depending on the day, the game before, the game after. For this covid season we really want to control what we can control and still have that PV Tigers level of preparation regardless of the circumstances. We need to take care of our bodies with games in 5-6 weeks only. We want to win our games and whatever kind of playoff situation is in place.
Coach’s Comments: I’m excited to see a family like we have back on the court battling together. Back in practices preparing together. And excited to see this game we all love happening again. We have some amazing returners and newcomers. I still expect PV to be the most prepared team and play hoops like we always do. Everyone is in the same boat and we will control what we can control and be the best we can be. Arianna is one of my favorite kids I’ve ever coached. Just watch her, her positioning on the court, her IQ, she’s different. She can score every way… off the dribble, in the post, on the perimeter. She’ll guard any position and give kids bigger than her a problem.
Eva Dechent is a top five player in the section as a sophomore and a top 2023 player in the state. She already has several D1 offers and more coming. If it wasn’t for covid, she would’ve easily had 1000 points already as a sophomore and been on track for 2000. She has taken her game to a whole other level. This kid is special. Amanda Orlando is gonna be a problem this season. She is playing the best basketball she’s ever played.
2019-20 Record & playoff result: 12-9, lost 1st round game as No.7 seed to No.10 Dobbs Ferry
Coach: Joe Streany
Key Departures: All-Conference Grace Reyer, Erin Reynolds, Nikki Bugliosi
Key Returning Players: Anna Eng, Sr., All-Section G (1,000 point scorer); Sofia Tuman – Sr., G; Madison Archer – Sr., G; Tamera Taylor-Moore – Jr., G
Key Newcomers: Emma Windrum – F, Maddie Sena – G, Lucia Thoreson – G
League Favorite: Put Valley
By the Numbers: Anna Eng (18 PPG) is a special, dedicated talent.
Team Goals: Be a top 1-2 in our League, Top 5 in Class B
Coach’s Comments: Looking forward to a returning group of veterans who bring an abundance of hoops knowledge to the court to groom along our young core. We have a promising future ahead with the leadership of Hard working Anna Eng. We look forward to the challenges a new league and season brings.
2019-20 Record & playoff result:
Coach & Record: Jessica Perrone (12-11, first season as varsity coach); team’s 7th year straight sectional title
Key Departures: Liv Monteleone, Bela Monteleone, Shianne Twoguns, Abigail Platt Key Returning Players: Maddie Chiera, junior guard; Molly Siegel, junior forward; Essie Florke, senior guard; Marisa Scanga, junior guard/forward
Key Newcomers: Amanda Johanson, sophomore guard/forward; Mairead O’Hara, sophomore guard; Moretta Pezzullo, sophomore point guard
League Favorite: Put Valley,
By the Numbers: Chiera (10.4 PPG, 3 RPG)
Team Goals: Compete in our league and place in the top 2. Maintain the high-intensity defense from previous seasons.
Coach’s Comments: This is a rebuilding year for the team as we graduated four key seniors. I have full confidence in my players that we will be a competitive, tough team for each opponent. It might be a rebuilding year, but we have a lot of solid players on the roster.
CONFERENCE I SOUTHEAST
White Plains, Mamaroneck, Mt. Vernon, New Rochelle, Scarsdale, Ursuline
White Plains should be up to the task of challenging in one of the toughest leagues in the section, including Ursuline, the reigning Class AA section champs and overwhelming favorites to win the league and regional titles. The Lady Tigers are still young, despite their varsity experience. Should they stick together, this unit is poised to do some damage.
2019-20 Record & Playoff result: 15-7, as No.8 seed beat No.9 North Rockland in 1st Round, lost to No.1 Ursuline in quarterfinals
Coach & Record: Benjamin Carter (5th year at W.P., won 2 sectional and 4 league titles at Hamilton)
Key Departures: Julia Reggio, Savannah Williams
Key Returning Players: All-League Aliya McIver, 5’7” soph.,G; Sequoia Layne 6’ fresh. F.; Ineivi Plata, 5’4” fresh. G; India Newman 5’8” fresh. G; Daisy Klink 5’9”
Key Newcomers: Anneliese Reggio 5’7” soph. G
League Favorite: I like the way Ursuline and Ossining play. They built solid programs on the AA level and are the two teams that usually play for the championship.
By the Numbers: McIver averaged 14 PPG; 5 RPG, 4 APG; rebounds; Plata 10 PPG, 4 steals; Layne 8 RPG
Team Goals: We will continue to pursue winning our league, making it past the 2nd round of playoffs to eventually playing for a AA sectional championship.
Coach’s Comments: We have a young athletic core group of talented players who likes to compete defensively. We are looking forward to competing against the top schools. With this group we can continue to be a defensive threat despite losing our top player (Julia Reggio) who held the young team together. We have a desire to make it back to the playoffs with different results than last year is the plan.
KENNEDY CATHOLIC PREP
2019-20 Record & playoff result: 8-12 first round playoff loss
Coach : Len Yearwood 6th year
Key Returning Players: Sr. Allessia Carlo (All-League); Sr. Taylor Brenneman; Sr. Abby Mascia; Jr. Caroline Selinger
Key Newcomers: juniors Clare Traynor, Levine (wing) JR Kayla Raucci(guard) JR Katie Geraghty
Team Goals: Stay healthy, stay safe , have fun.
Coach’s Comments: Very optimistic about this upcoming season. Looking to see how we can perform after the big layoff. We will be leaning on Allessia and Taylor to provide our scoring punch. Abby is a four-year varsity player and we need her experience more than ever, but I’m also looking for big time input from Caroline and Clare on both ends of the floor.”
Girls hoops coaches are encouraged to email results, stats and comments to Raygallaghersports@gmail.com
for inclusion in our weekly Girls’ Hoops Notebook.
Ray has 33 years experience covering and photographing local sports in Westchester and Putnam counties, including everything from Little League/Travel Baseball to varsity high school prep sports and collegiate coverage. He has been a sports editor at Examiner Media since its inception in 2007.
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