MIAMI COUNTY — Tony Ferraro is back as Troy Christian girls basketball coach.
The Lady Eagles finished 19-5 overall last year and 10-2 in the MBC.
Key guards include seniors Morgan Taylor, Erin Schenk and juniors Sydney Taylor, Margo Long and Keelie Miller.
Morgan Taylor averaged 6.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 4.0 steals a year ago; while Schenk scored 6.3 points and Sydney Taylor averaged 5.2 points and 5.2 rebounds.
The Eagles will have to replace Sarah Earhart inside, who averaged 11.8 points 2.8 blocks and 5.7 rebounds a year ago.
Top post players include juniors Sarah Johnson, Laura Waltz and seniors Chelsea Baker and Megan Baker.
Johnson averaged 9.0 points and 7.3 rebounds a year ago.
Top newcomer is Brooklyn Lavy.
“We hope to compete in the upper half of the league — Legacy Christian won the league last year,” Ferraro said. “Our goals are to improve daily and stay healthy.”
Craig Hall has a mix of experience and youth on this year’s team.
Anna Cianciolo, Heidi Toner and Emma Kennedy are all key returners for the Cavaliers.
”Anna (Cianciolo) has been known for her composure on the court,” Hall said. “She will be handling the ball a lot and has worked on her shot from the perimeter which will make her a much bigger threat this year.
“We also have Heidi Toner back at the post. Her presence in the middle will help us to control the paint on both ends of the floor. Emma Kennedy has a nice inside game that she has expanded to allow her to become a perimeter threat as well this year.”
Kiersten Franklin is a junior that has joined the team and brings great range and quickness to the team.
Other key players this year will be sophomore Caroline Wesner who can shoot well and is a good rebounder.
Also, junior Colleen O’Leary(Jr) is a defensive specialist that also does a great job pushing the ball down the floor. Sophomore Tori Lachey is quickly becoming a great ball handler, that has great speed, and has improved her shot significantly since last year.
Senior LeAnn Trahey has rejoined the team this year.
”She has developed into a good shooter with great range,” Hall said. “We have a very good freshman class this year.”
Some players who could make an impact this year are Taylor Geise, Mara O’Leary, Aubri Karn and Eva Dexter.
“Taylor (Geise) has shown a lot of leadership skills as a freshman and will continue to get better,” Hall said. “Mara O’Leary is an incoming post player that has a very nice shot and great inside presence. Aubri Karn is one of those players that works hard every practice and always seems to be in the right place at the right time. Finally, Eva Dexter is lightning fast and will be all over the floor. She will fit nicely into our uptempo style of play.”
Hall hopes to be very competitive in the final year of the NWCC for Lehman.
Katie Roose returns for her eighth season as Milton-Union coach.
The Bulldogs have a mix of experience and young players.
“We would like to give ourselves a chance to compete night in and night out, especially in the league,” Roose said. “We hope to play as many games as possible this season, despite what we are currently living through. It is going to be a season like any other.”
Morgan Grudich, a 5-8 senior and 5-10 senior Madison Jones are two key returners at the guard position.
Grudich was All-SWBL and All-District 9 a year ago, averaging 9.0 points and 4.5 rebounds.
“Morgan (Grudich) moves to the point guard position this year,” Roose said. “She has really embraced her role to handle the responsibilities of being the floor general, while also having to be a scorer for us. She is very active on defense too. I am looking forward to a good senior season from Morgan.”
Jones averaged 7.7 points and 4.3 rebounds a year ago.
“Madison (Jones) is a solid shooter,” Roose said. “We will also need her to be a leader for us on defense.”
Leading the post players is 5-11 senior Jayla Gentry, an honorable mention All-SWBL selection a year ago.
Gentry averaged 7.9 points and 5.9 rebounds last year.
“Jayla (Gentry) was able to return to action last year after suffering a season-ending knee injury her sophomore year,” Roose said. “She has good moves in the post and we will look for her to clean up the boards.”
The newcomers will be led by 5-8 freshman Rachel Jacobs and 5-6 freshman Ava Berberich.
“We will be a bit young at times this season,” Roose said. “But, we have a couple freshman who we are really excited about and are hoping to see them develop into varsity players.”
Roose sees Waynesville, who is going for its sixth straight conference title, as the team to beat in the SWBL.