ST. MARYS — The St. Marys girls basketball team started the season off well last year, but ultimately lost their last seven games on their way to a 9-13 season.
The Lady Dutch graduated four seniors from last year and still return a few players that served in key roles, but the four they did lose will be tough to replace.
St. Marys graduated Michelle Bauer, Julie Daniels, Caitlyn Bankovich, and Rachelle Armanini. Armanini, who was a Second Team pick in the Tri-County Sunday/Courier Express all-stars last year, led the team in scoring with 259 points (11.8 ppg) a year ago. Bankovich, who was an honorable mention selection a year ago, was St. Marys’ leading rebounder with 211 rebounds (9.6 rpg).
But, Lady Dutch head coach Leona Hoohuli does return four letterwinners in a young, but still experienced, roster.
“Practices are going well,” said Hoohuli. “The team is working hard every day. We are pleased with their energy and focus.”
Out of 17 girls out for the basketball team this year, 14 of them are freshmen and sophomores.
Seniors Bekka Bauer and Amanda Foster, and sophomores Kaylee Muccio and Megan Quesenberry are the team’s returning letterwinners.
Bauer finished last year with 107 points (4.9 ppg) and also pulled down 4.2 rebounds per game. Foster saw action in 12 games.
Muccio put in 126 points (5.7 ppg), while Quesenberry poured in 118 more (5.4 ppg) in the duo’s strong campaign as freshmen.
Also returning from last year’s team are sophomores Lauren Eckert and Allison Schlimm. Eckert saw action in 14 games last year, while Schlimm saw the court 12 times.
New to the team this year is junior Abbey Adamski, along with a freshmen class of eight players.
St. Marys managed an Elk County Tournament win last year on their way to a 6-2 start, but started to slip after the calendar hit 2017. Hoohuli is preaching defense and finishing at the basket in the preseason this year.
Heading into the year, Hoohuli is keeping the team’s goals simple.
“We want to keep improving our game and develop depth,” said Hoohuli. “We want to compete every time we step on the floor.”
St. Marys will get the season under way on Friday and Saturday at the Coudersport Tip-Off Tournament. The Lady Dutch then travel to Port Allegany on Dec. 11 before starting their home slate on Dec. 15 against Clarion.
Seniors: Bekka Bauer, Amanda Foster. Juniors: Abbey Adamski. Sophomores: Maddie Bowes, Lauren Eckert, Kaylee Muccio, Megan Quesenberry, Allison Schlimm, Britney Shaw. Freshmen: Maria Chiappelli, Sam Hayes, Kyla Johnson, Maria Kunes, Jade Lindenmuth, Marta Mosequi, Lindsey Quagliani, Sam Vavala.