Cougars start with fun Chesapeake GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL PREVIEW

December 03, 1992|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,Staff Writer

Dennis Thiele's list of priorities as Chesapeake girls basketball coach reads as follows:

* Have some fun.

* Develop team chemistry through camaraderie.

* Work hard.

* And, at No. 4, winning.

"If you put those first three together, winning takes care of itself," he said.

Winning seasons haven't been the norm at Chesapeake, which went 8-14 last year. But Thiele hopes to change that in his second stint as coach.

He was at the helm from 1983 to 1985, then left the program until returning last year as co-head coach of the junior varsity.

In Thiele's three seasons with the varsity, Chesapeake showed the same gradual improvement he is hoping for again. The Cougars were coming off a 1-21 season when he assumed control. They won five, 10, and 13 games under him and made the playoffs in his past two years.

"The program only has one way to go -- up," said Thiele, who is assisted by Chip Lewis and Jerry McBee. "The attitude of the team already has turned 180 degrees this season. There's a lot of hope."

But not much experience. The only senior is 5-foot-9 guard/forward Denise Perrone (11.2-point average), who, Thiele said, "seems to be the catalyst, as far as someone I could build the team around.

The other returning players are juniors Megan Van Wambeke (5-8 forward) -- who averaged 9.0 points and 11.0 rebounds last season -- and Kim Woody (5-5 guard), and sophomores Sandra Norris (5-6 guard), Jamie Parsons (5-11 forward/center) and Jenny Jovan (5-6 guard/forward).

Two transfers who could offer immediate help are 5-4 junior guard Jenny Lewis and 6-0 sophomore center Jennifer Buck. They join juniors Lori Wlordarczyk (5-6 guard) and Maureen Fitzgerald (5-7 guard/forward), and sophomores Kim Watson (5-10 forward) and Suzanne Stumpp (5-3 guard).

"We have some speed sprinkled in among the players and some nice height," Thiele said. "I'm not going to gauge the season in terms of wins and losses. This is a transition year. The kids are going from the old regime to a brand-new situation. Right now, they're running with the ball. They're happy with it."

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