Wilde Lake braces for new year

December 06, 1993|By Chuck Acquisto | Chuck Acquisto,Contributing Writer

Last season, Wilde Lake coach Kelly Rosati guided the youthful Wildecats to Cinderella status and the Class 1A regional final. With the graduation and loss of only two starters, Wilde Lake can forget about sneaking up on the county this year.

"I think Wilde Lake's ready to assume the No. 3 spot in the county right behind Hammond and Mount Hebron," said Howard coach Craig O'Connell.

Wilde Lake, 13-8 last season (8-6 in county), is relatively short on height, but deep in athleticism.

Senior guard Kim Driessen is the Wildecats' top returning scorer (5.4 ppg) and will be counted on by Rosati to provide more scoring punch since leading scorer Tracy Stefan graduated. Driessen, who stands 5 feet 6, will team with junior point guard Kristin Riismandel to form the Wildecats' starting backcourt.

What really has county coaches worried is Rosati's two starting forwards, juniors Adelle Chenier and Anika Middleton. The 5-9 Chenier, daughter of former Washington Bullets guard Phil Chenier and sister of Howard University forward Phil Jr., is ready to step out of her father's and brother's basketball shadows.

"We went through our mistakes last year as a team, but the experience was helpful and should prevent us from repeating those same mistakes," said Chenier, who averaged 4.6 points last season and has a friendly challenge with Howard's Mona Jackson as to whom will be the first county girls player to dunk. "Truthfully, I can only reach half way up the net right now, but it's my goal to dunk at least once," Chenier said.

At center, 5-10 junior Kristin Entrop returns for the Wildecats. Her rebounding load should be lightened by the rebounding ability of the 5-9 Middleton, who led the team a year ago with 7.4 rebounds per contest.

Also returning from last year's varsity playoff squad is 5-7 forward Melissa Anderson, who was called up for the Wildecats' last game. Senior Natalie Froman will supply leadership coming off the bench at the guard position for Rosati.

Wilde Lake's bench also features sophomores Beth Linblad (5-9) and Kate Douglass and junior Siobban Hayes. Chenier said that although the Wildecats will not be overlooked by anybody, it should not effect Wilde Lake's path to a second straight playoff appearance.

"We don't cut any team any slack," Chenier said. "Whether it's Mount Heborn or Centennial, we treat them all the same because a team can change greatly from one year to the next."

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