1997-98 Howard County girls basketball previews

December 04, 1997|By Stan Rappaport

Atholton Raiders

1996-97 record: 10-14, 7-11 league

Coach: Todd Kriner

Top players: Meagan Funches, 5-9, Sr., F; Anne Greenfield, 5-6, Sr., G; Sara Pierson, Sr., G/F.

Outlook: Kriner, who coached JV the last two seasons, is Atholton's fourth coach in four seasons. "I like our chances to be above .500," he said. "If we work together and everybody does their part, this could be a good year." Greenfield, who was injured the second half of last season, will play the point. Senior Cara Ramsay will be the No. 2 guard, and Funches will be underneath while Pierson is on the wing. Carrie Etychison, a 5-10 senior, will be the team's center. Senior forward Tiffany Harvey, 5-10, is recovering from knee surgery and Kriner said she won't play until Atholton hosts the Central Maryland Tournament Jan 2-3. Kriner coached Etychison, Ramsay, Harvey and Greenfield two seasons ago on the JV team that lost only four games. Their experience playing together, along with Funches and Pierson, both of whom were on the varsity as sophomores, gives Kriner a solid foundation. "We're not going to be real fancy," Kriner said, "but what we will do, we'll do it well."

Centennial Eagles

1996-97 record: 21-6, 16-2 league

Coach: Dave Greenberg

Top players: Michelle Kincaid, 5-6, Sr., G; Tia Richardson, 5-8, Jr., F; Kathleen O'Connor, 5-11, Sr., F; Caitlin Ryland, 6-2, Sr., F; Jessica Mentz, 5-9, Sr., F; Alexia Vogler, 5-4, Jr., G; Stacie Tokasz, 5-6, Jr., G.

Outlook: Last season's team tied with Wilde Lake for the county title, surprised Friendly in the Class 3A state semifinal, then lost to Linganore team in the final. With four players back who have starting experience -- including a healthy Kincaid, who missed much of last season -- and the addition of 5-6 freshman guard Ashley Evans, the Eagles should again contend for county and postseason titles. Centennial's strength will be its aggressive defense, but this team should be better offensively, thanks to the shooting of Kincaid and Evans. Richardson, who went by the first name of Icysis her first two seasons but now is using her real name, Tia, is very tenacious near the basket. O'Connor made 44 three-point baskets last season, second best in the county. Erika Schroeder, a 6-2 sophomore forward, also will contribute, as will two sophomores up from the JV -- Maggie Via and Amanda

Olsen. Another strength of this season's team is that most of its players are very familiar with Greenberg's system. Kincaid and O'Connor have played for four seasons, and Richardson, Tokasz, Vogler, Mentz and Ryland for three. "We have the potential to be very good," said Greenberg.

Chapelgate Christian Flames

1996-97 record: 8-19, 0-6 league

Coach: Ed Esbrandt

Top players: Anna Lohrmann, 5-11, Sr., C/F; Sarah Esbrandt, 5-3, Sr., G; Meghan Price, 5-8, Jr., G; Laura Starsoneck, 5-10, Soph., F/G; Laura Carder, 5-9, Jr., F.

Outlook: Chapelgate moves from the Christian Schools Athletic Association to the Association of Independent Schools B Conference this season. "We'll start the season toward the middle [of the conference]," said Esbrandt, "but we're capable of being one of the stronger teams by the end of the season." Four starters return, including Lohrmann, the team's top rebounder; Esbrandt, the point guard and top three-point shooter; Price, a very good jump shooter, and Starsoneck, who came on strong offensively at the end of last season. Esbrandt, who has been encouraging Price to shoot often, said his team's strengths are its rebounding, defense, experience and a group of young players who are good athletes. Among the seven freshman on the team, Esbrandt is looking for contributions from 5-8 forward Hope Meisinger and 5-5 guards Janice Chang and Christine Buch.

Glenelg Gladiators

1996-97 record: 13-12, 9-9 league

Coach: Ciaran Lesikar

Top players: Lauren Martin, 5-7, Jr., G; Kris Brust, 6-1, Jr., C.

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