1998-99 Howard County girls basketball previews

December 03, 1998|By Stan Rappaport

Atholton Raiders

1997-98 record: 4-19 overall, 2-16 league

Coach: Todd Kriner

Top players: Erin Caffrey, 5-3, Sr., G; Aleah Zinalabedini, 5-7, Sr., F; Karen Brownlie, 5-4, Jr., G

Outlook: "These kids don't want to be another four-win team," Kriner said. "Their focus and attitude is better than it's been here in a while." The Raiders graduated five starters. Sophomore guards Sarah Costa (5-8) and Michelle McKenna (5-7) are up from the JV. The Raiders don't have a lot of height and often will play with three guards. Laura Conners, a 5-10 junior center with two years of JV experience, might be lost for the season after dislocating a shoulder in practice last week. That leaves 5-10 senior center Natalie Bartholomew, a first-year player, the tallest member on the squad. Kriner said the Raiders will "run as much as we can" and that they need to make "good decisions with the ball." Atholton has six seniors, two juniors and four sophomores.

Centennial Eagles

1997-98 record: 19-6 overall, 15-3 league

Coach: Dave Greenberg

Top players: Tia Richardson, 5-9, Sr., F; Ashley Evans, 5-6, Soph., G; Alexia Vogler, 5-4, Sr., G; Stacie Tokasz, 5-6, Sr., G

Outlook: The Eagles aren't as tall as last year but are quicker and more athletic. Richardson led the team in scoring (9.5) and rebounding (6.8) last year, and with her work ethic, lifts the team. "Defensively and rebounding, she's a tremendous player, and offensively she's improving," said Greenberg. "Her attitude has been great." Evans, who had 18 three-pointers last season, "can shoot the ball as well as anybody in the county," Greenberg said. Vogler and Tokasz, four-year varsity players, are capable of scoring but primarily are defense-minded. "They really play hard and create problems for the other team," Greenberg said. Three juniors return with varsity experience and will contribute -- 6-1 forward Erika Schroeder, 6-0 forward Amanda Olsen and 5-6 guard Maggie Via. Two players transferred from the Los Angeles area -- 5-8 junior guard/forward Darlena Hammond and her sister Jasmine, a 5-7 freshman guard. "Both are very athletic but have a ton to learn," Greenberg said. The Eagles, who have three seniors, five juniors, one sophomore and two freshmen, have a another set of sisters. Tia Richardson's sister, Lisa, a 5-8 freshman, is expected to contribute. "She can do a lot of things. I expect her to help us out," Greenberg said. Adding depth at the guard spot will be 5-7 junior Kelby Vanous, up from the JV. Greenberg said the team's success will depend on "how well everyone meshes together and understands what we're trying to do. The system is new to a lot of the kids. It will take a lot of patience and a lot of work."

Chapelgate Christian Flames

1997-98 record: 9-16 overall, 5-4 league

Coach: Jim Barber

Top players: Laura Starsoneck, 5-10, Jr., F; Meghan Price, 5-8, Sr., G; Ellie Kogok, 5-9, Jr., F

Outlook: First-year coach Barber has 11 players, including one senior and two returning starters. Starsoneck led the team last season, averaging 13.3 points and 11.5 rebounds. Price, the lone senior, had 73 assists. Kogok adds some more experience. She played last year at Montrose Christian School, where Barber coached for six years, and averaged seven points and 11 rebounds. Also contributing will be 5-10 freshman center Christy Groves, 5-7 junior guard/forward Jamie Olthoff, 5-7 1/2 sophomore guard Emily Brundage and 6-0 junior center Sarah Busick. "We have a lot to work with," said Barber. "It should be an exciting year." Barber will count on Starsoneck, Kogok and Busick

underneath, and Price and Brundage from the outside. Olthoff, said Barber, is a defensive specialist. "She works extremely hard," Barber said. "We rely on her to ignite our defense." Chapelgate, which competes in the Association of Independent Schools B Conference, has one senior, four juniors, three sophomores and three freshmen on the team. "We want to work hard every night and look to improve," Barber said.

Glenelg Gladiators

1997-98 record: 14-10 overall, 10-8 league

Coach: Ciaran Lesikar

Top players: Lauren Martin, 5-7, Sr., G; Kris Brust, 6-2, Sr., C; Heather Young, 5-7, Soph., G; Stephanie Howell, 5-8, Jr., G/F

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