Maryvale'a basketball team will feature more new faces than familiar ones this winter, so rosters could be in high demand early in the season.
The Lions graduated four starters from last year's club, including four-year varsity players Hannah McAleer and Shana Hildreth.
“It’s really tough,” Maryvale coach Alex Miller said. “I loved coaching them.”
Miller, however, does have a top-notch player to build his starting lineup around in McAleer’s sister, Molly.
The 5-foot-8 sophomore point guard earned Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland B Conference honors as a freshman after while averaging 14.8 points, four assists and four steals per game.
“I would like to think she is one of the top-10 players in the league,” Miller said. “She did a fantastic job being a floor leader. She got off to a really good start and only progressed from there as the season went on. I have really high expectations for her this year in terms leadership on both ends of the floor.”
Sophomore combo guard Sophia Antonopolous (5-7), junior power forward Alex Maki (5-7) and junior shooting guard Mary Grace (5-7) are vying for minutes.
Two returning seniors, power forward Veronica Maxwell (5-8) and shooting guard Emily Noel (5-5) and freshman Claire Neff (5-11), have earned starting positions.
“Of all the years I have been at Maryvale,” said Miller of his seven years as varsity and JV coach, "the continuity of this group is unlike any group I have seen.”
Two players promoted from last year’s JV, junior power forward Marlee White (5-8) and junior guard Julia Piet (5-6), along with junior small forward Liz Surine (5-7), complete the squad.
“We are younger and faster than we were last year,” said Miller, whose team went 10-12 last year and lost in a conference quarterfinal to Notre Dame Prep, 48-40. “I think like with any young team it will take time to find our way. I anticipate we will playing our best basketball in the middle to the end of the season.”