Baltimore County team previews Local Sports: Girls Basketball Previews

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Arlington Baptist Eagles

1995-96 record: 8-8

Coach: Liz Byers

Top players: Kelly Bilbrey, Sr., F, 5-10; Sonja Edmonds, Sr., PG, 5-2.

Outlook: The Eagles are in a rebuilding mode this season after being hit hard by graduation and the transfer of center Leah Clelland to McDonogh. Byers hopes for hustle and "more of a team effort."

Beth Tfiloh Warriors

1995-96 record: 11-19

Coach: John Grap

Top players: Lily Dahan, Sr., G, 5-2; Marlene Hollander, Sr., G, 5-3; Lauren Birenbaum, Sr., F, 5-0; Mara Levin, Sr., F, 5-7; Rachel Roffman, Jr., C, 5-9; Edie Meyerson, Jr., C/F, 5-8.

Outlook: The departure of three-time Association of Independent Schools all-star Rachel Dahan took 9 points a game and a solid point guard out of the Beth Tfiloh system, but Grap hopes to compensate with a squad filled with experienced varsity players. Roffman averaged 6.4 points a game last season, and Lily Dahan will fill her sister's point-guard slot.

Carver A&T; Wildcats

1995-96 record: 12-11

Coach: Tom Appel

Top players: Jessica Stewart, 5-7, Sr., F/G; April Johnson, 5-2, Sr., PG; Chennell Boone, 5-9, Sr., F/C; Jenn Albright, 5-3, Sr., G; May Wilt, 5-9, Jr., F.

Outlook: The Wildcats entire lineup returns. Stewart, who can hit the three-pointer, and Boone, the top rebounder, both bring back double-figure scoring. Appel said the Wildcats have strong individual skills and if they mesh, they should at least match last season's record in the county's Sharp Shooters Division.

Catonsville Comets

1995-96 record: 22-3

Coach: Mike Mohler

Top players: Marci Brewer, 5-6, Jr., G; Nicole Deponai, 5-11, Sr., F; Annie Yager, 5-9, Sr., G; Sue Digby, 5-6, Sr., G; Ellen Gibson, 5-6, Jr., PG.

Outlook: After a trip to the state semifinals last year, the Comets sport an all-new lineup. The addition of AAU-experienced freshmen Carol Smoller and Tina Tacka and sophomore Lindsey Muir should help. Mohler plans to keep looking for transition chances to make up for the lack of height. Finding a consistent scoring threat is the biggest problem for the defending Hoopsters Division champs.

Chesapeake Bayhawks

1995-96 record: 7-12

Coach: Lori Wojtkowiak

Top players: Nicole Mryncza, 5-9, Jr., F; Jodie Ulrich, 5-8, Sr., F; Susan Paulson, 5-5, Sr., G; Fawne Everett, 5-3, Sr., G; Amanda Dobrochowski, 5-4, Sr., G.

Outlook: Because the top five returnees have seen plenty of action, Wojtkowiak said this team is comparable to last year's squad. A few newcomers add depth.

Dulaney Lions

1995-96 record: 8-13

Coach: Nancy Woodside

Top players: Tracy Miksis, 5-11, Sr., C; Jennifer Confer, 6-0, Sr., F; Kelli Kramer, 5-10, Sr., F; Shannon Truxel, 5-5, Jr., PG; Shannon Torrez, 5-7, Jr., G.

Outlook: With veterans Miksis and Confer, the Lions should have one of the Hoopsters Division's top inside games. The guards are a bit inexperienced, so they will need time.

Dundalk Owls

1995-96 record: 1-20

Coach: Fred Hammett

Top players: Amanda Orlandi, 5-2, Jr., PG; Jackie Urlahs, 5-8, Jr., F; Ceylon Powell, 5-4, Jr., G; Katie Wildberger, 6-0, Jr., C; LaTashia Jubilee, 5-7, Jr., F; Leah Cropper, 5-11, Jr., F.

Outlook: Numbers continued to be a problem for the Owls, who finished last year with only seven girls, but the juniors should provide a dependable core. Orlandi (11 points, 4 steals) is the leader, but Hammett will go back to the basics.

Eastern Tech Mavericks

1995-96 record: 21-3

Coach: Dave Scrivener

Top players: Shanell Carter, 5-7, Sr., G; Elisha Carter, 5-4, Soph., PG; Christina Fox, 5-9, Jr. F; Jenn Betkey, 5-10, Jr., F; Tina Collier, 5-5, Sr., G.

Outlook: Last year's turn-around sensation, the Mavericks won the Sharp Shooters Division after finishing 2-18 a year earlier. Led by Elisha Carter (21.8 points, 3.8 assists), the Mavericks return every starter and have high hopes for advancing past the first round of the regional playoffs, as well as repeating as division champs.

Franklin Indians

1995-96 record: 5-13

Coach: Dave Turybury

Top players: Ann Marie Molinaro, 5-11, Jr., F/G; Erin Spatafore, 5-7, Jr., PG; Juanita Ballard, 5-10, Sr., F; Sara Teeter, 5-6, Jr., G; Yolanda Little, 5-10, Jr., F; Missy King, 5-6, Soph., G.

Outlook: Although the Indians still are young, most have at least a year of varsity experience, so Turybury is shooting for a .500 season in the Hoopsters Division. Molinaro (10 points, 10 rebounds) and Spatafore (10 points, 3.6 assists) return some nice numbers and the team as a whole is more athletic.

Garrison Forest Grizzlies

1995-96 record: 5-10

Coach: Nick Burns

Top players: Jen Zienty, Jr., G, 5-6; Karie Reed, Jr., PG, 5-9; Melissa Harrison, Jr., F, 5-10; Tiffany Hill Jr., F, 5-8; Sara Rioff, Jr., F, 5-9; Susie Malayaman, Jr; F, 5-7; Alexa Sabelhaus, So., C, 5-11; Mandy Dougherty, So., G, 5-9.

Outlook: Outlook: Burns, coaching girls' varsity for the first time after JV girls' and varsity boys' stints in Philadelphia, hopes for hard work and an "evolution" from his team, which has just one senior.

Gwynn Lake

1995-96 record: First team

Coach: Roland Hall

Top players: Jimea Barner, 5-7, Soph., G; Quantae Toney, 5-6, Soph., G; Dena McGriff, 5-6, Soph., F/G.

Outlook: Gywnn Lake, a Woodlawn private school in its second year of existence, is looking to make an immediate impact on the area girls basketball scene. Hall has managed to assemble a talented team that should breeze through its Christian League competition -- they've already won their first two games over Christian schools by an average margin of 70.5 points. Gwynn Lake has put together an ambitious non-league schedule that includes Western, Arundel, St. Frances, McDonogh and St. John's-Prospect Hall.

Hereford Bulls

1995-96 record: 14-7

Coach: Steve Power

Top players: Jess Fisher, 5-7, Jr., F; Kim Adams, 5-5, Jr., G; Kate Sonnefeld, 5-7, Jr., F; Jessica Vogt, 5-9, Jr., C.

Outlook: For a variety of reasons, ranging from running track to getting a job, no starters return. That leaves only two players back. With that kind of inexperience, the Bulls will need balanced scoring and a pressure defense.

Kenwood Bluebirds

1995-96 record: 4-17

Coach: Gerri Moran

Top players: Val Simpson, 5-1, Sr., G; LaCole Smith, 5-3, Jr., G; Nayena Blankson, 5-7, Sr., F/G; Danora Moye, 5-8, Sr., F; Lisa Wilkinson, 6-0, Sr., C; Semelda Haynes, 5-6, Sr., F/G.

Outlook: Moran lost her top two veterans to other sports, but she has a good group left to work with. Overall, the Bluebirds have more depth than last year, and they're quick and aggressive on defense.

Lansdowne Vikings

1995-96 record: 15-10

Coach: Ron Bareford

Top players: Sarah Grimes, 5-7, Soph., G; Christine Happel, 6-2, Jr. C; Dawn Johns, 5-7, Soph., F; Amy Stocksdale, 5-4, Jr., G; Katie Bell, 5-6, Sr., G.

Outlook: The Vikings finished second in the Sharp Shooters Division last season and should make another run at the top. Grimes (10 points) and Happel (10 rebounds) should be the top contributors, but the Vikings have enough depth to run about nine deep. The Vikings have solid shooting and good defense but still need someone to take charge in the backcourt.

Loch Raven Raiders

1995-96 record: 5-16

Coach: Ken Witts

Top players: Nicole Froman, 5-9, Sr., F; Jen Clarke, 5-10, Sr., C; Cheryl Sandgren, 5-8, Sr., F; Susan Giannaccini, 5-4, Sr., G; Anne Mobley, 5-8, Soph., PG.

Outlook: Last year, during an injury-riddled season, the defense held most opponents under 50, but the offense couldn't score that many points. With Giannaccini and Mobley back, Froman won't have to run the point. She can move back underneath, where she should improve on her 12-rebound average and once again become a scoring threat.

Lutheran Saints

1995-96 record: 5-13

Coach: John Buetow

Top players: Nicole Velte, Sr., G, 5-2; Heather Grose, Jr., G, 5- 4; Nevin Caple, Jr., C, 6-1; Leslie Caple, So., G, 5-6; Amanda Minor, Sr., G, 5-3.

Outlook: Buetow returns after a one-year sabbatical to find returning leading scorer Velte (7 points) and a present in the Caple sisters, who transferred from Glen Burnie. Nevin Caple should be an instant contributor, after averaging 10 points for the Gophers last season.

Maryvale Lions

1995-96 record: 3-11

Coach: Marce Fackler

Top players: Anna Mavrellos, Jr., C, 5-10; Nicole DePaola, Jr., G, 5-6; Maura Doyle, Sr., PG, 5-2.

Outlook: Fackler expects some improvement after a disappointing 1995-96 season but realizes there will be growing pains with a young team and several first-year varsity players expected to see considerable playing time.

McDonogh Eagles

1995-96 record: 17-5

Coach: Seth Kushkin

Top players: Vicki Brick, Soph., G, 5-6; Mary Urban, Jr., F, 5-9; Shani Moore, Jr., C, 5-11.

Outlook: McDonogh won the AIS A Division regular-season title and tournament championship as Brick debuted as an All-Metro first-team selection. The Eagles lose little this season and appear ready for another run at the league title. Brick (18.5 points) and fellow AIS All-Star Urban (16.5 points, 7.5 rebounds) lead a team that returns seven of 11 players.

Milford Mill Millers

1995-96 record: 22-3

Coach: Pam Wright

Top players: Jenna Bradford, 5-5, Sr., PG; Crystal Dent, 6-1, Sr., C; Dyanna Mitchell, 5-5, Jr., F/G; Chante Alexander, 6-1, Soph., F; Danielle Carter, 5-9, Soph., F/G.

Outlook: The Millers have all the assets to win a second straight Baltimore County championship. They have athletic ability, height, speed, quickness and ball-handling skills. The one area they need to improve is shooting. In last year's losses, the Millers just could not put the ball in the hoop. In a devastating loss to Towson in the regional semifinals, they shot 14-80 and missed 38 layups.

Mount Carmel Cougars

1995-96 record: 12-6

Coach: Rob Bonner

Top players: Susan Sipes, Sr., G, 5-9; Keri Dwyer, Sr., C, 5-11; Krissi Webber, Jr., F, 5-9; Nicole Biscotti, Jr., G, 5-7; Kirsten Herold, So., G, 5-4; Susan Ecke, Soph., G, 5-5.

Outlook: Mount Carmel returns 65 percent of its scoring from last year, led by Sipes (11 points), and Dwyer (9 points). Seventy percent of the rebounding returns behind Dwyer's 10 per game.

Mount de Sales Sailors

1995-96 record: 9-20

Coach: Bill Held

Top players: Suzanne Smith, 5-8, Jr., F/G; Katie O'Connell, 5-5, Sr., G; Nicole Hartnagel, 5-9, Sr., F; Bonnie Milner, 5-6, Sr., G; Leah Sawyer, 6-1, Sr., C.

Outlook: The Sailors are coming off a 1-13 last-place finish in the Catholic League, but Held believes that record is deceiving because several of those losses were close games against ranked teams. Four starters return, and Held likes their chemistry, so much so that he said they could turn around last season's record.

Notre Dame Prep Pirates

1995-96 record: 14-7

Coach: Claire Reisler

Top players: Tiffanie Baker, Sr., G, 5-9; Kim McCombe, Jr., F, 5-10; Lauren Aumiller, So., G, 5-7.

Outlook: The Pirates, who finished second in the AIS A Division in the regular season last year and lost in the tournament semifinals to Severn, will employ a new approach. Gone will be the half-court game. In its place will be an up-tempo, fast-breaking, pressing game.

Oldfields

1995-96 record: 7-5

Coach: Sven Jensen

Top players: Jacquette McGhee, Jr., G, 5-10; Rasheeda Wilson, Sr., F, 5-10; Anja Kroell, Sr., C, 6-0; Elizabeth Richie, Sr., F, 5-9; Lee Blackwell, So., G, 5-7.

Outlook: Two-time AIS all-star McGhee returns to lead the B Division runner-up after averaging 18 points a game last season. Richie and Blackwell must increase their offensive output to stop teams from constantly employing a box-and-one defense against McGhee.

Overlea Falcons

1995-96 record: 5-15

Coach: Doug Eisenhauer

Top players: Devette Douglas, 5-11, Jr., F; Dannica Nicolas, 5-6, Sr., G; Sharina Seals, 5-5, Sr., G; Kelly Willoughby, 5-10, Sr., F.

Outlook: The Falcons are smaller than last year, but they hope to make up for it with more quickness and athleticism. Although they lost three starters, the Falcons return players with a better understanding of the game.

Owings Mills Golden Eagles

1995-96 record: 8-12

Coach: Brian Yaniger

Top players: Allegra Taylor, 5-4, Jr., G; Leslie Brown, 5-4, Jr., G; Andi Graham, 5-6, Sr., G; Bess Caplan, 5-7, Soph., C; Megan Menning, 5-6, Soph., F.

Outlook: Transition will be the key to the Eagles' game. Without much height, Yaniger is looking to turn up the defense to create the offense. Taylor (12 points) brings back the best numbers and can hit the three-pointer.

Park Bruins

1995-96 record: 9-8

Coach: Robin Willard

Top players: Rebecca Shapiro, Jr., G, 5-8; Casey Zubrin, Jr., G/F, 5-8; Stephanie Bond, Jr., G, 5-6; Alana Roth, Sr., C, 5-11; Lesley Dobson, Sr., PG, 5-3.

Outlook: Park's challenge is to provide AIS All-Star and team rebounding-, and scoring-leader Shapiro with support. She led Park with 16 points and nine rebounds from point guard last season, but switches to shooting guard.

Parkville Knights

1995-96 record: 13-7

Coach: Nancy Gross

Top players: Amanda Karbowniczek, 5-9, Jr., F; Jen Mezzadra, 5-6, Sr., G; Ebony Edwards, 5-10, Jr., F; Yanitza Torres, 5-9, Sr., F.

Outlook: Even though the Knights lost three starters, they should have more depth this season. Two freshmen with recreation experience, Stephanie Curnoles and Tiffany Vaughan, could contribute right away. The Knights have speed, play aggressively and have jelled.

Patapsco Patriots

1995-96 record: 11-10

Coach: Toyah Houck

Top players: Jeanne Albrecht, 5-3, Sr., G; Amanda McCauley, 5-9, Sr., F; Charlee Harris, 5-7, Sr., G; Chrissy Peters, 5-6, Jr., G; Cori Lentz, 5-8, Jr., F.

Outlook: The Patriots lost three starters but return a fundamentally sound core. Everyone saw significant action last year and played summer-league ball, so Houck is looking for a strong inside-outside game and balanced scoring.

Pikesville Panthers

1995-96: record: 6-13

Coach: Ken Lane

Top players: Julie Stein, 5-5, Sr., G; Jasmine Carmichael, 5-9, Soph., F; Ify Osefo, 5-6, Soph., G; Lauri Parso, 5-8, Fr., F/G.

Outlook: Despite their youth, the Panthers have more experience and more depth than last year, so Lane is optimistic. Stein (13 points) won't have to carry the load since Osefo and Parso can shoot from the outside and penetrate.

Perry Hall Gators

1995-96 record: 12-8

Coach: Linda Caccavalla

Top players: Alisha McClinton, 5-6, Sr., F/G; Alyssa Phoebus, 6-0, Jr., C; Kelly O'Sullivan, 5-8, Sr., F; Kerri Sirian, 5-5, Sr., G; April Adolfo, 5-8, Soph., PG; Suzz Holmes, 5-6, Jr., G.

Outlook: In two years, Caccavalla has taken the Gators from a 5-14 team to a spot in the state Class 4A semifinals. The Gators rode into the final four last year with a stunning 58-57 upset of two-time defending champ Western. Despite graduating most of their guards, the Gators bring back All City/County picks McClinton (15 points, 10.2 rebounds) and Phoebus (16 points, 14.9 rebounds).

Perry Hall Christian Panthers

1995-96 record: 2-13

Coach: Allyson Wynn

Top players: Jessica Davis, 5-10, Soph., C; Kristen Hofmeier, 5-0, Sr., G; Julianne Lellyo, 5-4, Soph., F/G; Kara Mueller, 5-8, Sr., F; Katie Riniker, 5-7, Sr., F/G.

Outlook: With better height, the Panthers should be able to get more rebounds and more second chances. The sophomores are providing more balanced scoring.

Randallstown Rams

1995-96 record: 10-12

Coach: Jeff Tessier

Top players: Katrina Johns, 6-1, Sr., C; Chevon Henley, 6-0, Sr., F; Jessica Blanding, 5-4, Sr., PG; Debbie Lennon, 5-3, Sr., G; Timechia Spriggs, 5-6, Soph., G.

Outlook: Johns (21.3 points, 14.6 rebounds), a Street & Smith's preseason All-America pick who has signed with St. John's, was the county's dominant inside player last year, but she didn't get much help from the back court. That could change because Blanding, who transferred from Philadelphia in January, has had time to adjust to the Rams' game.

St. Paul's Gators

1995-96 record: 9-5

Coach: Suzie Friedrich

Top players: Samantha Murray, Sr., G, 5-8; Laura Peace, Sr.,F, 5- 10; Devin Cunningham, Sr., C, 6-0; Francoise Gordon, Jr., G, 5-5; Raven Dennis, Sr., G, 5-5.

Outlook: Expectations are high at St. Paul's for the most experienced group in Friedrich's five years and with most of the offensive punch returning. Murray, Peace, and Cunningham each averaged eight points a game last season, and Cunningham's 7.2 rebounds a game led the team.

St. Timothy's

1995-96 record: 6-5

Coach: John Bonn

Top players: Sarah Buckley-Green, Sr., G, 5-4; Kristen Egan, So., G, 5-7; Michelle McCollum, Jr., F, 5-8; Greta Miller, Soph., G, 5- 7; Melody VanHoose, Sr., C, 5-10.

Outlook: St. Tim's will pound the ball inside, hoping the combination of AIS All-Star Miller and post players like McCollum and VanHoose can compensate for unsteady outside shooting.

Sparrows Point Pointers

1995-96 record: 8-11

Coach: Linda Day

Top players: Heather Lucas, 5-4, Jr., G; Jenee Tyson, 5-8, Jr., F; Kristy Brennan, 5-7, Sr., F; Kristen Petrovia, 5-4, Jr., G; Jen Owens, 5-7, Sr., C; Brett Gay, 6-0, Fr., C.

Outlook: The Pointers will be much smaller this year, so they will have to depend on transition. With time, Gay could turn into a top rebounder, but she probably won't get a lot of help.

Towson Generals

1995-96 record: 13-7

Coach: Bev Snyder

Top players: Sara Lev, 5-9, Jr., G; Jaimee Reynolds, 5-9, Jr., F; Lindsay Buchanan, 5-7, Soph., G; Leslie Hunt, 5-6, Jr., G; Julie Ramer, 5-5, Jr.; G; Megan Kanski, 5-10, Sr., F.

Outlook: The Generals made a strong run at the Class 2A North championship last year, upsetting Milford Mill before falling to Catonsville. Nearly everyone returns, including Lev (12 points). The Generals also should get a boost from two freshmen with Amateur Athletic Union experience -- 5-6 G Jessie Ramer and 5-9 F Bria Martin.

Towson Catholic Owls

1995-96 record: 2-7

Coach: Monica McCall

Top players: Lillian Samuels, Sr., PG, 5-6; Tennisha Brown, Sr., C, 6-3; Jennifer Haywood, Sr., F, 5-9; Kate Bothea, Sr., F, 5-9; Erica Haywood, Fr., C, 6-4; Jessica Foltz, Jr., G, 5-6.

Outlook: Towson Catholic hopes to parlay a season of losing lots of close games into a season of winning with an experienced, tall senior core group. Point guard and leading scorer Samuels (18 points) returns with junior Foltz (11 points), but the Owls will rely heavily on twin towers Erica Haywood and Brown.

Western Tech Wolverines

1995-96 record: 8-11

Coach: Del Hughes

Top players: Tracey McCorr, 5-3, Sr., G; Jen Crawford, 5-5, Sr., F; Jaime Harris, 5-7, Jr., F; Dana Smith, 5-10, Sr., C; Candace High, 5-3, Fr., G.

Outlook: The Wolverines improved from 1-19 in 1994-95 and new coach Hughes would like to keep right on going. With four upperclassmen back, the Wolverines have more experience and High brings recreation experience.

Woodlawn Warriors

1995-96 record: 14-6

Coach: Dave Shreiner

Top players: Carissa Hall, 5-10, Jr., F; Stacie Allen, 5-10, Soph., PG/F; Anitra Smith, 5-6, Jr., G; Stephanie McPherson, 5-8, So., G; Tiffany Fennoy, 5-7, Sr., G; Erica Berndsen, 5-5, Sr., G.

Outlook: The Warriors could be the county team that makes the biggest move this year. With every starter back, they boast speed, depth, versatility and experience. It also doesn't hurt to have two 6-0 seniors DeDe Ducase and Alisa Nelson coming off the bench. Last summer, four of the Warriors brought home awards from the Mount St. Mary's camp -- Hall (best rebounder), Allen (All-Star game MVP), McPherson (top player in camp) and Berndsen (best fundamentals).

Pub Date: 12/05/96

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