WARRENSBURG - The local high school's Girls Varsity Basketball Team displayed a lot of determination this year in boosting their performance dramatically during a season with few wins, their coach said during a school sports awards ceremony held March 4.
He said the Warrensburg Central girls demonstrated their grit and guts when they ramped up their level of playing despite ongoing losses.
Through the first eight games, their losses were by an average of 33 points, but by the final five games, that margin shrank to six points or less. The team's record was 3-15 overall during the 2009-10 season.
"The players dramatically improved their individual shooting, post moves and ball handling," Smith said. "They are now playing more as a team."
Smith said the younger players are now enthusiastic about practicing during the off-season.
"I'm excited about the enthusiasm of the young kids we're bringing back," Smith said. "We hope they follow through with their off-season plans."
He said the 2010-11 team holds promise.
"We're returning some of the strongest guards in the league, and that's what we'll be building on," he said. "I hope they accept the challenges that lie ahead, and work hard toward our goals."
That lineup of guards includes sophomores Jaci O'Brien, Isabella Szabo and Savannah Mosher, with the addition of the talented eighth graders Brittany DeCrescente and Kate Kuklinski. After being drafted late in the 2009-10 season, DeCrescente displayed her aggressive athleticism on court, and was among the top team scorers right from her debut game. And on Junior Varsity, she racked up 80 points in only five games.
"The experience of the young players will pay off over the next several years," Smith said.
For the varsity team, DeCrescente was awarded Rookie of the Year, and Szabo, with her tremendous speed, was named Most Improved. The Sportsmanship Award went to Kate Taddeo, who attended every practice, and provided "the pulse" for the team, Smith said.
JV squad demonstrated dedication
The WCS Junior Varsity Girls basketball players showed their dedication and perseverance during the 2009-10 season, Coach Mary ann Bump said as she presented awards to her team.
Most Improved for Junior Varsity went to 10th grader Montana Sheridan, and the "Bench Buster" award for playing strong during substitutions,went to Brittany Tschirhart.
The "Iron Woman" Sportsmanship Award went to ninth grader Chiarra Russo - she didn't miss a single practice - and the Rookies of the Year awards were presented to Kerrigan Ross and Mika Morehouse.
Bump said all the players showed considerable character this season.
"I'm so proud of the girls in their drive and dedication to improve," she said.
Modified squad boosts level of play
Warrensburg's 2009-10 Modified Basketball Team also showed their character, Coach Christene Baker said, as they battled the constrictions of low numbers and worked hard to build skills.
She said they showed remarkable improvement from mid-season on, beginning abruptly with the game against Argyle.
"The girls started the season with limited experience, but they grew a lot in their skills and teamwork," she said. "Then suddenly in the Argyle game, our players started passing and shooting well."
During that game, seventh grader Liz Turner scored 31 points, Baker said at the recent awards banquet, when the coach presented trophies.
The Most Improved awards went to seventh grader Kaylene Norton and Amanda Springer. Sportsmanship awards were granted to team captains eighth graders Whitney Markwica and Makayla Baker.