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Girls Basketball

by Matt Cosentino

The 2012-13 season was a special one for Lenape, which shared the Olympic Conference American Division championship, reached the South Jersey Group IV semifinals and finished 24-3. This year could be even better, as the Indians return four starters, including leading scorer Alexis Sears, a 6-foot-2 senior who averaged 12.3 points per game and was named all-county second team. Maddie Sims, a 6-foot-3 sophomore, gives Lenape another inside force to go along with Sears. The other two returning starters are seniors Rena Carabases and Taylour Jones.

Lenape’s toughest competition in the division, and possibly Group IV, is Washington Township, which shared the American crown with the Indians last year and claimed its third straight South Jersey Group IV title. The Minutemaids will look to make it four in a row behind senior twin sisters Kelly and Kylie Giedemann, who will both continue their careers at Holy Family University next year. Kelly Giedemann, a point guard, averaged 13.5 points, eight assists and six rebounds per game, while Kylie Giedemann was the team’s leading scorer at 13.8 points to go with seven rebounds and five assists.

Two more potential Olympic Conference powers are Shawnee and Seneca. The Renegades (19-5) bring back three starters in leading scorer Nikola Williams, a junior, sharp shooting senior guard Olivia Askin and three-year starting point guard Taylor Ryan. “We have a nucleus of girls returning with significant varsity experience,” coach Chrissy McGovern says. “We are hoping to be extremely competitive this year within our conference and Group IV.” The Golden Eagles, a year after winning their first-ever South Jersey Group III title, nearly returned to the final, dropping a tough two-point game to Timber Creek in the semifinals to finish at 13-12. They return leading scorer Erica Snow, who averaged 15.7 points per game and was named all-conference first team.

Cherokee was hit hard by graduation and lost junior center Taylor McGlashan for the season with an ACL tear, but coach Shannon Bretz is looking for young returning players Sammy Debicki, Cailey Gibson and Shaye McGoey to lead the team. Eastern is coming off a 12-13 campaign and counts seniors Olivia Schneider and Miranda Konstantinides among its key returning players.

The class of the Tri-County Conference this year again appears to be Gloucester Catholic, which won its first 22 games last season and lost a tight game to Red Bank Catholic in the South Jersey Non-Public A final. The Rams return sophomore forward Mary Gedaka, who was all-South Jersey third team as a freshman after averaging a team-high 14.1 points and 11 rebounds. They also return all-county guard Becky Pund, a senior who averaged 13.8 points, and Maggie McIntyre, who averaged 8.7 points as a freshman.

Kingsway (15-13) returns its entire starting five, led by Zoe Hahn, who was the team’s leading scorer as a freshman at nearly 10 points per game. Clearview (16-8) graduated top scorer and rebounder Sara Kramer. Kennedi Thompson, the second-leading scorer at 10.9 points per game, leads the list of returnees.

Moorestown Friends, a member of the Friends League, returns five seniors who are all four-year letterwinners in Emily McKeown, Katrina Savon, Noelle Smith, Sarah Applegate and Jasmine Brown. Applegate and Brown are bouncing back from injuries that sidelined them for the second half of last season. “Our outlook is bright,” coach Mike Brunswick says. “We will have a good balance of experienced guards and forwards. The key for our success will be if we can stay healthy. If we do that, we should be in pretty good shape for both league and state play.”

Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family’s High School Winter Sports Preview, November, 2013.
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