The 59ers have won sectional titles in each of the last three seasons and return a strong backcourt that includes one of the region’s best players in guard Tori Allen, Lauren Colon and Lindsay Arcella. The frontcourt lost Lauryn Swain, which will take some getting used to.
“We’re missing a bit of defensive edge,” coach Tony Scheub said. “Swain was a huge pain in my ass, but she was a very team-oriented kid who would do whatever it takes.”
The Trojans took a step forward in coach Darian Patton-Slaughter’s first season, finishing 18-6 but running into Lake Central’s buzzsaw in the section. They will miss Chloe Churilla’s 15 points per game but bring back a strong core of Payton Reid, Aaliyah Keil, Bree Flores and Cailey Belloso. Freshman Jordan Steele, the newest addition to the athletic family, will also provide strong minutes.
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Alaina Richter, a 2017 Hobart graduate, returns home after a career at Indiana University Northwest.
“I knew coaching was the next step for me,” she said. “An opportunity presented itself in Hobart and I knew I had to jump on it.”
The Brickies will be led by Asia Donald, who finished second in the region in scoring last season with 23.5 points per game. Junior guard Jesse Neace and senior forward Nikolina Latinovic will also be big contributors.
The top two scorers, seniors Kate Thomas and Lilly Toppen, are returning from a 16-10 side that advanced to the section final. Genna Hayes has also started every game and Abby Grandchamp is back after missing most of the season through injury.
“If we can stay healthy and continue to build chemistry throughout the season, I think we have a team talented and skilled enough to fight for both a Northwest Crossroads Conference title and a sectional title. this year,” coach Brandon Bradley said.
Last season’s top four scorers have graduated, but the closet is not empty for coach Kelly Chavez. Many young people saw the floor.
Maddie Mielczarek started before she ran out of time. Olivia Perlick replaced. Reilly Boyer led the Red Devils by 3 points and steals before a knee injury. She will be back soon.
“They’re the best group to come out of the program playing like five on the court,” Chavez said. “It will be a team that improves with every game.”
DeAndre Williams comes from Morton to coach the Mustangs, who return a large part of last year’s squad.
Akoama Odeluga nearly averaged a double-double last season at 9.8 points and 12.4 rebounds per game. Trinity Hogge and Lilly Mason will also be big contributors.
“The biggest challenge is seeing how the girls react to a coaching change,” Williams said. “All the signs indicate that they have worked hard over the summer. They are certainly ready to face the difficulties of the road.