Central York girls' hoops primed for run at title
Perhaps Central York's girls' basketball team is still a year away. After all, the squad has three juniors and one sophomore in its starting lineup.
But look at the body of work the Panthers compiled last season:
• Central won 23 games.
• Central missed out on a league tournament title, falling to Red Lion by a one-point margin.
• Central missed out on a state tournament appearance, falling to Red Lion yet again, this time in district tournament.
That doesn't sound like a program that needs another year to hit its stride. Central has no real weak spot in its top six players. This is a team built to win now, especially considering how Central plans to use some of its players this season. Saxton averaged 13.5 points per game last year on 55 percent shooting.
Bloomsburg recruit Emma Saxton, the only senior in the starting lineup, will play on the wing this year. A multi-faceted player, Saxton has improved her perimeter game and Central coach Scott Wisner wants her to use all those tools to create trouble for defenses.
Sophomore point guard Katie Fabbri, after earning minutes last year as a freshman, enters the season greatly improved and will start.
"I think a big part for her was just having an opportunity to be a part of team that had some success, and she got to play in the postseason to see how everyone performed," Wisner said.
Forwards Nikson "Nikki" Valencik (5-foot-9) and Teirra Preston (5-foot-11) should create matchup problems, especially considering Valencik's ability to hit a 15-foot jumper. Valencik averaged averaged just over 10 points per game last season and grabbed over 200 rebounds.
Junior Allison Wagner is expected to start at the remaining guard position, at least until Sarah Sepic is back to 100 percent.
Sepic drained 39 3-pointers last season, only to suffer an ACL tear. But Wisner expects Sepic to be back in form and maybe even in the starting lineup by game four or five of the regular season.
"We definitely just want to build off the success we had last year," Wisner said.