Area girls basketball teams hope to replace top starters
Arguably the area's most consistently dominant girls basketball team in recent years has been Greencastle-Antrim, led by a group of three starters almost incomparable to other area teams.
But with two of those three now graduated (Hannah Crist and Meghan Hirneisen), the Lady Blue Devils will look to change its system in the offseason to accommodate a new set of challenges in 2016-17.
"You've seen pretty excellent offensive performance, we could go out and score a lot of points and blow you out in a few minutes," Greencastle coach Mike Rhyne said, "but this year is going to be more traditional and conservative."
Jenay Faulkner, who will likely hit 1,500 career points midway through the season, and will push for 2,000 by the end of her career, returns along with Morgan Wagaman (4.6 ppg) and a host of younger players, who began to shine for the Blue Devils midway through the season.
"We don't really know (who is going to fill Hannah and Meghan's shoes)," Rhyne said. "We have a few good underclassman who played last year a considerable amount. Lydia Crist, Madison Sweitzer and Ashley True are certainly in the mix. But it's going to be different than what you've seen from us."
"I think its going to be a little different on offense and defense," Faulkner said. "We are just going to have to play our game that is winning right now and not try to do anything too crazy."
Shippensburg seeks vast improvement
Last year Shippensburg coach Andrew Markel had high hopes for the Lady Hounds to flip their previous season record to finish 15-7.
So finishing 8-14 was not exactly the season Markel envisioned. But this year's team is different, he said.
Led by Mariah Martin (9.4 ppg), Liz Logan (9 ppg) and Kara Newell (7.1 ppg), Shippensburg hopes to have a vastly improved squad.
"I thought we were going to be much better last year than we were," Markel said. "But the progression I've seen since the season stopped to camp this summer is refreshing. This is the first time since I've been here that the team has competed and looked good."
James Buchanan hopes young core can compete
The Lady Rockets may have graduated their top scorer, Charity Miller, and three other seniors, but the team still boasts depth with large classes of sophomores and juniors working their way up in the program.
With just two seniors on the squad this year, Aspen Anderson (3.1 ppg) and Rachel Martin (11.3 ppg), the team has a large number of underclassmen ready to step in to starting positions.
"I think our confidence level is actually pretty good," Anderson said. "We have, I would say, three people who can put points up in the game for varsity at least right now. Through the season that will increase, but right now I think we are pretty good. We have a lot of confidence in ourselves."
Last year the team finished at an even .500, winning the final four games of the regular season.
"I think this will be a rebuilding year for us," Martin said. "We lost some key players last year and with Aspen and I being the only seniors, we don't know what our win-loss record will be, but we just want to keep a positive attitude and be a good representation to the younger girls."
Chambersburg in another building year
After a one-win season last year, there's really no place for the Chambersburg girls basketball team to go than up.
But with the loss of the team's only consistent scorer, Lindsay Embly (11.8 ppg), it may be easier said than done for the Lady Trojans.
Taylor Vrabel returns as the team's only starter who averaged more than five points per game last year, and has big shoes to fill as a post player, and what will likely be the leading scorer position.
"Last year I was one of the other post players working with Lindsay and she really helped me because it was my first time on varsity," Vrabel said. "So I really hope I can help the other girls and I hope we can all work together. My team, I assume, is going to rely on me for a good amount of points and I expect a lot out of myself this season and I hope to reach those goals."
"We didn't have a very good year last year, so obviously our girls here are looking to improve upon that," Chambersburg coach Barry Purvis said. "They've worked pretty hard so far and we are looking forward to the challenges again and we will see how it goes."
Senior Camryn Greenlee said, "I think this season is a really good opportunity for anyone on the team to step up and score."