Is it possible that Cameron Onken can be even better as a sophomore after averaging 12.5 points, 4.5 assists, 3.5 steals and 4.4 rebounds a year ago?
Coach Craig DeVault says yes about his point guard.
“Cameron had a great summer of AAU, then when we had our summer games she was tremendous,” DeVault said. “I’m expecting her to get better each year. She’s the kind of girl who’s in the gym every night shooting. She has the work ethic.”
Emily Burks is back at shooting guard after averaging 6.4 points last season. DeVault believes sophomore Angela Tharp can fill the role left by the graduation of Alanna Roswarski.
“She can really shoot the ball,” said DeVault of Tharp, who had 18 points in the Knights’ scrimmage against South Newton.
Tharp said she prepared during the offseason just for this role.
“I worked on my shot and my form,” Tharp said. “I want to be quicker with my feet so I can get some steals. I also worked on my ballhanding as well.
“I’m trying to step up for our team. Since she was such a big scorer, I’m trying to replace that.”
There’s experience here, too, with Emily Denhart and Maggie Bobillo returning.
Denhart, who also can play outside, averaged nearly 7 rebounds a game last season while scoring 12.2 points. Bobillo has gotten stronger and could up her rebounding average of 3.5 from last season.
Central Catholic journey to the Class A state volleyball championship game allowed DeVault plenty of practice time to evaluate the younger players.
“The girls who played JV last year needed a whole lot of varsity time,” DeVault said. “We’ve spent a lot of time this year, including setting our offense and getting them to know every spot so when the girls from volleyball come they already know what we will running.
“It gave all my coaches a chance to work with the girls one on one. Actually, it’s been a bonus really to spend more time with the younger kids.”
Sammy Bonner moves up from the junior varsity and has impressed DeVault with her defensive skills. Point guard Jenny Harkcom’s quickness and ability to run the offense will allow her to spell Onken. Freshman Emma Gerrety will split time between JV and varsity.
Thanks to the postponement of the scheduled season opener against Logansport, the Knights will have had a full week to practice with their full roster before the J&C Hoops Classic.
DeVault hopes the presence of Onken, Denhart and Burks will help the Knights improve their halfcourt offense, which is behind its fastbreak offense.
Until then, CC is counting on defense to win games.
The Knights increased their sectional championship streak to eight in a row despite closing the regular season with a five-game losing streak. Now they are thinking of bigger goals.
“I think we have a really good chance of winning a lot this year,” Tharp said. “I think we can make it to state.”