Home News Tribune girls basketball teams at a glance

Home News Tribune girls basketball teams at a glance


Home News Tribune girls basketball teams at a glance



Coach: Keith Lane, first season

Last season: 5-20

Letterwinners: 7 returning, 2 lost

Roster: Kaitlyn Roughan (Jr., G, 5-5); Julia Simoes (Jr., G, 5-5); Dayna Sclafani (Jr., F/G, 5-7); Alex Kalafor (Jr., F, 5-9); Allie Warren (So., C, 5-10); Caroline Caruso (Sr., F, 5-9); Victoria Zaccaria (Sr., G, 5-6); Kayla Kennedy (Sr., G, 5-5); Savanna Flood (Jr., G, 5-5); Kylie Nemeth (Jr., G, 5-5); Sydney Greenspan (So., F, 5-11); Lauren Galloway (Jr., F, 5-8); Kim Anderson (So., F, 5-10); Abbie Auerbach (So., G, 5-7); Cecilia Severino (Jr., C, 5-10).

Outlook: With seven players returning to a team that struggled through most of last season, the future is bright for East Brunswick. There are only three seniors on the roster, but a plethora of juniors and up-and-coming underclassmen should help lead a resurgence in Lane’s first season on the bench. Lane said that he expects his squad to be competitive in every game by playing together and rebounding the basketball. Getting off to a good start would be welcome for the Bears as they look to move up the Red Division.


Coach: Amy Hansen, seventh season

Last season: 11-17

Letterwinners: 2 returning, 3 lost

Roster: Marisa Daniels (Sr. G, 5-7); Ashley Hunt (So. G, 5-7); Maggie Johnson (Jr. F/G, 5-8); Natalie Udoye (Jr., F, 6-4); Alexa Lubonski (Jr., F, 5-7); Adriana Resurreccion (Jr., G, 5-4); Amanda Mercuro (Jr., G, 5-5); Alexandra Resurreccion (Jr., G, 5-4); Tatiana Yourstone (So., G, 5-7); Bianca Newsom (Fr., G, 5-5).

Outlook: This could be a bit of a rebuilding year for Edison, as only one starter returns from last season’s squad. Daniels will be the player to watch, according to Hansen, as the senior will be looked upon to provide leadership on the court and be the primary focus on offense. Having lost Mackenzie Peacock for the season with a knee injury will hinder what the Eagles want to do with the basketball, but Hansen thinks Daniels will rub off on the younger players on the roster. For Edison to be successful, all five players on the floor will have to contribute, not just Daniels.


Coach: Dan DiMino, fourth season

Last season: 5-15

Letterwinners: 8 returning, 1 lost

Roster: Marta Belli (Sr., G); Taylor Torre (Sr., G); Erin Halstead (Sr., G); Erin Burrows (Sr., G); Samantha Potts (Jr., G); Shayla Anderson (Jr., F); Taylor Jones (Jr., F); Tara Durstewitz (So., G); Madison Kellermueler (So., G); Rae Yanna Farrow (Jr., F); Sheridan Casserly (So., G); Amanda Carney (Fr., G); Meaghan Dowdell (Fr., G).

Outlook: Returning eight players from last season’s squad should allow Old Bridge to bounce back from a tough season. The trio of senior guards of Belli, Halstead and Torre, all captains for DiMino, should pave the way for a squad that has five underclassmen on the roster. DiMino noted that the loss of Kait Johnsen from the 2012-13 team will be a big one, but having as many experienced players as the Knights do should soften the blow.


Coach: Mike Manfre, third season

Last season: 17-4, 8-2 Red

Letterwinners: 2 returning, 8 lost

Roster: Oldania Pena (Sr., F); Karina Rodriquez (Sr., G); Ashley Rivera (Sr., F); Derilis Valerio (Jr., F); Samantha Nunez (Jr., G); Alonis Collado (Jr., F); Mary Roldan (Jr., G); Tasha Rosario (Jr., F); Estephanie Cruz (So., G); Vanessa Perez (So., F); Desiare Rivera (Fr., G).

Outlook: The defending Red Division champions graduated a lot of skilled players from last season’s team, leaving the 2013-14 edition with little experience on the court. With just three seniors on this season’s team, the Panthers will have their work cut out for them, relying on five juniors and a pair of sophomores to make the leap and help keep Perth Amboy near the top of the ever-competitive division. Manfre said he expects this to be a rebuilding year, with some players getting their first taste of varsity experience as the year goes along.


Coach: Corey Floyd, second season

Last season: 16-8

Letterwinners: 5 returning, 5 lost

Roster: Kiki Bynes (Sr., PG, 5-6); 43 (Sr., G, 5-5); Diamond Scott (Sr., G, 5-3); Tunde Adeyemo (Jr., F, 5-10); Wande Adeyemo (Jr., C/F, 5-10); Evangela Morris (Jr., C/F, 5-10); Taylor Nelson (Jr., PG, 5-4); Ashley Opitz (Jr., G, 5-7); Kelsey Nugent (Jr., SG, 5-4); Alliera McCoy (So., G/F, 5-9); Kendrea Williams (So., G, 5-9).

Outlook: The Chiefs have a good core of last season’s team back, led by a trio of seniors in the backcourt. Bynes, Scott and Wells should shoulder much of the load on offense, but Floyd noted that he’ll need some of his underclassmen to step up as the season progresses. Piscataway has a bunch of young players that will need practice time to hone their skills and strengthen the depth on the bench.


Coach: Jeff Johnson, first season

Last season: 17-7

Letterwinners: 7 returning, 3 lost

Roster: Jacglyn Siva-Harrison (Sr., F, 5-8); Allyson Berger (Sr., G, 5-5); Taylor Brantley (Sr., F, 5-10); Jenna Mastronardi (Sr., G, 5-7); Kelly Miller (Sr., G, 5-5); Casey Savoth (Sr., F, 5-10); Jessica Rosen (Sr., G/F, 5-8); Briana Davis (Jr.); Kim Wieghaus (So.); Amber Brown (Fr.); Natalia Louhisdon (Fr.).

Outlook: After losing 2012-13 Home News Tribune Player of the Year Danielle Padavano to graduation, the Vikings will need another go-to player to take her spot. But for Johnson, who takes over for Beth Barrio, he’ll have Siva-Harrison to lead the way. The senior forward, who returns as South Brunswick’s leading scorer, rebounder and foul-shooter, should keep the Vikings near the top of the division with her all-around skill set. Six other seniors on the roster with varsity experience should ease Johnson into the role, as he establishes his philosophy.


Coach: Bobby Timinski, first season

Last season: 13-10

Letterwinners: 6 returning, 1 lost

Roster: Brielle Bannister (Sr., G, 5-5); Gabby Jones (Jr., F, 5-9); Cassie Vale (Sr., G, 5-4); Brianna Valdes (Jr., G, 5-5); Corinne Kist (Sr., G, 5-3); Jordan Vasquez (Fr., G, 5-5); Maura Walsh (Sr., F, 5-5); Jessica Percoco (Sr., F, 5-5); Kelly Muzzio (So., F, 5-6); Comfy Akimbo (So., C, 5-9).

Outlook: A season after finishing third in the Red Division, Timinski has high expectations for his bunch: win the divisional title. With four seniors and six players returning with varsity experience, that goal doesn’t seem like such a farfetched one, but it won’t be an easy climb. If the Barrons can get off to a good start, it could carry them throughout the season.


Coach: Kevin Harper, twenty-fifth season

Last season: 17-8

Letterwinners: 5 returning, 3 lost

Roster: Brianna Foster (Sr., F, 5-8); Samantha Driscoll (Jr., F, 5-7); Christine LaRochelle (Jr., F, 5-10); Ragen Reddick (Jr., G, 5-5); Lauren Barlow (So., G, 5-6); Isabelle Cerami (So., G, 5-9); Mary Kate Doyle (So., F, 5-9); Jenna Harsh (So., F, 6-0); Abby Markey (So., G, 5-2); Kate Oleary (So., G, 5-9); Steph Spada (So., G, 5-3); Elle Cimilucca (Fr., G, 5-8).

Outlook: The two-time White Division champions graduated just three players from last season’s 17-8 team, bringing back a lot of players with varsity experience. Despite having only one senior in Foster, a two-sport star and commit to Duquesne as a soccer goalkeeper, Harper will have seven sophomores and three juniors to lean on for depth as the Trojans try and make it three straight division crowns. Harsh was last season’s leading scorer at just over 10 points per game, so look to her to continue and improve in this her second season. Barlow, the third of three returning starters, along with Foster and Harsh, will also look to improve after a strong freshman year.


Coach: Drew Biri, third season

Last season: 13-13

Letterwinners: 5 returning, 7 lost

Roster: Kristen Wright (Sr., G); Amber Tropeano (Sr., G); Gabby Wilson (Sr. G); Simran Sangu (Sr. F); Rachel Joe (Jr., G); Cassandra Colon (Jr., F); Juli Wright (So., G); Hannah Doyle (So., G); Xena Lark (So., G); Madison Stanley (Fr., G).

Outlook: With four seniors and a pair of juniors, the Patriots return a lot of experience for Biri’s third season at the helm. In his first two seasons at Colonia, he’s seen his squad steadily rise, from 4-18 to an even 13-13 in 2012-13. The trio of senior guards should help continue the improvement towards the top of the challenging White Division. Biri said that the team has goals of improving every phase of their game this season, with a divisional title near the top of the list.


Coach: Amy Bonk, second season

Last season: 2-22

Letterwinners: 5 returning, 6 lost

Roster: Katia Olsen (Sr., F, 5-6); Janea Salley (Sr., F, 5-9); Julianna Zilli (Sr., G, 5-5); Amanda Lombardi (Jr., F, 5-5); Sarah Martinez (Jr., G, 5-5); Jaasrini Vellore (Jr., F, 5-11); Rebecca DiSerio (So., F, 5-8); Grace Kau (So., G, 5-3); Mary Kelly (So., G, 5-4); Kathy Tong (So., G, 5-6); Molly Yelenciscs (So., G, 5-6); Laya Paladugu (Fr., G, 5-7); Lipi (Fr., F, 5-7).

Outlook: After a trying season in which they won just two games the Hawks return a good core of players to attempt to improve in the White Division. Bringing back five upperclassmen with varsity experience should help as Bonk looks to improve on a tough first season on the J.P. Stevens bench. The saying goes “there’s nowhere to go but up,” and that couldn’t be truer for the Hawks in 2013-14.


Coach: Leigh Vogtman, first season

Last season: 12-14

Letterwinners: 8 returning, 3 lost

Roster: Demi Rousseau (Sr., G, 5-4); Nichole Tatte (Sr., G/F, 5-7); Victoria Porpora (Sr., G, 5-8); Erica Junquet (Jr., G, 5-6); Cindy Foresta (Jr., G, 5-7); Caitlin Flanagan (Jr., F, 5-11); Erin Seppi (So., F, 5-10); Hannah Fisher (So., G, 5-5); Linda Wallentine (So., G, 5-6); Grace Martini (So., F, 5-10); Kaitlyn Mascali (So., G, 5-3); Ashlyn Petersen (So., G, 5-10); Jessica Garner (So., G, 5-5); Kassidy Utheim (So., F/C, 6-0).

Outlook: With a host of returning players returning, Monroe has the needle pointed in the right direction for 2013-14. Led by a trio of senior guards, including Rousseau, the Falcons should be in good shape in this Vogtman’s first season on the bench. She made it known that every player on the roster will be expected to contribute in one way or another, with no one player being asked to do too much. Vogtman stressed that getting off to a good start is key for her squad as they learn her new system of play.


Coach: James Jackson, 13th season

Last season: 4-19

Letterwinners: 3 returning, 5 lost

Roster: Sunae Long (Sr., G); Shetese Roberts (Sr., G); Samiya Sanders (Sr., F); Destiny Betts (Sr., F); Abigail Dilworth (Sr., G); Milady Suarez (Jr., G); Aarondi Newsom (Jr., F); Denee Corbin (Jr., G); Kelly Turcios (Jr., G); Yvonne Gorrell (Jr., F); Jayda Anderson (So., G); Kyleen Moore (So., F); Imani Lue (Fr., G); Roshanna Lewis (Fr. F).

Outlook: Despite graduating five seniors from last season, New Brunswick has an experienced group, with 10 upperclassmen. Jackson said that the goal this season is very simple: be competitive in every game. Having five seniors and five juniors should help that goal be reached, but if the underclassmen can step into roles and contribute right away, the Zebras could close in on a .500 record in 2013-14.


Coach: Shaun Morrell, fifth season

Last season: 20-9

Letterwinners: 4 returning, 8 lost

Roster: Daria Seaman (Sr., F, 5-6); Nicole Fosko (Sr., G, 5-9) Kadijah Mathews (Sr., G, 5-6); Kyra Fox (Jr., G, 5-7); Nikki Dorch (Jr., G, 5-4); Gaby Rodriguez (Jr., G, 5-3); Jovanna Larose (Jr., G, 5-4); Tatum Altman (So., G, 5-3); Samantha Mehalick (So., G, 5-4); Danielle Segerholm (So., F, 5-11); Nicole Lopez (So., F, 5-7); Mehan Illes (So., G, 5-5); Alexzandra Walker (Fr., G, 5-7).

Outlook: Last year’s runner-up in the White Division lost more than they bring back this season, but this edition of North Brunswick basketball should be just as deep and competitive. Morrell said that he expects his squad to be a quick team that relies on its guards, including Fosko and Mathews, two of the team’s three seniors. Building on past year’s success is key for North Brunswick, according to Morrell, as the Raiders will try and hang with Bishop Ahr near the top of the division all season long.


Coach: Tara Currie, ninth season

Last season: 16-11

Letterwinners: 8 returning, 3 lost

Roster: Emily Katz (Sr., F, 5-7); Jacqueline Rodriguez (Sr., G, 5-3); Emma Denby (Jr., G/F, 5-7); Megan Quinlan (Jr., G, 5-6); Amanda Quintero (Jr., F, 5-10); Lianne Villano (Jr., F, 5-7); Emily Carbrera (So., G, 5-3); Rebecca Wehrle (So., G, 5-5); Ryane Brush (Fr., F, 5-10); Isimemen Enahoro (Fr., G, 5-7).

Outlook: With a good majority of the roster returning from a team that finished third in the White Division last season, the Bombers should be able to contend once again. Led by Rodriguez, who is closing in on 1,000 career points, Sayreville should be competitive night after night, despite having just two seniors on the roster. A quartet of underclassmen will be getting their first real taste of varsity experience this season and will be looked upon to learn on the fly and help expand the depth of this squad.


Coach: Kevin Hughes, fourth season

Last season: 14-12

Letterwinners: 5 returning, 6 lost

Roster: Kate McLaughlin (Sr., G, 5-7); Carlee Gonzalez (Sr., G, 5-5); Shannon Hughes (Sr., F, 5-10); Yasmeen Mighty (Sr., F, 5-9); Sarryah Wright (Sr., F, 5-7); Amanda Harper (Jr., G, 5-5); Caroline Ratti (Jr., G/F, 5-6); Naomi McNeill (Jr., F, 5-8); Kelly Shea (Jr., G, 5-4); Sarah Cargill (So., G, 5-6).

Outlook: With just one starter coming back, the Tigers will need consistency from others to remain competitive. McLaughlin, the team’s lone healthy starter from last season’s team, averaged 12 points per game, making 59 3-pointers along the way. Gonzalez, who is recovering from a torn ACL, may be cleared to play later the month, according to Kevin Hughes. This is a unit full of multi-sport athletes, with seven of the 10 players on the roster having earned varsity experience in other sports, and that’s something that Kevin Hughes likes to have. He expects his squad to be better in January and February than they are right now, which is a reasonable expectation for a younger team learning to play together.


Coach: Lynn Ust, 10th season

Last season: 8-13

Letterwinners: 9 returning, 1 lost

Roster: Lauryn Materowski (Sr., F/C, 5-11); Shannon McCleery (Sr., G/F, 5-5); Brittany Clayton (Sr., G, 5-7); Madison McNally (Sr., G, 5-3); Caitlin Norek (Sr., F, 5-9); Kimberly Szilagyi (Jr., F, 5-10); Briana Collado (Jr., G, 5-4); Maria Wise (So., G, 5-3); Victoria Zayas (So., G, 5-4); Loni Cipot (So., F, 5-7); Joyce Loda (Fr., C, 6-1); Samantha Napoli (Fr., G, 5-3).

Outlook: One of the taller teams in the area, Cardinal McCarrick should be able to go with a big lineup and dominate the post on both sides of the ball this season. With five seniors, including Materowski and Norek, who both approach six feet, the Eagles should continue their rise up the Blue Division standings. If the underclassmen, including 6-1 center Loda, can learn on the fly and become steady contributors, Cardinal McCarrick should challenge for the divisional title.


Coach: Maggie Burns, second season

Last season: 5-22

Letterwinners: 6 returning, 4 lost

Roster: Ciara Alston (Sr., F); Natalie DaSilva (Sr., F); Shyann Grothusen (Sr., C); Prabjit Hundal (Sr., F); Jenise Rodriguez (Sr., F); Liz Santana (Sr., C); Stephanie Chen (Jr., F); Kayianne Kirby-Jones (Jr., G); Aniko Chapman (So., F); Courtney Hansen (So., G); Jessica McRae (So., F); Ky’yonnah Pemberton (So., F).

Outlook: Bringing back three starters will help Carteret improve on last season’s disappointing record. Chapman, Hansen and Santana will be back in their starting roles for Burns, who expressed that this team will be all about motivating themselves to be better each and every game. With more experience than they had a year ago, Burns said that fresh legs will come off the bench throughout games and help surprise opponents. Getting off to a good start will do a young group a lot of good.


Coach: Erin Washington, third season

Last season: 7-17

Letterwinners: 2 returning, 6 lost

Roster: Zanae Torres (Sr., G, 5-5); Zoe Karagan (Sr., F, 5-6); Carly Aversa (Jr. F, 5-7); Rachel Beyer (Jr., G, 5-6); Judea McDonald (Jr., F, 5-8); Elisabeth Landis (So., G, 5-6); Assata Muhammed (So., F, 5-10).

Outlook: The Owls have their work cut out for themselves, losing six players to graduation from a team that was competitive in the Blue Division. But, having Beyer, a junior, back in the fold should help soften the blow. Beyer is Highland Park’s top returning player, coming off a season where she averaged 8.5 points, 4 steals and 3 assists per game. With just two seniors on this roster, Beyer may be counted on to lead by example, with Torres and Karagan doing so with their experience on the court.


Coach: Heidi Hodnett, third season

Last season: 26-2

Letterwinners: 5 returning, 6 lost

Roster: Taylor Freeman (Sr., G, 5-9); Jolie Tang (Sr., G, 5-7); Rachel Andrejack (Jr., F, 6-0); Rebecca Genao (Jr., G, 5-1); Brianna Hindy (Jr., G/F, 5-4); Amanda Hrasna (Jr., G, 5-2); Khushbu Patel (Jr., F, 5-9); Sofia Tahzib (Jr., G/F, 5-4); Siarra Torres (Jr., G, 5-4); Savannah Valentin (Jr., G, 5-3); Jackie Soper (So., G, 5-5).

Outlook: Last season was a rousing success for the Mustangs, going 26-2 and a perfect 16-0 in the Blue Division for their second straight division crown. But losing six seniors from that group and having to replace that production will be a tough task for Hodnett and her staff. There are just two seniors on the roster, but both averaged more than 10 points per game last year. Freeman is 113 points from 1,000 in her career and Tang is well-rounded, having averaged at least 3 rebounds, assists and steals in 2012-13. A deep and talented junior class will need to step up on the fly and contribute to take all of the pressure off Freeman and Tang.


Coach: Pat Mayo, first season

Last season: 18-8

Letterwinners: 3 returning, 2 lost

Roster: Cassie Smith (Sr., G/F); Kira Taylor (Sr.); Liane Cifrodelli (Jr.); Kelly Eustace (Jr.); Samantha Streckfuss (Jr.); Katharine Chura (So.); Emily Buchanan (So.); Kelly Beck (So.); Alexa Craft-Zaletel (So.); Brooke Bandola (Fr.).

Outlook: With just two seniors on a very young and inexperienced squad, the Bulldogs will look to Smith to be a do-it-all star in her senior season. Already the 8th player in school history to go over 1,000 career points, Smith averaged 19.5 points and 8.5 rebounds last year. Mayo said Smith can play all five positions on the floor, but in order for Metuchen to be successful in 2013-14, Smith will need to take over late in close games. A short bench won’t be a hindrance on Mayo’s bunch, as she said they’ll substitute a lot to keep legs fresh late in games. Also expect to see a lot of up-tempo offense and pressure defense.


Coach: Mike Carlin, fourth season

Last season: 16-9

Letterwinners: 3 returning, 4 lost

Roster: Tori Schweyer (Jr., G, 5-6); Amanda Abate (Sr., F, 5-8); Rosie Guarino (So., F, 5-8); Zakiya Beckles (Jr., G, 5-7); Alexa Mayer (Jr., F, 5-7); Christine Leu (So., C, 6-0); Gina Santoro (Jr., G, 5-6); Melanie Perrone (Jr., F, 5-7); Irene Mitossis (So., G, 5-5); Carly Lorah (Jr. ,G, 5-5); Lauren Pundock (So., F, 5-7).

Outlook: After hosting a state tournament game last season and finishing fourth in the Blue Division, Middlesex has its sights set higher. Schweyer, who averaged over 13 points per game last year, returns as the top offensive threat and Carlin noted that the young players that are new to the program have brought in some excitement. Abate is the lone senior and will be looked upon to play well in the paint, while Beckles is a transfer from Union Catholic. Carlin said that Mayer and her mid-range jump shot will be a welcome addition in her first season with the varsity squad.


Coach: Jo-Ann Zwiebel, first season

Last season: 3-16

Letterwinners: 9 returning, 2 lost

Roster: Brittany Sielski (Sr., G, 5-9); Lena Buccigrossi (Sr., C, 6-2); Courtney Cherrington (Sr., G, 5-0); Olvania Hillaire (Sr., G, 5-0); Ashley Rosario (Sr., G,/F, 5-8); Shannon McCarthy (Jr., F, 5-10); Nyla Ruiz (So., G, 5-10); Nicki Melie (So., F, 6-0); Courtney Decosey (So., F, 5-9).

Outlook: Defense is going to be a focal point for the Setters this season, in Zwiebel’s first year on the bench. With a deep senior class returning and nine players back that earned varsity experience a season ago, a .500 record is not out of the question. According to Zwiebel, Mother Seton will need to play as a team and capitalize on the opportunites that they’re given in order to be successful this season.


Coach: Jill Hetzler, fourth season

Last season: 19-6

Letterwinners: 7 returning, 3 lost

Roster: Sam Dix (Sr., G); Jill Ferguson (Sr., G); Kara McCarthy (Sr., F); Jill Reed (Sr., F/C); Ashley Pina (Sr., G); Gwynn Marotta (Jr., G); Dana Mattoli (Jr., G); Nikki Gural (Jr., G); Jessica Meagher (So., G); Grace Mehr (So., F); Maria Izzo (So., G); Caitlyn LeRoy (So., F); Willow Carrone (So., G); Mary Beth Barnosky (Fr., G).

Outlook: Spotswood should be a real contender for the divisional title this season, bringing back seven players from last year, including Dix, who was injured in 2012-13. Pina, the team’s captain, is approaching 1,000 career points and Meagher will be in her second season running the point in Hetlzer’s offense. The fourth-year coach expects this season’s team to be even better than last year’s, with underclassmen stepping into new roles. She expects Barnosky to contribute right away as a backup point guard.


Coach: Michael Howell, seventh season

Last season: 13-12

Letterwinners: 6 returning, 1 lost

Roster: Joanna Brautigan (Sr., F, 5-9); Taylor Gerhart (Sr., G, 5-8); Jessica Gural (Sr., G, 5-5); Neema Liverpool (Jr., G, 5-6); Camille Menns (Jr., F, 5-10); Lacey Gress (So., G, 5-6); Sydney Hughes (So., G, 5-7); Allison Haley (Fr., G, 5-6); Brianna Jackson (Fr., G, 5-7).

Outlook: Last season, the school’s first in the Blue Division, Wardlaw-Hartridge finished fifth out of nine teams in the division. Howell made it known that one of the main goals for his squad this year will be to improve on that result and move up the ladder. Having lost just one letterwinner from last season’s squad will certainly help in Howell’s pursuit. Brautigan, Gerhart and Gural form a senior-laden trio with plenty of experiences, but the four underclassmen will need to step up and learn on the fly if the Rams are going to shoot up the standings.


Coach: Keith Connery, first season

Last season: 17-10

Letterwinners: 5 returning, 6 lost

Roster: Jacqueline Vonitter (So., G, 5-1); Alyssa Buccino (So., G, 5-3); Sydney Miller (So., G, 5-4); Nicole Baudendistel (So., F, 5-8); Rachel Herbig (So., G, 5-4); Brooke Thompson (So., F, 5-6); Autum Thompson (So., F, 5-8); Natalie Wright (So., G, 5-2); Isabella Guzzi (So., G, 5-1); Karina Camera (Fr., G, 5-2); Alexandra Reidy (Fr., F, 5-6); Alexandra Steele (Fr., G, 5-1).

Outlook: Dunellen is a rare team, returning five players from last year’s team, none of which are upperclassmen. In fact, the Destroyers have no juniors or seniors on the team at all, instead going with all sophomores and freshman in this Connery’s first season on the bench. With so little experience and such youth on the roster, the Destroyers will learn as a group, on the fly, with a divisional title on their minds.


Coach: Jim McCloskey, second season

Last season: 3-18

Letterwinners: 9 returning, 1 lost

Roster: Sophia Baselice (Jr., F, 5-7); Shelby Bitterle (Sr., G, 5-0); Ebony Crawford (Sr., F, 5-7); Leeann Doerer (So., G, 5-3); Jodie Janas (Sr., G, 5-6); Samantha Meyer (Jr., F, 5-9); Mia Molina (Fr., F, 5-6); Imani Redman (Jr., F, 5-10); Avery Traore (Jr., G, 5-5); Destinie Watson (Sr., F, 5-6); Alisha White (Jr., G, 5-4); Amanda Williams (Sr., F, 5-8).

Outlook: The Tigers are looking to build on their strong finish from a year ago, when they won three of their final four games. Led by Janas and Watson, the team’s two captains, there is a lot of leadership and experience on this year’s squad. According to McCloskey, East Brunswick Tech expects to be a competitor in the Gold Division. Janas averaged over 12 points per game last season and Watson averaged seven rebounds per contest.


Coach: Jeff Vella, first season

Last season: 8-7

Letterwinners: 5 returning, 2 lost

Roster: Yadalin Vargas (Sr., G, 5-7); Tyesha Price (Sr.,G/SF, 5-4); Karina Herrera (Jr., G, 5-1); Tanaysia Brown (Jr., SG, 5-7); Lucia Cagnani (Jr., SG/SF, 5-9); Nysha Vega (Jr., SG/SF, 5-6); Michelle Infante (Jr., PF/C, 5-6); Nicole Colon (Jr., C, 6-1); Zoliam Orengo (Jr., G, 5-1); Brianna Cruz (So., G, 5-6).

Outlook: As Vella takes over for his first season, his goal for this squad is to have a second straight season with a record over .500. Having a predominantly experienced group, with just one underclassman, should certainly help that quest. Vella said that he’ll look to Vargas to be a leader on the court from her point guard position and he likes the fact that his group is full of shooters and players that can handle the ball.


Coach: Nick McKee, second season

Last season: 6-16

Letterwinners: 4 returning, 6 lost

Roster: Denise Sosa (So., G, 5-4); La’Breya Correa (So., F, 5-10); Tamara Elliot (So., G, 5-3); Jennifer Lopez (So., G, 5-8); Jasmin Patterson (Sr., G, 5-4); Claudia Edrlain (Fr., F, 5-7); Johnnie Antonucci (Fr., G, 5-4); Victoria Caceres (Jr., F, 5-5); Glenda Sosa (So., F, 5-9); Tiara Brady (So., G, 5-7); Jocelyn Bermudez (Fr., G, 5-5).

Outlook: The Raiders have just one senior on the roster this season, but McKee believes that the youthful energy will compensate for that. Patterson, who transferred to Piscataway Tech this season, is someone that McKee will look to for leadership on the court as the Raiders weather an early season injury bug. Look for Piscataway Tech to compete in Gold Division matchups.


Coach: Linda Lewis, second season

Last season: 10-14

Letterwinners: 7 returning, 3 lost

Roster: Shana Anderson (Sr., G, 5-3); Catherine Kosakowska (Sr., C, 6-1); Lotasha Fullerton (Sr., F, 5-4); Amanda LaVigne (Jr., G, 5-3); BethAnn Kudellca (Jr., C/F, 5-8); Kyra Kuhn (Jr., C/F, 5-6); Emily Trzeciak (Jr., G, 5-2); Chelsea Nebus (So., G/F, 5-4); Victoria Reilly (So., G, 5-5); Beth Noble (So., C/F, 5-8); Kelsey Kuhn (Fr., C/F, 5-7).

Outlook: Like many teams in the area, South Amboy is seeking to be competitive in every game they play this winter, according to Lewis. A goal of theirs is to win the Gold Division, something that’s within reach considering the amount of experience they have back in the fold from last season. With three seniors and four juniors, the Governors certianly have players that have been there before and are capable of bringing along the younger players as they learn on the fly. An improvement from last season’s record is an attainable goal.


Coach: Mike Feaster, third season

Last season: 13-14

Letterwinners: 11 returning, 1 lost

Roster: Aleah Bass (Fr., C, 6-1); Victoria Gil (Fr., G, 5-2); Mackenzie Garrick (Fr., F, 5-9); Jessica Schmidt (So., G, 5-4); Gabrielle Harris (So., F, 5-7); Breona Hill (So., G, 5-5); Alyssa Barry (Jr., G, 5-4); Allison Silva (Jr., F, 5-4); Emily Obregon (Jr., F, 5-9); Alyssa Andrejic (Jr., F, 5-8); Ashley Kowalski (Jr., F, 5-6), Lubica Zifovski (Sr., G, 5-3).

Outlook: South River is a rare team, bringing back just about every player from a season ago, with 11 players who earned varsity experience in 2012-13 returning. Barry is the Rams’ top scorer, having averaged 12.4 points per game in her sophomore season, and Zifovski is a good secondary scorer, coming off a 9.4 points per game year. Zifovski is the lone senior in the bunch and three freshman are added to the roster and bring some size with them.


Coach: Miriam Hartzler, eighth season

Last season: 17-9

Letterwinners: 4 returning, 3 lost

Roster: Elena DiLeo (Sr., F, 5-9), Sabrina Solorzano (Sr., G, 5-0), Natasha Audain (Jr., F, 5-8), Meribeth Brookman (Jr., G, 5-1), Michaela Csorny (Jr., G, 5-6), Hannah Saquian (Jr., G, 4-11), Gabriella Saydee (Jr., F, 5-9), Faith Allen (So., G, 5-7), Elizabeth Kokosinsku (So., F, 5-9), Sarah Saquian (So., G, 4-11), Sydney ST. Jean (So., G, 5-5).

Outlook: With three of five starters returning, Hartzler feels her experienced backcourt and the return of their leading rebounder should net a promising season for the defending Gold Division champs. While replacing the scoring of forward Ashley Sullivan will not be easy, Hartzler said, the Tigers will look to push the tempo of games and take advantage of their backcourt duo of Saquian and Csorney. Timothy Christian also expects to have control of the boards with Audain, DiLeo, and Saydee rotating through the front court, Hartzler said.


Coach: Rocco Fumari, seventh season

Last season: 5-8

Letterwinners: 4 returning, 3 lost

Roster: Richa Shah (Sr., G, 5-5); Sasha Levinsky (Sr., G, 5-6); Kiara Rodriguez (Fr., C, 6-0); Natalia Khyzewski (So., F, 5-10); Payal Kauer (So., F, 5-8); Raphaella Ronjo (So., G, 5-6); Jillian Ventrone (So., G, 5-6); Sravani Meka (Jr., F/C, 5-7); Akshaya Ramaswamy (Fr., G, 5-5).

Outlook: For a squad with just two returning seniors and a host of underclassmen, Fumari had set the bar at returning to a .500 record and reaching the state tournament. The Hornets will look to Levinsky and Shah to lead them in the Gold Division, as six underclassmen join the roster this season. Getting off to a good start would be beneficial for such a young squad.


Coach: Audrey Taylor, fourth season

Last season: 19-7

Letterwinners: 7 returning, 2 lost

Roster: Mary Trossi (Jr., PG, 5-4), Jaeda Wildgoose (Jr, F, 5-11), Adreana Miller (Jr., F, 6-0), Amiya Rankins (So., C, 6-0), Sierra Gibson (So., G, 5-6), Tahirah Scott (Jr., PG), 5-4), Alexandra Jackson (Jr., G, 5-7).

Outlook: The Warriors reached the doorstep of a championship last season, falling in the final of the Somerset County Tournament, and with the core group of Miller, Trossi, Wildgoose and Jackson back for a third varsity run, and with several other talented player returning, Franklin should be in the mix again. Taylor said a key will be keeping her team playing as a unit, especially offensively, and not relying on one source. While Miller, a first-team All-Area pick last season, led the club with 14.1 PPG and figures to be the focal point of opposing game plans, Taylor feels she has several players who can score consistent points. The man-to-man defense, which Taylor said, led Franklin to last year’s success, remains an important part of the Warriors’ game.


Coach: Paul Gorski, fourth season

Last season: 16-11

Letterwinners: 7 returning, 4 lost

Roster: Jhamillex Carmen (Sr., 5-11); Keajah Hall (Sr., 6-0); Nahquasia Robinson (Sr., 5-6); Shahiyda Terry (Sr., 5-11); Alexis Grier (Jr., 5-10); Jenaiya Hodge (Jr., 5-6); Keshmine Cannon (So.); Zaria Butler (Fr.).

Outlook: With seven players back from last year’s squad, Linden has its sights set on another season above .500. Hall (9 points, 5 rebounds per game) and Robinson (8 points, 6 rebounds per game) are the top scoring threats and two of the four seniors in the bunch. With a short bench, Gorski said that the Tigers are going to need everyone to contribute and do their part to be successful.


Coach: Danielle Brown, third season

Last season: 8-11

Letterwinners: 6 returning, 2 lost

Roster: Brianna Carr (Sr., G, 5-5); Megan Michel (Sr., G, 5-7); Mia Smith (Sr., F, 5-7); Shaniya Hunt (Jr., F, 5-6); Chyna McCall (Jr., G, 5-1); Ashley Spinks (Jr., G, 5-4); Tolu Omole (So., G, 5-1); Qamar Smith (So., F, 5-9).

Outlook: The Indians have the roster in place to continue to be a force state-wide, led by Spinks, who averaged 15 points per game last year. Carr and Michel each averaged 9 points per contest in 2012-13, so Rahway certainly has firepower to score enough for victories. Brown noted that she needs her younger players to step into bigger roles this season to help the development of the squad, while making immediate impacts on the court.


Coach: Mary Coyle Klinger, thirtieth season

Last season: 14-7

Letterwinners: 10 returning, 3 lost

Roster: Kendra Barat (Sr., G/F, 6-0); Lauren Davis (Sr., PG, 5-5); Mariah Martinez (Jr., G, 5-10); Allison Girardi (Jr., PG/G, 5-5); Stephanie Abreu (So., G, 5-7); Niki Metzel (So., G/F, 6-2); MacKenzie Michaels (So., G/F, 5-10); Julia Rennie (So., G/F, 5-8); Gabby Turner (So., G/F, 5-7); Oliva Dabney (Fr., G, 5-10); Mariselle Galdi (Fr., F/C); Erica Jules (Fr., F/C, 6-0); Gabi Redden (Fr., F/C, 6-2); Nyla Robinson (Fr., G, 5-6); Becca Rowlins (Fr., F, 5-10); Sophie Thellman (Fr., G, 5-5).

Outlook: With just two seniors and four upperclassmen, the Trojans will be relying on a deep group of young players to step up and perform well. Barat, the team’s captain, will be a focal-point of the offense and Klinger said that she expects her squad to press and run up-tempo more and more as the season goes along.


More USA TODAY High School Sports