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The regular season in the senior girls high school basketball league begins tonight. St. Basil and St. Mary's are expected to finish 1-2 but every spot after that would appear to be up for grabs.

The regular season in the senior girls high school basketball league begins tonight. St. Basil and St. Mary's are expected to finish 1-2 but every spot after that would appear to be up for grabs. It's a guessing game as to who will grab the third and fourth playoff spots from among Bawating, Korah, Mount St. Joseph, Sir James Dunn and White Pines. It was the Mount and White Pines, which placed 3-4 last year but Bawating, Korah, and SJD should all benefit from having had very good junior teams in 2001 now that so much talent has moved up to senior. Here is a preview for the 2002 senior season with teams listed in alphabetical order. BAWATING Key players: Returning point guard Nicole Fergus, guard/forward Jerah Fresque, forward Shonna Olendy and junior grads Scarlett Bordin, Stephanie Thayer and Kristen Timusk. Outlook: Thayer and Timusk give Braves' head coach Jim Nevin the height the senior team was lacking last year and Bordin adds speed to the transition game. Mix them with Fergus, Fresque and Olendy and this is may be the most-talented Bawating team in a few years. KORAH Key players: Junior grad Lauren Podolski and returning seniors Shannon Clement, Kim Gratton, Karen Hubley, Lindsay Miners, Amanda Mowery and Alecia Murtonen. Outlook: Colts' head coach Keith Mosher has a lot of speed and depth to draw from on a Korah team that will benefit from the addition of Podolski and assistant coach Ross Viotto. MOUNT ST. JOSEPH Key players: Quick-handed, two-way guard Julia Colizza, three-point shooter Jessica Stone, speedy wing Kerri Ostroski, post Lauren Catania and rookies Heather Lewis and Dana Mattioli. Outlook: Royals' head coach Lea Altieri can make a lot of things happen around Colizza, who is one of the most underrated players in the league. Catania returns to the program after missing last year due to injury and Stone can turn a game around with her outside shooting skills. ST. BASIL Key players: Point guard Katie Hamilton and the rest of a superior starting five which also includes lightning-fast wing Jenna Caicco, guard Melissa Stumpo and big posts Kaitlin DeBoer and Heidi Jaaskelainen. Outlook: Studious Saints' head coach Eddie Green has a great bench to draw from including post Deahdra Bowier, quick-footed guard Ashley Caputo and junior grads Aine Coccimiglio, Dana Ferguson and Aniela Pulice. The Saints are a definite threat to end The St. Mary's streak of three city championships in a row. ST. MARY'S Key players: First-year point guards Erica Deschamps (a transfer from W.C. Eaket in Blind River) and Jennifer Sweezey, guards Jackie McAndrew and Jen Muio, guard/forwards Jaclyn King, Lauren Pekalski and Roberta Reid and post players Jessica King and Jessica Sicoly. Outlook: Former assistant coach Al Tucci is the new head coach of the Knights and he'll be helped out by his daughter, Jessica Merlino, who played OCAA ball for Algoma University last year. The Knights have so much talent that quality returnees Taunia McLean and Alisha Moon didn't make the team. SIR JAMES DUNN Key players: Returnees Liisa George and Andrea Scornaienchi and a host of grads from last year's city junior champs including Sarah Couch, Jocelyn Doucet, Jen Mortimore, Ashling McWilliam and Janine Olthuis. Outlook: Eagles' head coach Richard Annett has moved up with the junior champs. Annett likes to stress patience on offence with ball rotation helping to set up the good shot. Expect the Eagles to play a lot of man-to-man defence. WHITE PINES Key players: The starting five of Ali Bodnar, Amanda Evans, Katie Healey, Shannon House and Laura Sharp, sixth man Jessica Gillespie and grade 10 rookie Holly Maskell. Outlook: Evans starts the season with an injured knee so head coach Randy Russon and assistants Dave Burden and Brad Noble are re-enforcing their team unity concept in the absence of their scoring star.

Brad Coccimiglio

About the Author: Brad Coccimiglio

A graduate of Loyalist College’s Sports Journalism program, Brad Coccimiglio’s work has appeared in The Hockey News as well as online at in addition to regular freelance work with SooToday before joining the team full time.
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