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CHSAA, private school girls basketball preview

St. Mary's guard Mei-Lyn Bautista (3) takes the

St. Mary's guard Mei-Lyn Bautista (3) takes the ball up the court in a game against Kellenberg. (Jan. 31, 2013) Credit: Steven Ryan

CHSAA

ST. MARY'S GAELS

Coach: Tom Flynn

Key players: G Mei-Lyn Bautista 5-7; F Jordan Agustus 6-0; C Charlotte Renker 6-1; G McKayla Hernandez 5-7; F Elizabeth Limonta 6-0

Outlook: The Gaels are stronger, faster and even bigger than last year, with three starters going Division I.

ST. ANTHONY'S FRIARS

Coach: Ken Parham

Key players: G Taylor Goode 5-7; G Allison Murphy 5-5; G Etalyia Vogt 5-8; C Jayla Jones-Pack 6-2; F Maia Moffitt 5-9

Outlook: Graduated a slew of starters, but the CHSAA champions still pose a formidable threat thanks to one of the deepest benches in the league.

KELLENBERG FIREBIRDS

Coach: Matt Kirk

Key players: P Kate Calabro 5-7; G Keira Vassallo 5-4; F Caitlyn Staab 5-9;C Morgan Staab 5-11; S Lindsey Ehrhardt 5-6

Outlook: They reboot with only one returning starter, but the state A finalists are young and fast, and a tough non-league schedule should season them.

SACRED HEART SPARTANS

Coach: Dennis O'Brien

Key players: F Erin Pasquale 5-8; G Colleen Gunning 5-7; G Emily Sandford 5-7; G Colleen Cluess-Angeletti 5-7; C Katherine McGoldrick 6-3

Outlook: They'll be solid behind their team experience and height. Expect the Spartans to be aggressive and do well applying the press.

HOLY TRINITY TITANS

Coach: John Scalfaro

Key players: G Kholani Williams 5-9; G Haylee Stuart 5-4; F Meghan Cleary 5-10; F Kaci Snyder 5-11; F Brooke Snyder 5-10

Outlook: They'll boast experience behind returning starters Williams and the Snyders, seniors being recruited by colleges.

OUR LADY OF MERCY MUSTANGS

Coach: John Kiffel

Key players: G Lizzie Stiles 5-6; G Kassi Jata 5-7; F Chasity Byrd 5-9; F Kelly Wildes 5-9; F Desiree Gaeckler 5-10

Outlook: Return their deepest team in years and look to be a top contender after returning six of eight in the rotation.

ST. DOMINIC BAYHAWKS

Coach: Michele Cucci O'Brien

Key players: F Nicki Campbell 5-11; F Skye Burris 6-2; F Amanda Kelly 6-0; G Olivia Volberg 5-8; G Melina Randazzo 5-3

Outlook: The Bayhawks have size and experience on their side and they are much improved.

ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST COUGARS

Coach: Kate Gordon

Key players: F Kayla Hill 5-7; G Gianna Locker 5-4; G/F Janine Conway 5-8; G Emily Meyer 5-6; C Bridgette Moran 6-3

Outlook: The Cougars are mostly inexperienced but will have solid team defense. Hill, who averaged 13.4 points, leads the offense.

PRIVATE SCHOOLS

LONG ISLAND LUTHERAN CRUSADERS

Coach: Richard Slater

Top players: G Erin Storck 5-8; F Taylor Byrne 6-1; G Nani Redford 5-6; G Boogie Brozoski 5-5; F Evelyn Omemmah 6-1

Outlook: The AA Federation champs show no signs of slowing down, and boast enviable experience behind Michigan-bound Brozoski.

UPPER ROOM ROYALS

Coach: Ted Oberg

Top players: G Alyssa Alston 5-6; F Kennethah Hardin 5-11; G Tori Harris 6-0; F Meghan Oberg 6-2; G Milan Hatcher 5-9

Outlook: They're one of the best teams on Long Island and start five D-I prospects. Along with sixth player Cierra Jenkins, they'll make a splash in the National Independent School Athletic Association.

PORTLEDGE PANTHERS

Coach: Mike Wittenberg

Top players: G Morgan Follett 5-7; F Bizzer Gahagan 5-8; F GraceAnne Woods 5-8; F Haya Sheeline 5-9; C Katherine Mulry 5-10

Outlook: Young with a big upside, the Panthers are athletic and quick. Gahagan will lead a strong defense.

WALDORF WOLVERINES

Coach: LaSheena Brown

Top players: G Abby Picoli 5-4; G Emma Keane 5-8; G Nicole Tsai 5-7; F Skyla Davis 6-0; F Mikayla Ver Pault 5-11

Outlook: Young after losing nine starters, but will look to be competitive behind senior captain Ver Pault.

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