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Nassau girls basketball preview

Massapequa's Olivia Batista shoots a free throw against

Massapequa's Olivia Batista shoots a free throw against Sachem East in the Long Island girls basketball Class AA final at the David S. Mack Arena. (March 8, 2013) Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

NASSAU AA-I

1. MASSAPEQUA CHIEFS

Coach: Shari Roessler

Key players: G Olivia Batista 5-8; G Bianca Furci 5-8; F Carmela Gampero 5-9; F Megan McCabe 5-10; F Melanie Hingher 6-1

Outlook: Nassau AA runner-up returns most of its core, including Hingher and McCabe, who control the paint.

2. FREEPORT RED DEVILS

Coach: Meredith Jones

Key players: G Maya Thomas 5-7; G Janique Lewis 5-8;  G/F A.J. Smith 6-0; F Taylor Abraham 5-10; C Megan Clowser 6-0

Outlook: Smith's scoring and versatility lead this group, which reached the semifinals last season.

3. SYOSSET BRAVES

Coach: Diane Malley

Key players: G Sarah Solomon 5-5; G Rebecca Margolin 5-7; G Rachel Greenspan 5-7; G Molly Breslow 5-6; F Julia Rauchenberger 5-10

Outlook: Solomon is an excellent outside shooter. Group buoyed by last year's playoff appearance.

4. UNIONDALE KNIGHTS

Coach: Danielle Nicol

Key players: G Sakara Hester-Torres 5-6; G Ashley Jara 5-4; G Diamonae McLean 5-7; F Bianca Nwatu 5-9; F Belinda Saint-Louis 6-0

Outlook: Led by dual-threat point guard Hester-Torres and Jara, a solid shooter. Eighth-grader McLean has good upside.

5. FARMINGDALE DALERS

Coach: Pete Cerrone

Key players: G Jillian Alonso 5-6; G Lauren Hill 5-7; F Bridget Weill 5-7; F Sam Cummingham 5-9; F Sam Huebner 5-9

Outlook: Hopes to rebound after missing playoffs. Hill is the go-to scorer and Cunningham is a gritty inside presence.

6. HEMPSTEAD TIGERS

Coach: Randi Harrison

Key players: Cassandra Scott; Jorri Young

Outlook: Lost in the first round of the playoffs last season and enters a rebuilding phase after graduating several key players.

NASSAU AA-II

BALDWIN BRUINS

Coach: Tom Catapano

Key players: G Jade Aponte 5-5; G Taylor Howell 5-5; G Aziah Hudson 5-6; F Tiara Place 5-10; C Lames El Gammal 6-1

Outlook: Outlook: Defending L.I. champ return several standouts and will again contend. El Gammal is dominant in the post.

OCEANSIDE SAILORS

Coach: Jason Manning

Key players: G Claire McNamara 5-6; G Megan McNamara 5-6; G Cassie Cesario 5-3;  G Risa Zucker 5-3; C Emily Ott 5-10

Outlook: Guard-dominant team that relies on speed and shooting. Mara Stewart also will contribute.

HICKSVILLE COMETS

Coach: Frank LoCascio

Key players: G Sabrina Adamo 5-6; G Jillian Wynne 5-7; F Alyssa Allen 5-7; F Natece Willis 5-9; C Atalah Eady 5-11

Outlook: Playoff contender. Eady, recovered from torn ACL, has improved jumper and Willis is potent inside.

EAST MEADOW JETS

Coach: Pete Olenik

Key players: G Gabby Heim 5-3; G Myasia Smith 5-3; G Crista San Antonio 5-5; F Nicole Gogh 5-6; F Emily Shurina 5-7

Outlook: Heim is a cerebral point guard and freshman Shurina has good perimeter game and improved post moves.

PORT WASHINGTON VIKINGS

Coach: Dennis Trottier

Key players: G Tyler Owens 5-4; G Anna Catrone 5-6; F Mia Walker 5-8; F/G Phylicia Waskover 5-7; F Rachel Rosen 5-8

Outlook: Walker excels defensively and Catrone is a good shooter and ball-handler. Owens is a promising freshman.

PLAINVIEW JFK HAWKS

Coach: Nicholas Tomasulo

Key players: G Emily Alexander 5-2; G Jessica Pantowich 5-5; G Jennifer Golio 5-5;  F Amanda Neumann 5-7

Outlook: Golia has savvy and is an aggressive defender as team looks to pressure and push tempo. Forward Krystal Korason (torn ACL) could return later this season.

VALLEY STREAM CENTRAL EAGLES

Coach: Malyssa Thorngren

Key players: G Isabella Gandesegui 5-3; G Jasmin Garden 5-3; G Naomi Bolasingh 5-6; F Rachelle Saint-Preux 5-9; C Nicole Carter 5-11

Outlook: Athletic group looks to build on run to quarterfinals. Bolasingh can play either guard spot.

NASSAU AA-III

MACARTHUR GENERALS

Coach: Dave Radtke

Key players: G Shannon Myles 5-5; G Angeline Klein 5-6; G Jessy Davidson 5-6; F Ashley Simoes 5-7; C Brianna Impastato 5-8

Outlook: Uptempo with constant pressure defense and frequent substitutions. Caitlyn Buckley (injury) expected back in January.

HERRICKS HIGHLANDERS

Coach: John Lavas

Key players: G Kaley Nictas 5-5; G Lauren Bascelli 5-6; G/F Erin Rivera 5-7; G/F Bridgette Stacom 5-6; F Chase McGahan 5-9

Outlook: Fifth-year starter Rivera is vocal leader and versatile scorer, Stacom a strong pressure defender.

LONG BEACH MARINES

Coach: Kristin Ciccone

Key players: G/F Kadaja Bailey 5-10; G Alexis Farina 5-6; G Paige Rogoff 5-4; G Bridget Rafferty 5-6; G/F Siobhan Rafferty 5-8

Outlook: Talented group will be dangerous as chemistry builds. Bailey, a freshman, has superstar potential.

CALHOUN COLTS

Coach: Bill Zatulski

Key players: G Megan Callahan 5-5; G Dana Brown 5-6; F Katie Healy 5-10; F Claire Murphy 6-0; G/F Allison McCutchan 5-9

Outlook: Six seniors, including a solid shooter in Callahan. Forwards Honora Campbell and Kim Pike have great upside.

MEPHAM PIRATES

Coach: Jim Mulvey

Key players: G Alexa Morris 5-4; G Megan Anderson 5-5; G Taylor O'Brien 5-6; G Nicole Moccio 5-5; F Maeve Testa 5-9

Outlook: Reached semifinals for the first time. Deep roster, and Anderson a steadying force.

WESTBURY GREEN DRAGONS

Coach: Dwight Gibson

Key players: G Sarah Worsham 5-5; F Dajiah Martin 5-9; F Crystal Turner 5-7; C Raynasha Noel 5-8; G Sienna Richardson 5-3

Outlook: Rebuilding, but athletic group continues to develop skills. Martin is a strong finisher inside.

ELMONT SPARTANS

Coach: Tom Magno

Key players: G Arielle Pierre 5-5; G Zhaneia Thybulle 5-3; F Monique Joseph 5-9; F Nkem Nwabadu 5-10; C Noelle Dixon 6-1

Outlook: Lost in the first round of the Nassau AA playoffs. Joseph is a scorer, there is good size in the front court and Josie Rodriguez is an outside shooter.

NASSAU A-I

WANTAGH WARRIORS

Coach: Stan Bujacich

Key players: G Christina Pedon 5-4; G Nikki Sliwak 5-5; G Kiernan Rathgaber 5-7; F Darcy Smith 5-9; C Alex Parlato 6-4

Outlook: Perennial contender boasts athletic, defense-oriented group led by Fordham-bound Parlato, a dominant 6-4 post presence.

GARDEN CITY TROJANS

Coach: Anthony Sparacia

Key players: G Michaela Bruno 5-6; G Becky Reifler 5-6; G Samantha Auricchio 5-9; F Kerry Defliese 5-6; F Kerry McCarraher 5-7

Outlook: Deep, versatile team that will again contend, led by Auricchio, an elite shooter who has expanded all-around game.

SEWANHAKA INDIANS

Coach: Alex Soupios

Key players: G Daniella Ford 5-7; G Destiny Hurt 5-6; G Ashley Dann 5-4; G/F Michelle Niles 5-8; C Casey Hayes 5-11

Outlook: Returns nine players from playoff team. Hayes, a force in the post, is a rising star.

JERICHO JAYHAWKS

Coach: Andrew Schneider

Key players: G Tatianna Pierre 5-3; G Sydney Adler 5-7; G Jillian Silverman 5-5; F Marlee Lehrhoff 5-9; F Haley Rothman 5-6

Outlook: Uptempo team that utilizes pressure defense and deep rotation. Adler creates well off the dribble.

GREAT NECK SOUTH REBELS

Coach: Tom Umstatter

Key players: G Betsy Tanenbaum 5-4; G Gianna Ferrante 5-6; G Jennifer York 5-0; F Christine Vissachelli 5-8; C Jessica Vissachelli 5-10

Outlook: Tanenbaum is a speedy, ball-distributing point guard and the Vissachelli sisters are rugged rebounders.

BELLMORE JFK COUGARS

Coach: Darryl Wolfe

Key players: F Rachel Katz 5-7; G Hannah Ferry 5-5; G Nicolina Torchia 5-7; G/F Skylar Eiskowitz 5-6; C/F Cora Travaglione 5-8

Outlook: Developing team returns eight, including Travaglione, a scorer and shot-blocker. Ferry is solid at point guard.

NASSAU A-II

SOUTH SIDE CYCLONES

Coach: Katelyn Dunn

Key players: G Sarah Mullooly 5-7; F Victoria Mercado 5-8; F Maria Karanasos 5-11; F Laura McNally 6-0

Outlook: The Cyclones are a defensive-minded group led by Mullooly, a floor leader who is a good ball-handler and shooter.

CAREY SEAHAWKS

Coach: Theresa Schmidt

Key players: G Victoria Porcasi 5-6; G Brett Robison 5-6; G Alyssa Jacobs 5-4; G/F Keva Moore 5-7; F Dana Susse 5-9

Outlook: A guard-heavy team reliant on speed and pressure defense, led by point guard Porcasi.

MANHASSET INDIANS

Coach: Lauren Majewski

Key players: F Lauren Lynch 5-10; F Chloe Murphy 5-11; G Erin Barry 5-4; G Jacqueline Albanese 5-7; G Alexa Durso 5-5

Outlook: The Indians have playoff experience and return several key players, including Albanese, an excellent shooter who averaged 13.8 points a game last season.

PLAINEDGE RED DEVILS

Coach: Lauren Tartamella

Key players: G Erica Marigliano 5-3; G Kelsey Marigliano 5-5; G Alexandra DiChiara 5-7; F Katie McSweeney 5-7; F Valerie Cirisano 5-9

Outlook: Kelsey Marigliano (16.2 points) is proficient driving to the basket, while DiChiara is a talented sophomore.

NEW HYDE PARK GLADIATORS

Coach: Ron Pickett

Key players: G Jalissa Sanchez 5-6; G Danielle Estapinian 5-5; G/F Laila Chadli 5-8; G/F Brianna Patrizi 5-10; F Alex Bongiorno 5-10

Outlook: Senior-laden group led by Chadli (11.5 points). Sanchez is a pass-first guard, and Patrizi has recovered from torn ACL.

GREAT NECK NORTH BLAZERS

Coach: Erik Connolly

Key players: G Nicole Yazdanpanah 5-4; G Joyce Gallo 5-6; G Lauren Kerendian 5-5; F Nicole Lalezarzadeh 5-7; C Caroline O'Byrne 5-9

Outlook: One win last season, but Blazers' starting lineup returns, more experienced. Yazdanpanah (13.8 points) can shoot.

NASSAU A-III

1. DIVISION BLUE DRAGONS

Coach: Steve Kissane

Key players: G Erin McCauley 5-4; G Erin Morris 5-6; F Erica Bleimeyer 5-9; F Jessica Fressle 5-10; C Nora Tracey 6-0

Outlook: Bleimeyer and Fressle are the lone returning starters from a team that went undefeated in conference last season. Kate McDonough and Madison Gillis will also contribute.

2. HEWLETT BULLDOGS

Coach: Frank Viggiano

Key players: G Alex Levy 5-3; G Kristen DeCicco 5-5; G Kylie Halpern 5-7; G Nathalie Nidetch 5-6; F Sabrina Feldman 5-10

Outlook: Feldman can block shots and is improving offensively. Levy is an aggressive guard who will help guide the half-court offense.

3. ROSLYN BULLDOGS

Coach: Beth Shackel-Scott

Key players: G Jordan Tullman 5-6; G Samantha Busch 5-6; G Molli Spencer 5-6; F Callie Migden 5-11; F Sam Wiebe 5-11

Outlook: Jamie Clark and Ali Ben-Levy will also contribute. Major focus will be on getting defensive stops that lead to quick transition baskets.

4. GLEN COVE BIG RED

Coach: Greg Mayerhofer

Key players: G Taylah Hudson 5-8; G Tristyn Hudson 5-8; G Amara Phillip 5-7; F Grace Brady 6-2; F Rianna Cedeno 5-9

Outlook: Taylah Hudson, the all-time leading Glen Cove scorer who is committed to Texas Southern, will lead an offense that will look to push the ball. Brady averaged a double-double as a freshman.

5. FLORAL PARK KNIGHTS

Coach: Michael Spina

Key players: G Kaela Hilaire 5-3; G Erica Bowe 5-7; G Jeanna Orfanos 5-3; F Faith Balletta 5-8; C Natalie Hickman 5-11

Outlook: Hilaire began the year 27 points away from 1,000. The junior, who was second team All-LI last season, also had 580 assists. The Knights will have to rebound from the loss of center Lorraine Hickman, who suffered an ACL injury this summer.

6. BETHPAGE GOLDEN EAGLES

Coach: Joseph Inghilterra

Key players: G Camryn Roeller 5-8; G Danielle Olive 5-2' G Tara Gallagher 5-2; G/F Lauren Oury 5-6;

G/F Brianna Fehrenbach 5-7

Outlook: With eight returning players, Inghilterra's group is experienced. Bridgette Cullinane, Taylor Hughes, and Taylor Hannaberry will add to the Eagles depth.

NASSAU A-IV

1. NORTH SHORE VIKINGS

Coach: Keith Freund

Key players: PG Alexandra Cantwell 5-9; SG Gabrielle Zaffiro 5-8; SF Ashleigh Sheerin 5-9; PF Samantha Capobianco 5-11;  C Giulianna Telvi 6-1

Outlook: The defending Nassau Class A champions are 68-4 against Nassau opponents since 2010. Kelly Johansen will play significant minutes off the bench.

2. LAWRENCE GOLDEN TORNADOS

Coach: George Klein

Key players: G Nayalise Montilla 5-8; G Erika Kirchner 5-4; G Shania Miller 5-4; F Kiara Stephens 5-10; F Kaleah Norwood 5-7

Outlook: Norwood (9 pts/g) and Montilla (14 pts/g) will shoulder much of the offensive load. Stephanie Sedhom will provide front court help off the bench.

3. LYNBROOK OWLS

Coach: Steve LoCicero

Key players: G Kacie Curran 5-5; G Erin Bond 5-2; G/F Amanda Digiorgio 5-9; F/C Kerrin Montgomery 6-1; G/F/C Ciara Gordon 5-11

Outlook: Gordon can play all positions and is committed to play lacrosse at Binghamton. Sophia LoCicero and Gabrielle Patick give Owls depth.

4. VALLEY STREAM NORTH

Coach: Geoffrey O'Connell

Key players: G Tara Meehan 5-6; G Leeza Theodore 5-7; F Lisa LoSchiavo 5-8; F Katie Canny 5-7; C Julia LoSchiavo 5-9

Outlook: Hard working group with height. LoSchiavo is the lone underclassman in the starting lineup.

5. VALLEY STREAM SOUTH

Coach: Daniel Drumm

Key players: G Nicole Cutrone 5-2; G Adela Li 5-3; F Kelyse Land 5-6; F Karyss Rawlins 5-7; C Uju Nwaigwe 6-0

Outlook: Nwaigwe averaged a double-double last season. Cutrone moves from shooting guard to point guard. She is a lock-down on-the-ball defender

6. ROOSEVELT ROUGH RIDERS

Coach: Don Crummell

Key players: G Jade Reid 5-6; G Iyanna Mitchel 5-5; G Amia Davenport 5-5; F Sarina Murray 5-6; F Roslyn Stevenson 5-7

Outlook: Core of squad that made the playoffs for the first time in three years returns. Reid scored 12 points per game last season. Mitchel averaged 8.

NASSAU A-V

ISLAND TREES BULLDOGS

Coach: Bob Kaible 

Key Players: G Natalie Sulmonte 5-5, G Catherine Zamros 5-8, G Christie Ciaramitaro 5-6, F Megan Fischer 5-8, F Brianna Wilson 5-8

Outlook: The Bulldogs will be athletic and strong defensively. Kelly Cembrale and Kristie Nyjak will contribute off the bench. 

WEST HEMPSTEAD RAMS

Coach: Chris Van Kovics

Key Players: PG Lisette Palomo 5-2, SG Ellen Murphy 5-4, SF Kayla Cleare 5-11, PF Jordan McLeod-Shaw 5-8, C Maia Jones 5-8

Outlook: With four seniors in the starting lineup, West Hempstead will look to make a serious run at a playoff spot. Taylor Greaves and Kelly Valerio bring versatility off the bench. 

SEAFORD VIKINGS 

Coach: Bob Vachris 

Key players: G Ally Palermo 5-0, G Julia Siler 5-4, F Kathryn Siler 5-8, F Jenna Siler 5-9, C Madison O'Hagan 5-10

Outlook: The Vikings are looking for their fourth conference title in the last five years. The Siler sisters anchor a deep roster.

MINEOLA MUSTANGS 

Coach: Denise Zunno

Key Players: G Samantha Pastore 5-6, G Erica Barron 5-5, F Lizzy Brown 5-7, F Samantha Venus 5-7, C Gabby Jurksas 6-3

Outlook: Venus is a dual threat. The senior is dangerous from behind the arc when playing small forward and a strong inside presence when playing power forward. 

CLARKE RAMS

Coach: Shaun Fean

Key Players: G Hannah Zirkel 5-7, G Brianna Ventola 5-6, G Jessica Gibaldi 5-6, F Gabriella Martins 5-8, F Diana Schmitt 5-6
Outlook: Zirkel, who was All-Conference last season, will lead strong group of guards. The Rams will be stout defensively. 

LOCUST VALLEY FALCONS

Coach: Mike Guidone 

Key Players: G Julie Spence 5-2, G Caroline Rawa 5-9, G Lauren Sabatino 5-7, F Lydia Volpe 5-7, C Taylor Herlich 6-0

Outlook: Rawa and Sabatino lead a senior-laden group. Their new up-tempo offense will look to capitalize on fast breaks and three-pointers. 

FRIENDS ACADEMY QUAKERS

Coach: Mike Indovino

Key Players: G Stella Davis 5-8, G Danielle Ramsay 5-5, G Alexis Toles 5-7, G/F Lindsay O'Sullivan 5-10, F/C Elisabeth Shibley 5-11

Outlook: Quakers are coming off B/C LI Championship and are now in A-V. Forward Catherine Lori will add to a deep Quaker unit. O'Sullivan, a junior, has played varsity since seventh grade and has a high basketball IQ.

 

CONFERENCE B

COLD SPRING HARBOR SEAHAWKS

Coach: Rory Malone

Key players: G Holly Logan 5-3; G Tara Atkinson 5-6; F Brooke Jensen 5-7; F Bridget DeGiorgio 5-8; C Caroline Kiernan 5-10

Outlook: Has four starters back from last year's Class A runner-up. Returns to Class B play.

OYSTER BAY BAYMEN

Coach: Sandy Rossen

Key players: G Gianna Gotti 5-4; G Faith Smith 5-3; G Christina Testa 5-4; F Keva Green-Knox 5-9; F Stephanie Mattocks 5-9

Outlook: Defending Nassau B champ led by Gotti, a penetrating guard, and Testa, an outside shooter.

CARLE PLACE FROGS

Coach: Mike Bello

Key players: G Sarah Pisani 5-2; G Kacey Burden 5-9; G Elissa Frein 5-6; F Abigail Selhorn 5-11; F Brianna McKeough 5-11

Outlook: Class B runner-up the last two years. Pisani orchestrates offense and Burden creates mismatches.

MALVERNE MULES

Coach: Michael Pelan

Key players: G Stephanie Gee 5-3; G Alexis Lopez 5-4; F Keyeria Dawson 5-7; F Destiny Samuel 6-0; C Alexis Lake 6-0

Outlook: Lopez and Gee are five-year starters; Samuel is a shot-blocker who can also handle the ball.

WHEATLEY WILDCATS

Coach: Ashley Rogala

Key players: G Allie LaMonica 5-3; G Perri Schreiber 5-3; F Hannah Woodward 5-5; F Olivia Braito 5-5; C Alana Leahy 5-8

Outlook: Offense runs through LaMonica, and Woodward can sink threes. Team expects strong transition play.

EAST ROCKAWAY ROCKS

Coach: Karin Leary

Key players: G Ally Cilluffo 5-6; G Caitlin O'Mara 5-6; G Erica Acampora 5-6; F Kim McCann 5-8; C Alessia Drevnyak 6-0

Outlook: Fast-break team with focus on defense and a balanced offense. McCann is a solid scorer and Acampora has good range. Drevnyak, a consistent double-double threat, is a strong rebounder and reliable scorer inside.

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