VILLA PARK – If the season opener is any indication, Molly Krawczykowski could be in for a big year.
Willowbrook’s senior guard scored 20 points in the Warriors’ 63-43 win over Glenbard North on Tuesday.
Krawczykowski looks in line to lead a team hoping to improve on a 22-win season. She is playing without sister Colleen, who is currently a freshman on the Northern Illinois University track and field team and was part of a key senior class last year.
“I miss her a lot,” Molly Krawczykowski said. “It’s a lot different playing without the seniors [from] last year because we’ve been playing together so long.”
Also gone from last year’s senior class are Angela Bruno, now playing for Illinois Wesleyan, and Anita Sterling, a freshman forward at North Central. Despite losing three starters, the Warriors are hoping to maintain a high level of play.
Seniors Olivia Domin, Melissa Rader and Lauren Carroll were also key contributors last year and have stepped into starting roles this season. However, Krawczykowski, one of the team’s captains, is unquestionably the go-to scorer.
“Molly is the person you’re going to get the ball and try to get a basket when you need one,” Willowbrook coach Terry Harrell said. “This year I think she feels like she needs to lead the way.”
Domin’s role is shifting from a wing guard that looked for an open jump shot last season to a floor general-type role. Her and Krawczykowski will share primary ball-handling duties.
Softball stars Sam Schmidt and Alyssa Ressinger will lead the way for a junior class that won conference on both the freshmen and sophomore levels. Schmidt is 6-feet tall and is a standout athlete, headed to Northern Illinois to play softball.
Harrell said the Warriors plan to run more since they have good depth and lack a dominant inside game. Willowbrook utilized a full-court press to force Glenbard North into 22 turnovers.
The Warriors just missed out on winning conference and a regional last year. Willowbrook was second in the West Suburban Gold and lost in a regional final.
“We came off a pretty good season last year so we’re just looking to improve,” Krawczykowski said.
Willowbrook improved to 2-0 with a 60-22 win over St. Francis on Thursday.
Coach: Terry HarrellConference: West Suburban Gold2012-13 record: 22-6 (10-2 WSG)Next game: 4:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22 at Willowbrook InviteTop returners: Lauren Carroll sr. G Olivia Domin sr. G Molly Krawczykowski sr. G Melissa Rader sr. FPromising newcomers: Alyssa Ressinger jr. F Samantha Schmidt jr. F