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Sports

Girls Basketball: Previewing Benet, Downers Grove North, Downers Grove South, Hinsdale Central, Hinsdale South and Westmont

The girls basketball season tips off this week with many teams playing in tournaments to start the year. Here’s the outlook for area teams:

BENET REDWINGS

Coach: Joe Kilbride

2017-18 record: 28-5

TOP PLAYERS

NAME YEAR POS.

Brooke Schramek jr. F

Clara Prasse sr. G

Lauren Stack sr. F

Ashley Konkle sr. F

Kendall Holmes jr. G

Kendall Moriarty so. G

Lindsey Rogers jr. F

Molly Sheehan so. G

Outlook: The Redwings, with 11 players returning from the team that lost to Montini in a sectional final, are on the short list of Class 4A state title contenders with a roster full of potential Division I recruits. Schramek, a Wisconsin recruit, averaged 11.8 points and 3.5 rebounds and leads a tall, versatile roster. Western Michigan commit Konkle and Stack, an American University recruit, join her in one of the biggest teams around. Moriarty was Benet's best defender and second in 3-point percentage as a sophomore, and has offers from Big Ten and Big East schools. Sheehan is a transfer from Hinsdale Central. A demanding schedule includes games with defending Wisconsin state champion Beaver Dam and defending Michigan state champion Detroit Edison.

"We have a lot of work to do," Kilbride said, "but if we can get healthy and stay that way I like our chances."

DOWNERS GROVE NORTH TROJANS

Coach: Stephan Bolt

2017-18 record: 14-14

TOP PLAYERS

NAME YEAR POS.

Julia Kramper sr. G

Ellie Gross jr. G

Alexis Parker jr. F

Lauren Sebek sr. G

Jalyn Harris sr. C

Colby Murphy sr. G

Quinn Stephens sr. F

Erin Miller Jr. F

Outlook: With most of last year's team back, and a deep group that can guard, the Trojans look to take a step forward. Bolt expects big things out of Kramper, a leader who can make shots. Gross brings leadership, competitiveness and court sense, and the increased ability to score. Parker turned the corner this summer and could surprise with her athleticism and copetitive nature. Harris, with great size, has potential for a big year. Bolton stressed that Trojans must bet a better shooting team and sharpen their decision-making.

"We have a chance to surprise some people," Bolt said.

DOWNERS GROVE SOUTH MUSTANGS

Coach: Lyndsie Long

2017-18 record: 16-11

TOP PLAYERS

NAME YEAR POS.

Holly Lueken sr. F

Maggie Greco sr. G

Meghan Stapleton so. G/F

Jaylyn Grant sr. G

Erin Ganschow jr. F

Outlook: Lueken, a 6-foot Colgate recruit who averaged 17.2 points and 7.1 rebounds, is back for her fourth varsity season. An all-around talent who can make perimeter shots and finish at the rim, she's Downers Grove South's most talented player in years. Greco, the Mustangs' point guard, is another fourth-year varsity player who is quick and aggressive, with an improved shot. Stapleton can shoot it. Ganshow is a bruiser down low and an aggressive player that Long said "will run through a wall if you asked her to."

"We have a group of players that work well together," Long said. "Regardless of our height, we have the drive and leadership to be successful."

HINSDALE CENTRAL RED DEVILS

Coach: Karen Persinger

2017-18 record: 10-19

TOP PLAYERS

NAME YEAR POS.

Tina Rivera sr. F

Mady Bokich sr. G

Sarah Cernugal jr. G

Maiwen Amegadjie jr. F

Kendall Butler jr. F

Anna Howell jr. G

Outlook: With eight seniors graduated, and Molly Sheehan transferring to Benet, Hinsdale Central will have a completely new look. Persinger, in her second season as coach, said Rivera and Bokich have already done a great job of leading and setting the example for what hard work looks like in the program.

"The girls are excited about the opportunity to step up and establish their own mark on the program," Persinger said. "Early in the season we will be focused on developing our identity on both sides of the ball."

HINSDALE SOUTH HORNETS

Coach: Scott Tanaka

2017-18 record: 11-17

TOP PLAYERS

NAME YEAR POS.

Erin Adams jr. F

Emily Koziol sr. G

Crysta Davis jr. G

Janae Washington jr. G

Ariana Wimberly sr. F

Sylvannah Batchelor sr. F

Emily Noor jr. G

Lejla Useini jr. G

Mary Lavorato so. G

Ciniya McCray so. G

Ellie Urbanski so. G

Kennedi Perkins fr. G

Outlook: Tanaka, previously the boys basketball coach at Minooka for 10 seasons, takes over the reins of the Hornets' girls program. The Downers Grove resident won 20 games three times while at Minooka. Koziol, a two-time all-conference selection, and Adams, all-conference last year, will lead the way for Hinsdale South. The Hornets get started this week, hosting their Brenda Whitesell Invitational.

"The girls are all working hard to learn a new system and language," Tanaka said. "We will continue to show growth as a team and get better every single day."

LEMONT INDIANS

Coach: Tracy Rainey

2017-18 record: 14-13

TOP PLAYERS

NAME YEAR POS.

Ieva Tarasovaite sr. F

Maggie Ferguson jr. G

Bella Bercher jr. F

Emma Kaatz jr. G

Danielle Irwin jr. G

Outlook: Lemont graduated six seniors that started throughout the year, and will be young with only four varsity returners. But the Indians do boast a solid group of juniors who are looking to make an impact this year. Tarasovaite was third on Lemont in rebounds last season. The Indians will look for Ferguson to take on more of a leadership role. Seniors Nina Mardjetko, Sofie Villareal and Junior Bella Bercher could all have big seasons for the Indians.

"We'll be scrappy, quick and rely heavily on team defense," Rainey said.

WESTMONT SENTINELS

Coach: John Natanek

TOP PLAYERS

NAME YEAR POS.

Megan Thompson so. F/C

Aleksa Sekularac so. G/F

Outlook: Natanek is in his first season as head coach of the Sentinels. He takes over a young group with one returning significant player in Thompson, a sophomore. The varsity roster, in fact, is made up of many sophomores and freshmen.

"The goal is develop as a program and create a foundation for future success," Natanek said.

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