WARRENSBURG - Although the Burgher Girls Basketball team graduated four Seniors this year and has only two returning for 2010-11, coach Scott Smith isn't fretting.
He's got a strong group of experienced Juniors on the roster, and some height and strength as well.
He said he's encouraged by the progress that the team has made so far this year and during the off-season - including regular practices in Derby Park with Bolton hoopsters.
Smith said his players are working very hard in practice and are determined to work toward their goals.
"The girls are up for the challenge of turning the basketball program around and improving on last year's season," he said.
Initially, however, several players need to step up and to launch the season - there's a void to fill in the back court.
Talented Brittany DeCrescente, a key guard last year, isn't playing as she's transferring to another school.
Plus, veteran Burgher playmaker Jaci O'Brien is out until January with a knee injury, Smith said.
"We need a guard to really take care of the ball for us and be a leader," he said.
The Burghers have a deep roster from which backcourt leaders are bound to emerge. Returning guards Isabella Szabo, Jaci O'Brien, Savannah Mosher and Katelyn Kuklinski are joined by newcomers Zhane Santisteban and Maigan Baer on the squad.
Veteran inside players returning include 5'11+" Ashlie Morehouse, Tessa Acuna, and Kaitlyn Cousineau. They're joined by newcomers Alexa Bryant, Montana Sheridan, and Ariella Allen," Smith said.
"We've got some really nice post players this year," Smith said.
Morehouse will be called upon to be more dominant in the paint this year both offensively and defensively, he said. Bryant, who came to Warrensburg from Michigan, has been a valuable addition to the squad, he said, while Allen rejoins the team after missing last season.