WARRENSBURG - The local high school's Girls Varsity Basketball Team displayed a lot of determination this year in boosting their performance dramatically during a season with few wins, their coach said during a school sports awards ceremony held March 4.
He said the Warrensburg Central girls demonstrated their grit and guts when they ramped up their level of playing despite ongoing losses.
Through the first eight games, their losses were by an average of 33 points, but by the final five games, that margin shrank to six points or less. The team's record was 3-15 overall during the 2009-10 season.
"The players dramatically improved their individual shooting, post moves and ball handling," Smith said. "They are now playing more as a team."
Smith said the younger players are now enthusiastic about practicing during the off-season.
"I'm excited about the enthusiasm of the young kids we're bringing back," Smith said. "We hope they follow through with their off-season plans."
He said the 2010-11 team holds promise.
"We're returning some of the strongest guards in the league, and that's what we'll be building on," he said. "I hope they accept the challenges that lie ahead, and work hard toward our goals."
That lineup of guards includes sophomores Jaci O'Brien, Isabella Szabo and Savannah Mosher, with the addition of the talented eighth graders Brittany DeCrescente and Kate Kuklinski. After being drafted late in the 2009-10 season, DeCrescente displayed her aggressive athleticism on court, and was among the top team scorers right from her debut game. And on Junior Varsity, she racked up 80 points in only five games.
"The experience of the young players will pay off over the next several years," Smith said.
For the varsity team, DeCrescente was awarded Rookie of the Year, and Szabo, with her tremendous speed, was named Most Improved. The Sportsmanship Award went to Kate Taddeo, who attended every practice, and provided "the pulse" for the team, Smith said.