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Cougar girls seek to build on last season’s glory

The 2012-13 North Warren High School Girls Basketball Team includes (front row, left to right): Julianna Dewar, Kerrianne Belline, Taryn Williamson,  Janae Williamson, (rear):  Coach P.J. Hogan, Amber Frasier, Nicole Fish, Taylor Feldeison, Megan McDonough, and Elle Underwood.

The 2012-13 North Warren High School Girls Basketball Team includes (front row, left to right): Julianna Dewar, Kerrianne Belline, Taryn Williamson, Janae Williamson, (rear): Coach P.J. Hogan, Amber Frasier, Nicole Fish, Taylor Feldeison, Megan McDonough, and Elle Underwood. Phil Sherotov

— After taking the Adirondack League by storm and winning the Western Division championship in 2011-12, the North Warren Varsity Girls Basketball team is dedicated to achieving similar feats in the 2012-13 season. Along the way, they amassed a season win-loss record of 13-7 and thrilled upcounty sports fans with their savvy plays, accurate shooting and crisp passes.

One outcome of their outstanding play was a feat rare in the last quarter-century: beating Lake George — not just once, but twice.

In post-season, they took their campaign even further, battling all the way to the Section II quarterfinals.

Five players graduated last year, including the ultra-talented Kiera Warner who is now playing in college for Russell Sage.

The departure of the 2011-12 seniors prompted the draft of three players from the Junior Varsity squad — Kerrianne Belline, Elle Underwood, and Nicole Fish.

Coach P.J. Hogan said that the leading players on the team at this point are Amber Fraiser, Megan McDonough and Janae Williamson.

In terms of team chemistry, Hogan said it’s still early in the season, but he’s already observed that they are working hard and dedicated to attaining achievements similar to their storied forerunners.

He said that most of the girls play Amateur Athletic Union basketball and that Frasier, McDonough, and Williamson attended a basketball tune-up clinic at Skidmore College.

Frasier said this week she felt privileged be identified as a leading player, but deferred credit to her mentors. She said Hogan and the other basketball coaches have helped her develop into the player she is. Frasier also credited her parents for being very supportive.

Williamson said this week that playing AAU basketball has been a key factor in developing her skills. Noting that all her family members are enthusiasts of basketball, Williamson said she intends to continue playing basketball in college — and work on her jump shots in the meantime. She added that Skidmore Basketball Camp helped her learn effective drills and new moves.

Talking about the Cougars’ team goals this season, Hogan said that the players want to get better every day as both a team and as individuals.

“They’re not trying to fill anyone’s shoes at this point,” he said. “But they’re determined to live up to their own expectations.”

(Adirondack Journal editor Thom Randall contributed to this article.)

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