NAUGATUCK VALLEY LEAGUE
Coach: Patrick Lynch
Last year: 17-8.
Top players: Morgan Westine, Sr., G, 5-6; Grace Keener, Sr., F, 5-7; Kristina Fiallos, Fr., G, 5-6
Outlook: After a good run last season led by Melissa Tirella, who is at Post University, and Tierney Lawlor, who walked on at UConn, the Chargers could take a step back. Lynch said he’s got 13 girls who have never played high school basketball before.
Coach: Dave Chevarella
Last year: 3-17.
Top players: Shelby Mendillo, Sr., F, 5-8; Shyanne Garofalo, Sr., C, 5-10; Rebecca Adanti, Jr., G, 5-4
Outlook: The good news is the Red Raiders bring back their entire starting five. The bad news is there are only six more girls in the program.
Coach: Brian Cleveland
Last year: 5-15.
Top players: Kaitie Dow, Sr., G, 5-6; Cristina Tacinelli, Jr., G, 5-1; Cassie Tilton, Jr., F, 5-8
Outlook: The Wildcats are young, and according to Cleveland, still learning the game. Seymour only returns three seniors, but Cleveland is hoping they can lead the way for this inexperienced group.
Coach: Jess Moffo
Last year: 5-15.
Top players: Andrea Piccolo, Sr., C, 6-0; Becky Hale Jr., G, 5-6; Cameron Caswell, Soph., G, 5-5; Carla Piccolo, Soph., G, 5-10
Outlook: Moffo said her team will take care of the ball this season, with solid guard play and good ball handlers. She said the bench is a question mark, but they are working hard and improving every day, so that shouldn’t be the case during the year.
Coach: Marvin Tyson
Last year: 7-13.
Top players: Jess Bogdwicz Sr., PG, 5-5; Erin Koletar, Sr. G, 5-7; Shannon Hoffmiller, C, 6-1
Outlook: Bogdwicz brings her 20 PPG. average from last year into the new season hoping to get over the hump and qualify for states. Tyson said his backcourt averaged 30 points per game last season, as Koletar added 10 points a contest to go with Bogdwicz’s 20. He said his team needs to rebound better this season.
Coach: Amanda Forcucci
Last year: 24-2 (SWC Champions).
Top players: Carly Fabbri, Sr, G, 5-7; Emma McCarthy, Sr, F, 5-11; Maggie Salandra, Jr, G, 5-7
Outlook: No team has suffered a tougher loss in recent memory than the buzzer-beating defeat the Crusaders took at the hands of Mercy in last season’s Class LL final. However, Forcucci thinks that may be a good thing, as she cites hunger as one of the team’s strengths this season. Quinnipiac-bound Fabbri’s shooting and leadership, alongside McCarthy’s tough play inside, should make the Crusaders better than a lot of people think they’re going to be.
Coach: Cliff La Rose
Last year: 3-17
Top players: Genesis Torres, Soph., G, 5-8 ; Destani Brantley, Jr., G 5-6; Emily Winter, Jr., F, 5-8
Outlook: Stratford may take its lumps this season, but La Rose said he likes his team’s speed.
CONSTITUTION STATE CONFERENCE
Coach: Mark Belade
Last year: 12-6
Top players: Nicole Belade, Soph, G, 5-4; Giya Perrin, Jr., G, 5-3; Asley Pavelko, Sr., F, 5-9
Outlook:O’Brien Tech has a sharp shooter in Belade to lead in a team returning four starters from last season. Mark Belade said his team is small, but is hopeful the experience in the starting-five will carry the Condors to another successful season.
Coach: Mike Schryver
Last year: 17-7
Top players: Victoria Klemenz, Jr. F, 5-9; Liz Witkins Jr, C, 5-10; Erin Daly G, 5-4
Outlook: The Panthers have no returning players with varsity experience. However, Schryver said the team’s attitude has been good and that’s a positive sign for Platt Tech.
FAIRCHESTER ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION
Coach: Megan Borelli
Last year: 23-3.
Top players: Rachel Plotke, Sr, PG, 5-6; Bianca Tomassini, Jr, G, 5-8; Kaila DeFrancesco, Sr, G/F, 5-7
Outlook: Hamden Hall has arguably the best pure shooter in the area in Plotke. However, the sharpshooter will need to expand her game this season, switching from shooting guard to point guard in Krystina Reynolds’ absence after she graduated. Hamden Hall should still have a successful season and fill up the scoreboard.
Coach: Corey Chase
Last year: 4-14.
Top players: Sydney Geyer, Sr.; Zoe Loewenberg, Sr.; Casey McMorris, Sr.; Precious Musa, Sr.; Alexandra Walser, Sr.
Outlook: A young Hopkins team struggled for most of last season. With a year of experience under its belt, expect Hopkins to make strides in the right direction this season.