Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Mercy Basketball Looking to Repeat Last Season's Sucess

This is not the same Mercy basketball team that went 24-3 last season and lost in the Class LL state championship game to Career Magnet of New Haven by one point. Stars Amber Bepko and Sadie Edwards are gone, having graduated and transferred to an out-of-state school. Expectations are not as high for this year’s squad, even if it is ranked eighth in the state heading into the season opener with Career tonight. However, Head Coach Tim Kohs embraces the diminished expectations. He is confident his team can prove doubters wrong.

“It’s going to be very hard to win 19 games like we did last season. But it is not out of the question. I think our work ethic is very strong and our defense should be solid.”

Kohs emphasized that the competition Mercy plays in the SCC {Southern Connecticut Conference} and out of conference will be daunting.

“We’re facing six teams who are ranked in the top 10 right now,” he stated. “It’s not like last year when our conference was weaker. It will be a challenge to win against the middle of the pack teams on the road.”

Kohs said that the Tigers depth was a significant strength going forward. Though he admitted his team did not have a big-time scorer, the veteran coach stated Mercy should be very balanced both offensively and defensively.

“I have five seniors who averaged fifteen plus minutes per game last year and have championship experience. They and our juniors have a lot of experience, and each of them will have a spot to contribute with all the shots that are available.”

Kohs points to senior guard Maria Weselyi as his strongest player. Weselyi averaged 10.5 points per game in last year’s campaign, and according to her coach has improved tremendously. Kohs proclaimed her “one of the top shooters in Connecticut.”

Other players who will be counted on to contribute heavily include Jordan Nappi, Liz Falcigno, Cassie Santoro and Sheena Landy. Freshman Kendra Landy and Maura Fitzpatrick are already in contention for starting spots and expected to contribute immediately.

For Kohs, Mercy’s biggest concern compared to other teams is there athletic ability.
“We don’t have a ton of size or speed. We’re not the most athletic team in the world.”

Mercy opens its season at home tonight against Class LL champion Career Magnet of New Haven at 7:00.

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