After losing to Floral Park in last season’s Class A quarterfinal playoff game and losing their star player, Kristen Korzevinski, to graduation, the New Hyde Park girls varsity basketball team will look to some of their younger players to help them lead the way in the 2012-13 season.
Those players include sophomores Laila Chadli, Brianna Patrizi, Jessica Vadala, Julissa Sanchez, Jillian Sakowich and Nicole Campbell.
“We have a very strong group of sophomores on our squad this year,” head coach Hugh Flaherty said. “We have some good shooters, rebounders and passers who should help us absorb the blow of losing Kristen.”
Not to say any of these girls will replace Korzevinski’s mind boggling 28-30 points per game but they will certainly hold their own on the basketball court.
According to Flaherty, Chadli and Patrizi – who are both 5’9” – have been honing their skills on the court in AAU leagues for the past year, working hard to improve their skills in every facet of the game and will bring an added dimension to the Lady Gladiators this season.
“They both have good size and they both play like guards,” Flaherty said. “Breanna is our best shooter and Laila has really improved on her ball handling and passing skills."
Senior players Gabbie Tomasini and Caroline Rogers also return to the team after taking a year off to concentrate on other sports. Tomasini will play at the point guard position and help to give the team a sense of leadership.
“I expect us to be a middle of the road team in a tough A-1 conference,” Flaherty said. “We will have our work cut out for us against teams like Garden City, South Side and Wantagh, but I expect us to win 5 or 6 conference games and slip into the playoffs.”
The Lady Gladiators will open up the season at home against Carey in an inter-district game on Thursday at 4:30 p.m.
Their first conference game will be away at South Side on Thursday, December 13 at 7 p.m.