The Herald-News Girls Basketball Preview Capsules for 2022-23 season

Bolingbrook’s Angelina Smith drives to the basket against Edwardsville in the Class 4A Illinois Wesleyan Super-sectional. Friday, Feb. 25, 2022, in Bloomington.



Coach: Kaitlyn Williams

Last sason’s record: 6-18

Key returners: Layla Pierce (Jr., G); Faith Pietras (Jr., C); Lanie Czerkies (Sr., G)

Key newcomers: Symone Holman (Fr., F); Emma Beattie (Fr., F); Ingrid Troha (Jr., G)

Worth noting: The Angels lost their opening game to Joliet West 43-40 in the WJOL Tournament. ... Coach Williams: “With the leadership of Lanie Czerkies, experience from Layla Pierce and a great freshman prospect who is projected to dominate on varsity, Symone Holman, we look to have a successful 2022-2023.”



Coach: Eileen Copenhaver (19th year)

Last year’s record: 27-7

Key returners: Annalise Pietrzyk (5-9, Sr., G); Gabi Bednar (5-6, Jr., G); Madison Swanson (Sr., G/F)

Key newcomers: Bella Morey (5-8, Jr., G/F); Sydney Spencer (Jr., G); Molly Knight (So., G); Eilish Raines (Fr., G)

Worth noting: Pietrzyk averaged 14.2 points per game for the Celtics last season and is 49 points shy of reaching 1,000 for her career. She has committed to Division II Hillsdale College in Michigan. ... Bednar is a three-year starter who averaged 10.2 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game last year. ... This is the 50th year of girls basketball at Providence Catholic. ... Coach Copenhaver: “We have some athletes and speed, but are overall small. It will be a year where toughness must be at the forefront because of the lack of pure size.”



Coach: Brad Schmitt (20th year)

Last season’s record: 16-14

Key returners: Makayla Henline (Jr); Audrey Cooper (Sr.); Makenzie Henline (Jr.); Abby Gagliardo (Jr.); Mia Ferrias (Jr.); Kerigan Copes (Sr.)

Key newcomers: Paige Walker, Tanna Curry, Kylee Kennel

Worth noting: Makalya Henline averaged 7.3 points per game last season for the Coalers and was named all-conference. ... Ferrias averaged 6.5 points, Cooper 5.7, Makenzie Henline and Gagliardo 5.0 each and Copes 2.9. ... Coach Schmitt: “We return quite a few starters and players who helped us succeed last year. We have numerous girls who are very capable of producing quality numbers, but we still have things we need to shore up as the season gets under way.”


Coach: Steve Strough (15th year)

Last season’s record: 26-5

Key returners: Jenna Hunter (5-10, Sr., F); Mady Kibelkis (5-8, Sr., G); Madi Schroeder (5-10, Sr., G); Marissa Velasco (5-11, Sr., F); Addie Graffeo (5-5, Jr., G)

Key newcomers: Ashley Renwick (5-7, Jr., F); Abbie Chenoweth (5-6, Jr., G); Jolynn Murray (5-9, Jr., F)

Worth noting: Hunter, Kibelkis and Schroeder were all-conference selections last season for the Blue Devils, with Kibelkis and Schroeder earning honorable mention all-state status. ... Coach Strough: “Our emphasis this season is on being connected and competing at our highest level throughout the season. We hope to compete for a conference championship and make a run in the postseason.”


Coach: Shelby Zwolinski (3rd year)

Last season’s record: 11-20

Key returners: Brooklyn Harding (5-4, Sr, G); Caelan Cole (5-4, Sr., G); Samantha Sprimont (5-5, Sr., F); Laci Newbrough (5-9, Sr., F)

Key newcomers: Addison Harms (5-1, Sr., G), Kaylee Tribble (5-11, Jr., F), Madison Keenan (6-0, Jr., F), Leah Grace (5-4, So., G), Addison Brown (5-10, So., F), Natalie Flores (5-6, So., F), Gwen Stewart (5-7, Fr., G)

Worth noting: Harding averaged 6.6 points, 2.6 assists and 1.5 steals a game for the Comets last season and was named first-team all-conference. .... Cole averaged 3.8 points, Sprimont 3.0 points and 3.5 rebounds and Newbrough 3.8 points and 5.5 rebounds. ... Coach Zwolinski: “We are looking for huge production from our senior class. The five seniors have plenty of experience playing at the varsity level.”


Coach: Eric Dillon (6th year)

Last season’s record: 17-15

Key returners: Breanna Horton (Sr., G), Kaitlyn O’Donnell (Sr., G), Alexa Clark (Sr., G), Lexi Liaromatis (Jr., G), Clara Smith (Jr., G)

Key newcomers: Gracie Sanders (Jr., F), Skylar Rossow (So., G)

Worth noting: Liaromatis was named all-conference last season. ... Last season was the first time in about 20 years the Wildcats finished above .500. ... Coach Dillon: “We as a program feel that we dropped about four or five games that we shouldn’t have last year. So this year we are focusing on picking those wins up and continuing to improve our record overall. One of the girls’ overall goals as well is to be competitive towards the top of the ICE conference.”



Coach: Nick Virgl (1st year)

Last season’s record: 6-24

Key returners: Makenna Boyle (5-8, Jr., G); Addison Stacy (5-8, Sr., G); Moriah Mayberry (5-8, Sr., G)

Key newcomers: Brooklyn Lind (5-7, Jr., G); Landrie Callahan (6-0, Fr., G)

Worth noting: Boyle was Morris’ leading scorer last season, and Mayberry was the leading rebounder. ... Lind saw varsity minutes at the end of last season. ... Coach Virgl: “This year will be an exciting year for us, as we have high expectations from a group of girls who have the experience and drive to improve on a six-win season a year ago. Our team motto of ‘get better each day’ holds true with this group as they continue to push themselves and each other.”



Coach: Adam Leigh {13th year)

Last season’s record: 8-23

Key returners: Addi Fair (5-6, Jr., G); Hannah Balcom

Worth noting: Fair averaged 18.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, 4.3 steals and 1.7 assists per game for the Panthers last season. ... Coach Leigh: “Addi will be our go-to player, as we have a very lean roster. She has the most basketball intelligence of any kid I’ve coached in 15 years. Winning a regional championship is always goal No. 1 for our team. The postseason is what you work hard for all season long. Outside of that, we would like to be competitive in the RVC conference in hopes of ending up on top.”



Coach: Tracy Rainey (8th year)

Last season’s record: 19-7

Key returners: Bella Kedryna (5-9, Sr., G); Brooke Panush (5-10, Sr., F); Jess Beasley (Sr.); Abbey Lakickas (Jr.); Lexi Reyna (So.)

Key newcomers: Gia Pontrelli (Jr.); Magdelene Mikroulis (Fr.)

Worth noting: Kedryna averaged 16 points and 6.5 rebounds per game last season for Lemont, while Panush averaged 8 points and 7 boards. ... Coach Rainey: “We are looking to have a strong season behind six veteran returners with a lot of varsity experience. Senior captains Bella Kedryna, Brooke Panush and Jess Beasley bring great leadership, can score on the offensive end and provide grit and energy on defense that will help us compete for conference. Abbey Lakickas, Lexi Reyna and Gia Pontrelli will also play a major role in our success.”



Coach: Laura Brumfiel (6th year)

Last season’s record: 2-20

Key returners: Seniors: Nylah Davis (6-0, Sr., P); Joyce Tua Link (5-10, Sr., G/F); Aubrey Weems (5-9, Jr.)

Key newcomers: Persia Casey (Sr.); Isabel Sanchez (Fr.); Neveah Wright (Fr.); Ellie Fowler (Fr.); Alexis Bradley (Fr.)

Worth noting: The Steelmen won their season opener over Minooka 43-41 in the WJOL Tournament. ... Coach Benefiel: “We are looking at a comeback season to get Joliet Central back on the map for area girls basketball. This team works hard and is committed to the process. We will be exciting to watch this season and the upcoming seasons to come.”

Joliet West’s Destiny McNair draws the foul going for the basket against Joliet Catholic in the WJOL Basketball Tournament at Joliet Junior College Event Center on Monday


Coach: John Placher (9th year)

Last season’s record: 26-4

Key returners: Destiny McNair (5-8, Sr., G); Miranda Rosales (5-10, Sr., F)

Key newcomers: Maziah Shelton (5-7, Jr., F); Ashlei Thomas (5-6, Sr., G); Brooke Schwall (6-0, Jr., F); Christina Keoborakot (5-3, Jr., G); Makayla Chism (5-0, So., G); Alaya Redditt (5-9, Jr. G)

Worth noting: The Tigers opened their season with a 43-40 win over JCA in the WJOL Tournament. ... McNair is a two-time all-conference player and averaged 10 points per game last season. ... Shelton scored 14 points and had 16 rebounds in the regional championship game last season. ... Coach Placher: “This year’s team has a lot of experience and some real good newcomers to fill the roles of girls that graduated.”


Coach: Jeff Easthon (5th year)

Last season’s record: 11-18

Key returners: Makenzie Brass (5-11, Jr., F); Kennedi Brass (5-7, Jr., G)

Key newcomers: Madeline Kiper (5-9, Fr., F); Tahj Bloom (6-3, Jr., F)

Worth noting: Makenzie Brass averaged 11 points and 8 rebounds for the Indians, while Kennedi Brass averaged 6 points, 3 assists, 3 rebounds and 2 steals. ... Bloom is a transfer from Bolingbrook. ... Coach Easthon: “We are looking forward to a fun season. We have a very difficult conference, and we hope to compete hard in every game. We hope and expect that we are playing our best ball at the end of the season.”


Coach: Armond Frazier (6th year)

Last season’s record: 6-15

Key returners: Aaliyah Frazier (5-7, Sr., PG); Taylor Kienzle (5-8, Sr., F); Sarah Imig (5-7, Sr., F)

Key newcomers: Abigail Kearney (6-0, Jr., G/F); Aniela Machalski (5-5, Jr., PG); Na’Kiyah Robertson (6-1, Sr., C)

Worth noting: Aaliya Frazier averaged 14 points, 4 assists, 4 rebounds and 3 steals for the Wildcats last year. She is a four-year varsity player and has signed to play basketball at Howard University. ... Kienzle and Imig are three-year varsity players. ... Coach Frazier: “We have a very solid and deep group this year where I can go 10 deep every game. Our team has always competed hard, and I expect much of the same from this group. I hope it results in us being in the top three of our conference by the end of the year and, more importantly, that we are playing our best basketball going into the playoffs.”


Coach: Anthony Waznonis (9th year)

Last season’s record: 14-14

Key returners: Lexi Sepulveda (5-10, Jr. , G); Jocelyn Trotter (5-11, Sr., G,); Nia Wilkerson (5-8, Sr. G/F)

Key newcomer: Addison Haughian (5-6, So., G)

Worth noting: Sepulveda averaged 12.7 points and 2.5 steals for the Bengals last season, while Trotter averaged 10.3 points, 5 steals and 5.7 rebounds. Both were honorable mention all-conference. ... Wilkerson averaged 7.0 points and 5.9 rebounds. ... Coach Waznonis: “We have a cohesive and close group of players who work hard everyday toward the goal of being our best at the end of the season. We hope that leads us to compete for an SPC East Conference title and success in the playoffs.”


Coach: Michaela Reedy (4th year)

Last season’s record: 22-9

Key returning players: Lexi Salazar (5-7, Sr., G); Yasmine Bryant (5-8, Sr., G); Sydney Scott (5-8, So., G); Bella Gruber (5-11, So., F); Kaitlyn Sedillo (5-5, So., G)

Key newcomers: Bella Garcia (5-8, Fr., G); Courtneye Schneider (6-0, Jr., C/F); Anaya Patterson (5-8, So., G); Mia Gonzalez (5-4, So., G)

Worth noting: Salazar is projected to surpass 1,000 points for the Tigers this season. She averaged 17 points a game last year and already holds the career 3-point record at the school. She is committed to American University. ... Bryant averaged 7.6 points a game last year. ... Coach Reedy: “Plainfield North girls basketball is coming off back-to-back seasons with SPC West conference championships and looking to reach higher goals. Our senior leadership is a driving force this season with seven seniors taking ownership of their roles on this team. Our returning sophomores, Kaitlyn Sedillo, Sydney Scott and Bella Gruber are demonstrating growth and maturity on the court and will offer us big minutes this season. Overall the Tigers are looking to win our third SPC West title and chase after our first regional championship title.”


Coach: Larry Lanciotti (2nd year)

Last season’s record: 13-15

Key returners: Destynia McGruder (6-0, Jr., F/C); Jazlyn Foster (5-10, Jr., F/C); Ashley Mezewich (5-5, Jr., G);l Bree Cotton (5-2, Jr., G); Abby Kemp (5-6, Jr., G/F); Demi Page (5-9, Jr., G/F)

Key newcomers: Tierra Abner (5-2, PG); Fathia Olagunju (6-1, C); Alyssa Jones (5-9, F/C)

Worth noting: McGruder averaged 8 points and 9 rebounds for the Cougars last season. ... Plainfield South won its first tournament in school history, the Peotone Christmas Tournament. ... Coach Lanciotti: “We had a lot of sophomores last year that saw significant minutes on the varsity. We look for further growth and development from all of them.”


Coach: Devin Bates

Last season’s record: 18-13

Key returners: Jadea Johnson (Jr., F); Emily Gabrelcik (Jr., G); Laila Houseworth (Jr., G); Maya Edrada (Sr., G)

Key newcomers: Arianna Nance (So., C); Jaylen Zachary (Jr., G)

Worth noting: Johnson averaged 9.8 points and 6.9 rebounds a game last year for the Spartans, while Gabrelcik averaged 5.3 points and 3.3 steals and Houseworth averaged 7.1 points and 6.3 rebounds. ... Coach Bates: “We are looking to build off of a strong 21-22 campaign. This team will have a great mix of athletes that will be led by a solid junior class. This group of girls has worked incredibly hard during the offseason and looks forward to all the competitive games they anticipate the SPC conference will provide during the 22-23 season.”



Coach: Chris Smith

Last season’s record: 25-5 (3rd in Class 4A)

Key returners: Angelina Smith (5-9, Jr., G); Persais Williams (5-10, Jr., F); Yahaira Bueno (5-6, Jr., G); Jasmine Jones (5-10, Jr., F)

Key newcomer: Ciyah Thomas (5-8, Fr., G)

Worth noting: Angelina Smith is ranked as a top-five junior in the state for the Raiders and has more than 15 Division I offers. ... Williams has seven Division I offers. ... Bueno was a finalist in the 3-Point Showdown last season despite missing the regular season recovering from an ACL injury. ... Coach Smith: “We will go as far as our big four takes us.”


Coach: Dave Campanile (7th year)

Last season’s record: 22-9

Key returners: Azyah Newson-Cole (Sr., G); Keira Hunt (Sr., G); Gracen Gehrke (Jr., G); Gianna Amadio (Jr., G); Annalina Nelson (Sr., G)

Key newcomers: Brooke Baechtold (So.); Kiya Newson-Cole (So.); Abby Sudkamp (So.); Madi Watt (So.)

Worth noting: The Knights won their first regional title since 2007-08 last season. ... Newson-Cole averaged 13.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.7 steals per game. She has committed to Division I Indiana-Purdue at Indianapolis (IUPUI). ... Hunt averaged 10.1 points, shot 33% from 3-range, making 64 3-pointers and shot 83% from the free-throw line. ... Coach Campanile: “We expect big things in the second year of this group, coming off our regional title and 22 wins. We have seven returning varsity players, so experience and guard play will be our identity.”

Lincoln-Way Central's Azyah Newson-Cole drives to the basket against Bolingbrook in the Bolingbrook Class 4A Sectional semifinal. Tuesday, Feb. 22nd, 2022 in Bolingbrook.


Coach: Jim Nair (5th year)

Last season’s record: 17-13

Key returners: Hayven Smith (6-5, Jr., P); Lana Kerley (5-10, Jr., G); Maddie Yacobozzi (5-10, Jr., G)

Key newcomers: Makayla Kelly (Jr., PG), Lilly Dockemeyer (Jr., SG), Eva Dilger (Jr., P)

Worth noting: Smith, who has several Division I offers, led the Griffins in rebounding at 9 per game and was second in scoring with 9 per game last season. ... Kerley led the team with 13 points per game, while Yacobozzi led the team in steals and was second in assists. ... Kelly, Dockemeyer and Dilger were members of the undefeated JV team. ... Coach Nair: “This team will have a strong inside-out offensive attack. They play well together, and the key will be defending the top teams in the strong SWSC Blue.”


Coach: Ryan White (13th year)

Last season’s record: 12-14

Key returners: Ava Gutliuzza (5-6, Sr., G); Caroline Smith (6-0, So., F)

Key newcomers: Molly Finn (5-7, Fr., G); Peyton Madl (5-4, Jr., G); Reagan Seivert (6-0, Jr., F); Maggie Schwerha (5-6, Sr., G)

Worth noting: Gugliuzza averaged 22.2 points, 3 assists, 3 rebounds and 3 steals per game last season for the Warriors. She has committed to SIU-Edwardsville. ... Smith averaged 5 points and 6 rebounds a game. ... Coach White: “Ava and Caroline give us two returning players who played a lot of minutes last season. As the newcomers gain experience, we hope to be a dangerous team down the stretch.”


Coach: Darien Jacobs (1st year)

Last season’s record: 15-15

Key returners: Patricija Tamasauskas (5-8, Sr., G); Kaya Osinski (5-9, Sr., G); Veronica Bafia (5-10, Jr., F); Alaina Peetz (5-10, So. F)

Key newcomer: Lucy Hynes (5-7, So.)

Worth noting: Osinski has committed to play at Spring Arbor University. ... Coach Jacobs: “It is going to be a tough season, but the goal is for the Porters to improve from last year and have a record over .500. We are a new team with very little varsity experience, but I think once we start to get things to click we will be a tough team that will compete every night.”



Coach: Brian Holman (2nd year)

Last season’s record: 22-11

Key returners: Kennedy Hartwig (Sr.); Alyssa Zellers (So.); Lainie Olson (So.); Cassia Buchanan (Sr.)

Key newcomers: Ella Sterling (5-11, So., F); Faith Baker (5-11, Sr., C)

Worth noting: The Irish won the Tri-County Conference regular-season championship last season. ... Hartwig averaged 15 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists, while Zellers started all 33 games at point guard as a freshman. ... Coach Holman: “We lose our best rebounder and biggest body from last year’s team, but hopefully some of the experience the sophomores gained on varsity last year will translate to earlier success. Hartwig took her game to another level this summer, and we’re hoping her level of play raises everyone else’s level while she’s on the floor. The goal, as always, is to be ready for the postseason and give ourselves a chance at a regional championship.”