Scouting the MSL West

MSL WESTBarringtonCoach: Babbi Barreiro (25th season)

Last year's record: 6-22, 2-8

Graduated players: Alex Van Ryne, Claire Collier, Maggie O' Donnell, Taylor Barnett, Cecilia Stack

Returning players: Kaitlyn Henke (5-0 Sr. G), Rachel Mori (5-9, Sr. G), Tori Meyer (5-9 Jr. G), Taylor Thompson (6-0 So. F), Morgan Kelly (5-10 Sr. F), Alex Kelly (5-9 Jr. F), Conforti (6-0 Sr. F), Niki Barcroft (5-5 Sr. G)

Newcomers: Anna Mae King (5-7 So. G), Shanna Turczynski (5-4 So. G), Marissa Faulkner (5-10 So. F), Katie Tomczak (5-7 So. F), Anna Gehrish (5-7 So. G), Emma Bergquist (5-5 So. G), Kelci Miller (5-10 So. F)

Outlook: As she begins her 25th season, Barrington coach Babbi Barreiro (393 wins) is looking forward to seeing how this team comes together. "After these first two weeks, I feel like they have a lot of what it takes to be successful including nice scoring balance, the ability to be physical and to get out and push the ball a bit," she said. Barreiro hopes Meyer and Thompson pick up where they left off last season when they were the team's leading scorers. "In addition, we have a very nice group of returners who should complement them well (Mori, Conforti, Henke, Morgan Kelly, Alex Kelly and Barcroft)," she said. The other key additions will be seven sophomores. "Those kids played with us all summer long and made a true impact both offensively and defensively," Barreiro said. "No doubt we took some lumps last season, but sometimes that is part of the process." Barreiro believes this group of players are ready to take the next step forward. "I love their energy and their attitude,' she said. "I am counting on the returners to give us experience on the floor along with the mix of some fresh new faces who I believe will make a difference. We are looking forward to it."

ConantCoach: Deirdre Naughton (fourth season)

Last year's record: 10-17, 3-7

Graduated players: Jorie Wachal, Britany Laskero, Michelle Benson

Returning players: Ania Baker (6-0 Sr. F), Amanda Klingsporn (5-7 Sr. G), Cate Fitzgerald (5-5 Sr. G), Taylor Cyr (5-11 Sr. F), Morgan Ragusin (5-6 Sr. G), Lauren Murphy (5-10 Sr. G), Cassandra Jones (5-6 SR, F)

Newcomers: Abbey DiSalvo (5-8 Jr. F), Taylor Anderson (5-6 Jr. F), Hannah Shulman (5-10 Jr. G), Stephanie Mazuruk (5-6 Jr. G), Amber Licari (5-7 Jr. G)

Outlook: Coach Deirdre Naughton begins her fourth season with strong leadership from her senior group. "Our strengths this season start with our leadership," said the former New Trier and DePaul standout. "We have outstanding senior leaders with this group who work hard and compete day in and day out. They are also great leaders off the floor for our team. We are really excited about the chemistry of this team."

Baker will serve as the Cougars' main post player. "She is extremely athletic and tenacious," Naughton said of Baker, who also played volleyball. Klingsporn, Fitzgerald and Cyr all received significant minutes as juniors and the same will be the case this winter. "We look forward to the growth they have made over the off-season and the new scoring roles they will fill for us," said Naughton, whose team graduated all-area guard Jorie Wachal. "We lost a lot of scoring last year with Jorie graduating," Naughton added. "The scoring will have to be distributed evenly this year." Murphy, Ragusin and Jones are competitive seniors who will make a big impact in their new roles this winter. "We will also need our junior class to step up, as they will be getting significant minutes in their first year on varsity," Naughton said. "Our goals this season are to compete to win our Thanksgiving and Christmas tournaments, as well as competing to win a conference championship. Our postseason goal is to get back to a regional championship and play deep into the postseason."

FremdCoach: Dave Yates (12th season)

Last year's record: 28-8, 10-0

Graduated players: Grace Tworek (Harvard), Midori Williams (Quincy), Missy Adrian (Bradley), Haley Williams, Anna LaValle, Natalie Connors

Returning players: Colleen Kennedy (5-8 Sr. G), Alyssa Honickel (5-8 Sr. G), Danielle Lovelace (6-2 Sr. C), Angie Zara (5-8 Jr. G), Emily Klaczek (5-10 So. G), Olivia Hill (6-0 So. F)

Newcomers: Sophia Youman (5-9 Jr. G), Ella Burns (5-7 So. G), Caroline Cochran (5-10 So. G), Maddy McCarthy (5-10 So. G), Crystal Kim (5-4 So. G), Katie Hansen (6-3 So. C), Grace LaBarge (6-2, Fr. G), Ruthie Montella (5-11 Fr. G).

Outlook: Fremd will field one of the least experienced teams in recent history. But there will be no shortage of work ethic. "They come to practice every day ready to work and give us their best effort every day," said coach Dave Yates, who owns a career of 251-92 in 11 seasons at Fremd. Talent-wise, the Vikings are deep, with great length. The Vikings' lone starter from last year's fourth-place team in the Class 4A is Klaczek, who is being recruited by numerous Division I schools. "Emily had a great summer with her AAU team and has really improved from last year," Yates said. Kennedy had a strong second half last season, providing strong defense and a scoring punch off the bench. "We are expecting big things from her this season," Yates said. "And Angie (Zara) gave us strong guard play off the bench last season. I am excited to see her in a bigger role this season." The Vikings, who have been in the final four an unprecedented three straight times for a MSL school (second in 2015 and 2016 Class 4A and fourth last season), have the same goals as each season. "We want to win MSL West," Yates said. "And play our best basketball come state tournament time."

Hoffman EstatesCoach: Mike Koester (fourth season)

Last year's record: 4-25, 1-9

Graduated players: Monraia Wilson, Kirsten Besterman

Returning players: Tayler Williams (5-6 Sr. G), Mary Bean (5-3 Sr. G), Kate Mongold 5-9 Jr. G), Alysa Dupart (5-4 Jr. G), Raven Wilson (6-1 Jr. F), Nora Thomas (5-5 So. G)

Newcomers: Anisha Chaudhari (5-7 So. G), Berry Chukwuyem (6-3 Jr. F), Chiara Hurd (5-6 So. G), Yarnara Nieves (5-6 Jr. G), Samantha Sarullo (5-9 So. G), Jasemin Sertesen (5-2 Sr G), Patricia Wadas (5-10 So. F)

Outlook: The Hawks return six players from last year, including three starters. Williams and Mongold will be expected to pick up some of the scoring after the graduation of leading scorer Wilson. "We are going to be young this season with only two seniors on the roster and five sophomores," said coach Mike Koester. "I feel like we have a very tight-knit hard working group and expect them to continue to gel as the season goes on." Koester also expects big things from returning post Wilson and newcomer Chukwuyem.

PalatineCoach: Mark Johnson (fifth season)

Last year's record: 14-15, 4-6

Graduated players: Reggie Much and Brittany Shapiro

Returning players: Kacie Filian (5-8, Sr. PG), Anja Jacobsen (5-6 Sr G), Sydney Rzepka (5-11, Sr. F-C), Sarah Jasonowicz (5-10 Sr. F), Grace Seiffert (5-8, Sr F), Tiana Henderson (5-6 Sr. G), Jenny Myslinski (5-8 Sr. G), Kendra Lindell (5-7 Sr. G)

Newcomers: Amanda Stanczuk (6-0, Jr C), Sarah Arnold (5-8 Jr. G), Amy Vitulli (5-6 Jr. G), Melanie Simon (5-9 So. F)

Outlook: The Pirates are expected to be quick and able to put points on the board. "They are going to be fun to watch," Johnson said. "This is a talented group of athletes who have been playing together for as long as I can remember." The Pirates roster includes two players who will play other sports at the Division I level - Myslinski will golf at Loyola and Filian will play soccer at St. Bonaventure. The Pirates graduated two key players in Much and Shapiro. Johnson hopes that pays off this season. "We lost two of the hardest-working kids that our program has ever had and that work ethic has translated into excellent senior leadership for this group," he said. The Pirates have two four-year varsity players in Rzepka and Henderson. "Their hard work is evident in our practices so far," Johnson said. "We don't have a 20-point scorer but anyone of our seniors can drop 10 to 15 points on you at any time. I feel it's going to make us tough to guard and hard to beat. I'm optimistic that this squad will challenge for the MSL West Division title."

SchaumburgCoach: Jacqie Storm (second season)

Last year's record: 15-13, 7-3

Graduated players: Mallory Gerber, Laura O'Connell, Maya Bowens

Returning players: Kayla Patterso (5-4 Sr. PG), Talia Torosian (5-4 So. G), Sydney Sturino (5-11 Sr. G), Vicky Aguirre (6-0 Jr. C), Emma Aguilar (5-6 Sr. F), Kendall Fredrickson (5-10 Sr. F)

Newcomers: Ariana Doroskin (5-9 Jr, G), Meghan Luecht (5-7, Jr. F), Mady Vodicka (5-8, So. G), Yadi Cortez (5-6 Sr. G), Sarah Miller (5-8 Sr. F), Jaime Lyke (5-6, Jr. G), Janalee Lyke (5-6 Sr. F), Emily Lazarevic (5-5 Jr. G), Mykala Birch (5-8 Sr. F)

Outlook: The Saxons will feature speed and defense. "We will be a fast-paced team that can push the ball," said Jacqie Storm, who led the Saxons to a regional championship in her first season as the Saxons' coach. "We will force our opponents to take care of the ball." Patterson should be able to lead the team in a variety of areas on and off the court. "Her hard work these past four years will ultimately culminate in her final season," Storm said. "Her speed and defense can take her places." Fredrickson can contribute on both ends of the court. "She's an active defensive player as well as strong offensive power forward." Storm said. Torosian begins her second year on varsity as a sophomore. "She will move into a more vital role on our team. She can hit the three and make big plays," Storm added. Aguila is the Saxons' defensive specialist. "Her quickness allows her to guard a myriad players," Storm said. "Her buckets come from hustle and hard work." Patterson is the only returning starter. "We are an inexperienced team," Storm said. "With that will come some growing pains. However, I believe this team has some grittiness that can overcome adversity. They work hard together and that's all I can ask of them. I want this team to make it back to the regional championship again."

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