Bruins Eye Improvement

By CODY TOMER

WELLSBURG — The focus for Coach Ryan Scherich and the Brooke girls’ basketball team is simply taking the next step.

A season ago, the Bruins won 10 games, which is a stepping stone for the program and one that Scherich hopes to build off of in the upcoming campaign.

“We won 10 games last year,” Scherich said. “That is the first time we have done that in my time here. We also lost some games that we probably shouldn’t have lost.

“I would really like to get to 15 wins, secure a winning record, compete and take the next step.”

The Bruins only lost a pair of seniors to graduation last year in Gabbie Velegol and Madison Reynolds.

Velegol was a starter that averaged six rebounds a game and Reynolds was a crucial weapon off the bench.

This year’s team returns four seniors to the court, two of which are returning starters.

Grace Dodson and Marissa Elliott provide senior leadership and experience at the guard position, while classmates Kyle Byers and Aleigh Edgar are also expected to get minutes at the guard spot.

The centerpiece to the Brooke offense is junior Hope Bowman, a 6-3 center that is expected to rack up some impressive numbers after a solid sophomore year.

Bowman averaged a double-double a season ago with 14 points and 11 rebounds a game, to go along with six blocks a game.

“She has improved her game in the offseason,” Scherich said. “She joined a different travel team with better competition and colleges are starting to get interested in her.

“She can take the girls under her wing and they can just throw the ball underneath to her to get a bucket when we need one.

“I think she can push her averages up and show more improvement this year.”

Rounding out the junior class are forwards Carli Julio, Chrissy Byers and Brittany Burch, and guard Chloe Fox.

The sophomore class consists of guards Ashley Arca and Jordan Arca, forwards Natalie Ryan and Kaitlyn Lahita and center/forward Allie Palmer.

Six up-and-comers make up the freshman class with guards Brenna Weir, Lydia Buchmelter and Kaleigh Edgar, along with forwards Kaylee Reese, Madison Buxton and Haylee Orban supplying youth and energy to the roster.

“We are a younger team but our younger girls have played,” Scherich said. “We are just really looking to buy into the team mentality and take the next step.

“I am happy with what I see, we just have to take care of the little things like boxing out. I am also a big believer in rebounding and making free throws.”

Scherich will be assisted by Amy Serevicz and John Schupbach as they look to improve on last year’s results.

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