Lombardo Excited About Team

By ED LOOMAN

STEUBENVILLE — Jeff Lombardo admits to being excited as he prepares the Steubenville girls’ team for its season.

“I really am excited to coach this season’s team,” Lombardo, who is entering his third campaign leading Big Red, said. “We have a great group of girls who are committed to improving on a daily basis.

“These girls welcome coaching and they all want to take a big step forward from last season. I’m very happy about that and very pleased with the attitude this team has shown during pre-season practices.”

Lombardo posted a 26-22 record in his first two campaigns.

Gone from from last season are Rhiannon Petrisko, Na Banks, Knisha Saunders and Taylor Haney.

Lombardo has Larry Carrocci serving as his varsity assistant with Melissa Bowers running the junior varsity program.

Leading the list of returnees is senior Seana Ragusa. The smooth shooting southpaw guard averaged 10 points per game as a junior. She is joined by fellow senior Sarah Brown, also a starter a season ago. Lombardo refers to Brown as the team’s “defensive stopper.”

Also back is sophomore Madison Fields, who averaged six points per outing as a freshman. Fields was Petrisko’s primary backup last season and saw plenty of playing time.

Promising newcomers include freshman Makayla Abram, a post player with plenty of potential, junior Leah Ferguson, junior Makayla Crownover, sophomore Anaiya Minniefield and sophomore Jazzmin Jett.

“For the most part, we are very young and inexperienced team but our young girls are talented,” Lombardo said. “In addition, our two seniors are experienced and are doing a great job of leading the underclassmen.

“We are counting on Madison and Makayla to step up and give us a strong inside presence to go along with Seana’s ability to shoot from the outside. Leah returning to the court gives us a really nice boost in athleticism on both ends of the floor.

“Sarah just does a very good job of setting the tone for us defensively.’

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