BRIDGEWATER, NJ -- The Bridgewater-Raritan girls basketball team will open the 2019-2020 season at home Thursday night against Watchung Hills.
The Panthers will have a predominantly new look this season, with senior point guard Madison Bray the only returning starter from a team that went 12-13 last year. Bray averaged nearly five points per game last season and led the team in assists. She will almost certainly be taking on more scoring responsibility this season.
Bridgewater-Raritan head coach Scott Bray, Madison's father, will move junior guard Corinne Nickel from her role as a varsity reserve last season into the starting lineup alongside Madison Bray this winter.
"We lost four starters, all who had a significant impact on last season," Coach Bray said. "This will be an inexperienced group who will lean heavily on their overall athletic skills."
Senior forward Emily Lehberger, another varsity reserve last season, may start in the frontcourt this season. Freshman Brianna Soto could be inserted into the starting lineup right away, and soccer star Danielle Orecchio, a sophomore, could start at the third guard spot.
Sophomore forwards Lauren Sullivan and Maggie Ousouljoglou could also make an impact in the frontcourt. Others who have been competing for minutes during the pre-season include senior guard Kristen Lee, senior guard Savannah Lopez, senior forward Lucy Drumgool, senior guard Sanemi Nair, and junior guards Jackie Salvatore and Reilly Januzzi.
Bray said one of the most important points of emphasis will be the Panthers' "ability to minimize turnovers and create more offensive opportunities by playing an aggressive defense."
Bridgewater-Raritan again will participate in the Cougar Classic holiday tournament at Montgomery High School Dec. 27 against Montgomery and Dec. 30 against Allentown.