MAHOPAC, N.Y. – Coming off a 7-14 season that saw them lose in the first round of playoffs, the Mahopac High School girls basketball team is hoping for a strong winter season, with a more balanced team.

The Indians will miss graduated standouts Zina McInerney, Natalie Scanlan, and Katrina Klammer, but with an experienced core returning, hopes are high.

Returning from last year’s team are juniors Mia Klammer (All-League G/F, 12 PPG), Caitlyn O’Boyle (All-League F, 13 PPG), and Shannon Becker. Sophomores Melanie DeMeo, Julie DeBrocky and Julia Paolicelli are back, and senior guards April Heady and Olivia Conlin return.

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Joining the team this year are junior Amanda Beberman, freshmen Lauren Beberman and Kristina Rush, and sophomore Marissa McCarney.

Seventh-year coach Chuck Scozzafava believes this year‘s team will be a more well-rounded unit.

“I think we are more of an outside perimeter team than last year,” Scozzafava said. “I think we could also be strong inside with Becker and O’Boyle, and Mia can go in or outside. Rush will also help us.

“I think will be more athletic, and a little quicker than we were last year, as well,” the coach added. “I just hope we play defense like we did last year, that was a strength. But I think we’ll be a bit more balanced this year inside and out.”

The coach believes some of the new talent can contribute. “Lauren can be a good player,” he said, “and Rush can help us too. Marissa can help us, and Amanda can play outside or out as well.”

Challenging for the league and getting a good spot in playoffs will be goals the Indians will chase.

“The first thing we always want to take care of is the league,” the coach said. “And we want to be competitive every week, make our opponents work. We were in most of our games last year, but we didn’t have balance, we weren’t a balanced team. The big thing is to get the girls to come together defensively.”

The Indians opened their season on Tuesday with a 48-22 win over Suffern. They play next at the Somers Tournament on Thursday and Saturday.