Yorktown’s girls basketball squad has made steady progress under fourth-year coach Kevin Clark and that continued last season during an 11-8 season.
The Huskers finished last winter in the Section 1 Class A tournament, beating ninth-seeded Brewster 56-48 in the first round as the No. 8 seed before losing at eventual tournament champion, top-seeded Albertus Magnus, 61-34 in the quarterfinals.
“We want to continue to build on the progress we have made as a program over the past three years,” Clark said. “We have been able to turn things around and get our team headed in the right direction. Hopefully we can take the next step along that process this year.”
Leading the top returnees is 5-foot-5 senior point guard Sarah Bonner, who is also a captain.
“As a four-year varsity starter she has helped get our program back to where we are now,” Clark said. “Her ball handling and passing have helped run our offense and I expect her to do it once again. She has become a complete player and her leadership has helped our team grow from day one this year.”
Another senior captain, 5-8 forward Ashley Stilo, is currently injured but Clark is hoping she can hit the floor before Christmas.
“She’s another four-year player, her athleticism and quickness make her a real factor for us defensively and in transition,” Clark said. “She has also emerged as a real leader and we hope she can take us to another good season.”
Alyssa Francese, a 5-5 junior guard, had a solid sophomore year and the Huskers are expecting even more this season.
“She is quick and physically tough defensively,” Clark said. “I hope she can contribute more offensively and continue to develop her all-around game.”
Emily Nigro, a 5-7 junior forward, developed steadily and grew as a sophomore last season and will be counted on more on both ends of the floor this year according to Clark.
Another key returner for Yorktown is 5-9 sophomore forward Emily Metz.
“Although she was on our team last year, we expect so much more from her this year,” Clark said. “She has improved in every facet of the game and she will factor into most of what we do.”
Caileigh Lampersberger, a 5-11 senior center, is also a captain along with Bonner and Stilo.
“They have taken over right from day one,” Clark said. “They are making sure we work hard, are prepared and doing the little things right. They continue to keep the team together and pulling in the same direction.”
Their leadership has played a big role in the Husker team chemistry, which is their team strength. The squad’s ability to work and play together has been impressive so far, Clark said.
“They certainly look like they enjoy playing with each other,” he said, “and there is a real sense of ‘team’ this year.”
Yorktown, which will play in Class AA in the postseason this year because of increased enrollment, will open its season when it hosts Walter Panas at 6:15 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3.