YORKTOWN, N.Y. – Brian Mundy had a great first year as coach for Yorktown, with the Huskers finishing 13-8, including earning a No. 7 seed in the Section 1 Class A Tournament, where they lost to visiting No. 10 Pelham, 44-35, in the opening round.
The leader of that team was the now graduated Kat Severino, who scored more than 1,000 points during her career and was a News 12 Scholar Athlete Award winner as a senior.
Mundy, who is in his eighth year overall coaching with both the boys and girls at various levels in Yorktown, realizes how much of a challenge it will be to replace Severino.
“Kat was such a versatile offensive player. I don’t think you can entirely replace someone like that,” Mundy said. “We are looking to use the strengths of each individual player to make up for any areas that may be lacking in her departure.”
One of the key returning players looking to make up for the loss of Severino is 5-foot-9 guard Jesse Barer, a senior captain.
“She is one of the top defensive players in the section; point guard with a good handle, can play down low if we need her to, great basketball IQ, increased scoring effort,” Mundy said.
Leadership wise, Mundy is equally as high on Barer, who signed her national letter of intent on Nov. 14 to play Division 1 women’s lacrosse at Binghamton University.
“Jesse is everything a coach expects from a captain on and off the floor; vocal and leads by example, overall athlete,” Mundy said.
Another key returning player is junior 6-foot center/forward Ashley Zeolla, who provides the Huskers an inside game, rebounding and shot blocking.
“Ashley was the only player to average a double-double and not be named All-League last year,” Mundy said. “She has solid ball-handling skills for a forward.”
Kat’s sister, 5-foot-7 sophomore guard Melissa Severino, is another key returnee who is a good perimeter play, can play either guard position, has good court vision and gets to the basket.
Seniors, 5-foot-3 guard Alyssa Giannasca and 5-foot-5 guard Lindsay Boyle, and junior 5-foot-7 forward Haley Caricati, are three other important returning players.
Sophomore 5-foot-10 forward Erisa Krasniqi is a key newcomer for the Huskers.
“She is a good rebounder and good passer for a big,” Mundy said of Krasniqi.
Another key newcomer is 5-foot-2 freshman guard Emily Ward, who possesses good ball-handling skills and is a very good passer.
Sophomores, 5-foot-7 guard Lindsey Townes, 5-foot-8 forward Artesa Gashi, and junior 5-foot-9 forward Alyssa Perrino are Yorktown’s other newcomers Mundy will rely on this winter.
As for who will be in the starting rotation, Mundy said that will be fluid throughout the season.
“We will have many different starting lineups,” Mundy said.
Mundy said that the team’s strengths are “rebounding, team chemistry, and good team leadership for a generally young team.”
The Huskers will begin the season by hosting the 23rd annual George Budries Yorktown Boys and Girls Memorial Basketball Tournament, against Beacon at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, in the opening round of the tournament. Mount Vernon will play Monroe Woodbury at 4:30 p.m. in the other first-round contest.
The consolation and finals will be at 1:30 and 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7.