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Geibel girls looking for positive strides this season

| Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012, 10:36 p.m.
Peyton McIntyre will be trying to help the Geibel girls basketball team make positive strides this season. Evan R. Sanders/Daily Courier

By all accounts, the Geibel girls basketball team had to endure a major learning curve last season.

The team had little varsity experience, and several of the players were getting their first taste of basketball at any level.

Given all of this, it wasn't a huge surprise the Gators went 0-22.

This season, Geibel hopes to be a little further along and second-year coach Shawn Holup is confident his team will make positive strides.

“I think we will be a lot more competitive,” Holup said. “From where we are now to where we were last year is an enormous difference. We had a good summer and that will help down the line.”

Holup said there are 16 players in the program, and 12 are slated to play varsity.

In his first season, Holup was forced to spend much of his time going over basic aspects of the game. But now, the Gators appear to be beyond the basics and are starting to focus on strategic concepts.

“You can see it offensively and defensively,” Holup said.

“We want to get into more of a pressing game and an attack mode. They are a lot more aggressive.”

Leading the way for the Gators is Peyton McIntyre, who was the team's top scorer last season as a point guard. This year, she is making a switch to off-guard.

“She had a great summer and she is more comfortable in that spot.” Holup said.

Look for junior Haley Hutchinson or senior Emily Costantino to fill the point guard position.

If Costantino isn't playing point guard, she will be on the floor in some capacity.

“Emily has great game awareness,” Holup said.

Senior Amanda Hanabeck is expected to be a starting guard and sophomore Jessica Cocciolone will likely assume a starting forward position.

Senior Toni Ardabell will see action at center. Sophomores Haley Solan, Karly Judy, Brooke Core and Catie Hamel add depth and should see their share of playing time as will freshman Alyssa Hutchinson.

“A lot of these kids, I feel comfortable with their understanding of the game,” Holup said. “They needed some experience, and they were able to get it.”

After a winless 2011-12 season and with some experience on their side, the Gators expect to see tangible improvements this season.

“I'm looking forward to getting some wins this year,” McIntyre said.

If enough wins pile up, who knows what the Gators may accomplish.

“The biggest thing is being more competitive,” Holup said. “I think we can improve and maybe we can get the fourth playoff spot in the section (4-A).”

Jason Black is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at jblack@tribweb.com or 724-626-3534.

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