Senior Antone hopes to lead Kiski Area girls back to playoffs
TribLIVE Sports Videos
New coach Nick Ionadi knows Kiski Area's girls basketball team can score points. Other areas, he believes, will be what separates his team from the rest.
“We have a versatile group,” said Ionadi, a former Kiski Area assistant under Aaron Epps, who resigned after one season. “Defense and rebounding is where we'll make our mark.”
Coming off a 16-7 season that ended with a first-round playoff loss to Baldwin, the Cavaliers, ranked No. 9 in Class AAAA by Trib Total Media, hope size and physical play produces results.
Fourth-year starter Maddie Antone returns for her senior season. Antone is one of the WPIAL's top post players and Ionadi will look to build around the 5-foot-10 forward.
“I know I am biased, but I think she is the best player in the section,” Ionadi said. “Maddie goes a million miles an hour all the time. She doesn't have an off switch. The other girls feed off of that.”
Antone, who could see more time away from the basket and shoot more from the perimeter, averaged 17 points and 11 rebounds last season. She has scored 979 career points.
Although Antone can make game-changing plays, she'll need help. Guard Makenzie Zidek (17.9 ppg) had an important scoring role last season, but she graduated.
Antone has plenty of experience, and she brings leadership.
“I have felt like a senior when I was a freshman,” Antone said. “I am really excited for this season. It's our team; it's not my team.”
Senior Taylor Muffie returns after not playing basketball last year. She will assume a key role at point guard.
“Taylor can shoot and handle the ball, and she plays great defense,” Ionadi said. “We're going to need some time. We have some new faces coming back.”
Ionadi expects the other starters to be seniors Megan Majersky, Rachel Weyant and 5-10 Kaylie Dilts. He anticipates getting valuable minutes from senior Stephanie Sikora, sophomore Channing James and junior Anyssa Sanchez.
Freshman Alexis Trkula also could see time.
Ionadi also is intrigued by the potential of James, a 6-foot-3 center who transferred from Highlands. She could be the perfect complementary post player to Antone.
A pair of former starters have been hampered by injuries and might not be able to help the team until later in the season, if at all.
Two-year starter Tara Stolarski, a 5-11 senior forward, is out with a knee injury she suffered last season. Lindsay Weiser, a 5-5 senior guard, could be done for the season with a foot injury.
“They will be serving as two of our four captains this year because of their character and how hard they work,” Ionadi said.
The other captains are Antone and Muffie.
Ionadi also hopes to build consistency in the program. He will be the seniors' third different head coach.
“He seems like a coach who's here to stay,” Antone said. “We're a whole new team.”
Bill Beckner Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-224-2696 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- No summer vacation for Mars boys basketball team
- Belle Vernon coach’s family bonds through basketball