| Sports

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Experienced Frazier girls basketball team looks forward to new season

TribLIVE Sports Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.
Top high school sports

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Dave Stofcheck
Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013, 10:33 p.m.

One of the first lessons Shara Zupanc learned when she arrived at Frazier three years ago was how to block out the noise.

“I was told I was stepping on a hornet's nest, that it was a rough situation and that there was no talent here,” Zupanc said.

Three years later, Zupanc remains at the helm of the Frazier girls basketball team, but the chatter is gone. Two consecutive playoff berths and a starting lineup full of experience have quieted the whispers.

Frazier did not lose a senior to graduation after a 10-12 season in 2012-13, which ended with a first-round playoff loss to North Catholic.

This year's starting lineup is led by seniors Lauren Timko and Kaley Barota, along with juniors Cassidy Guiser, Hannah Kline and Jamie Muccioli.

Kline and Muccioli can both run the point, with Timko, Barota and Guiser able to play guard or forward.

“We haven't had this experience before,” Zupanc said. “We've been saying this is going to be our year (since I got here). We've really been working hard to get to this point, and we've been trying to build a foundation.”

Barota is expected to split time between basketball and hockey, and her absence will mean playing time for sophomore Emily Marshall.

Zupanc also expects seniors Jessica Kulwicki, Lauren Somers, Morgan Eckman and Riley Vargo to contribute.

“All of these kids are really great kids,” Zupanc said. “I'm really excited about this season, but I've been kind of dreading it, also.

“We're like a family, and after this season, we'll have to lose some of our girls.”

Frazier again will compete in Section 4-A, along with Clairton, Geibel, Monessen, Serra and Winchester Thurston. Last season, Serra played in the WPIAL Class A title game.

“Serra is always the team to look at, and Winchester Thurston is always a challenge,” Zupanc said. “I think Geibel is going to improve and might surprise a couple of teams as well. Any time you play Monessen and Clairton, the aggressiveness and feistiness will lead to difficult games.”

The Commodores will open the season with an exhibition game Dec. 9 at Chartiers Houston.

Dave Stofcheck is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Basketball

  1. Penn Hills graduate looks forward to playing basketball at Cheyney
  2. Decision to leave Seton-La Salle ‘tough’ for new North Allegheny girls basketball coach