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Despite youth, South Fayette girls basketball expects to find success

| Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Look at the roster for the 2013-14 South Fayette girls basketball team and you will notice one glaring omission – there are no seniors.

While the team is lacking a veteran presence on the court, Lions coach Matt Bacco isn't concerned his team will be able to compete.

“It is one of the most athletic groups we have had,” Bacco said. “We obviously lost a bit of experience but while we are young, we also return four kids who started at the varsity level at some point. We think of ourselves as young and not completely inexperienced.

“We won't take this season for granted but we have a long-term vision and we are working on taking the team to the next level.”

Returning will be juniors guard Min Wells and forward Lauren Crites – the only two upper classmen on the team – as well as sophomores guards Mikayla Fetcher and Autumn Mozick.

Sophomore Emily Anderson – a 6-foot-2 forward – is nursing a knee injury.

“She had to have surgery, which is a bit of a bummer,” Bacco said. “We are going to hope for the best but prepare for the worst.”

The Lions also will welcome four freshmen to the roster, including guard Carlee Kilqus, who will be one of the starting five.

“She will run the point for us,” Bacco said. “She may be the most varsity ready player I have seen as a freshman. She is fundamentally so good and has the potential to be a very special player. The more I see her play, the more impressed I am.”

Despite its youth, Bacco thinks South Fayette brings a good blend of talents to the court that will cause headaches for its opponents.

“I think we have balance,” Bacco said. “We have five kids who can handle the ball and also shoot it. Teams are going to have to guard all five kids. That's how we like to play.”

Section 5-AAA won't be any easier this season with defending WPIAL and state champion South Park entering the season as the favorite to win the section.

Keystone Oaks, Montour, Moon and Quaker Valley all returning valuable pieces of their teams.

“South Park is the cream of the crop,” Bacco said. “After that is going to be like last year with a ton of parity. We need to be prepared for tight games.”

Despite being young and are facing a daunting section schedule, Bacco thinks the Lions could in line for their eighth straight WPIAL playoff berth.

“We want to be dangerous when tournament time roles around,” Bacco said. “Dangerous teams can make runs.”

Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at nsmith@tribweb.com or via Twitter @NSmith_Trib.

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