Fox Chapel girls hope for reversal
O'HARA -- The Fox Chapel girls basketball team appeared to be off to a decent 3-4 overall start last season. Then, fourth-year letter-winner Caitlyn Kriston was injured and the Foxes' fortunes soon sagged since Kriston was the keystone of the lineup.
Fox Chapel was competitive in a number of games, but inexperience ultimately showed and the Foxes finished with a 3-9 section record, 6-18 overall. Nine of the losses were by 10 points or fewer, including a trio of two-point setbacks.
"I would consider us having made very big strides over the spring, summer and into the fall," said seventh-year coach Jeremy Bennett. "I think we indoctrinated a lot of kids into the fire last year earlier than they had expected. I just don't know if they really had the full maturity and understanding of how to finish and compete for the whole time."
Bennett feels the offseason program was the most successful in at least four years and the fact that eight letter-winners return is cause for optimism.
Last year, Fox Chapel was a guard-oriented team. This season, the strength should be in the frontcourt with Jenny Papich, Heidi Goeller and Holly Borquin returning.
"Those girls got a lot out of last year and they have really increased that ability," Bennett said. "We hope that takes a lot of pressure off our guards, frees them up more, and we can play a little more inside-out and have a focus on our inside presence."
The Foxes will have a link to a successful part of the past this season as Teresa Kubala Thompson, a key player in the '90s, is now an assistant to Bennett.