Lady Greyhounds eyeing competitive hoops campaign
Basketball season is back this month, and the 2018/19 campaign will sport a brave new look following radical league realignment.
The Lady Greyhounds, led by second-year head coach Steve Zichichi, will play in the North Bay League Redwood Division this year, competing with the likes of Rancho Cotate, El Molino, Elsie Allen, Maria Carrillo and Piner.
The Hounds are coming off a solid 2017/18 campaign that featured a second place Sonoma County League finish at 9-3, followed by trips to the league and North Coast Section playoffs. The ladies captured their first REIBT title in 14 years, ending the season with an overall mark of 18-10.
Although the Greyhounds graduated several seniors, including three starters from that team, they will return two of the top players in the NBL in juniors Hannah Webb and Kim Rodgers.
Webb, a first-team all-SCL guard and leading scorer a year ago, seems poised for a monster 2018/19 campaign, providing court leadership and production.
Rodgers, a returning second-team all-SCL center, figures to be equally valuable in the paint as a scorer and rebounder.
“We’ll go as far as Hannah and Kim can take us,” Zichichi said. “This year's team is very young and is certainly in a rebuilding mode. We only have two players that have any varsity playing experience to speak of, but they are both very good.”
Also among the list of Healdsburg’s four varsity returnees are Krista Lenhart, the lone senior, and junior forward Delaney Seuferer.
First-year varsity players are Adi Cervantes and Aleah Molina, both expected to start and play significant roles. Sophomore Sophia Pickering will also make an impact and may push the veterans for playing time. Rounding out the varsity roster are junior Alondra Ruiz and freshmen Katy Conrad and Emily Dunkel.
“The girls have been practicing hard with the fifth starting spot up for grabs,” Zichichi noted. “It could go to anyone on the roster at this time.”
The inaugural NBL Redwood Division may be ripe for the taking this year, with Healdsburg expected to battle for league supremacy.
“It figures to be a race for second place as Rancho Cotate will be hard to beat with the sheer numbers of girls they have coming from a student body consisting of about 2,000 students,” Zichichi said. “In reality, we are a year away, but the girls will not back down and are really coming together. I think we can surprise some people this year.”
Healdsburg will open the season at home next Wednesday, Nov. 14, against St. Helena (7 p.m.) and host Fort Bragg on Saturday, Nov. 17, in a 2:30 p.m. varsity start. The team will host the 70th annual Redwood Empire Invitational Basketball Tournament on Dec. 5-8 and will open the league season on Jan. 2.