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    Girls Basketball Preview: Edgewood Warriors

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    With four returning starters from a squad that won 19 games last winter, optimism remains high at Edgewood.

    The Warriors do have big shoes to fill after 2022-2023 Chagrin Valley Conference Lake Division MVP and Edgewood’s all-time scoring leader Kaci Kanicki graduated, but sixth-year head coach Randy Vencill has plenty of talent at his disposal to minimize that loss.

    “I feel our team should be able to compete in most games this season,” Vencill said. “We have a good core of girls returning and should be in most of the games.”

    Kanicki played a key role in Edgewood’s success over the past four seasons.

    Returning starters Katie McCollister, McKenna Vencill, Avery Vencill, and Annie Johnston all will contribute to fill the void.

    McCollister, a 5-foot-5 senior point guard, and a second-team all-conference soccer player, averaged 12 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 2.8 steals per game as a junior on her way to earning first-team All-CVC honors.

    “Katie is our energizer bunny,” Vencill said. “Her motor never stops, and we look for big things from her this year. She will be one of our senior leaders and can’t wait to see her play this year.”

    McKenna Vencill, a 5-foot-5 senior guard, dropped 7.3 points per game last winter along with 3.0 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 2.9 steals per contest. She was named second-team All-CVC last season.

    “McKenna is another one of our senior leaders who is expected to help lead our team,” Coach Vencill said. “She is a great shooter and is a ball hawk on defense. Great competitor who hates to lose and does whatever the team needs of her.”

    Avery Vencill, a 5-foot-6 junior guard/forward, averaged 3.7 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 1.6 steals per game as a sophomore.

    “Avery is a great shooter and passer who sees the floor and can also spread the defense,” Coach Vencill said. “She is a great ball handler, and we expect her to be big on the boards for us this year.”

    Johnston, a 5-foot-6 sophomore guard, earned honorable mention all-conference honors after an impressive freshman season when she scored six points per game and pulled down 4.2 boards, and added 2.0 assists and 2.3 steals per contest.

    “Annie is a scorer and great ball handler,” Vencill said. “She has a high basketball IQ and is also a great facilitator. We anticipate big things from her this year.”

    Rounding out the projected starting lineup is junior Leigha Guyton, a 5-foot-7 forward.

    She scored 1.3 points last season with 1.2 rebounds per game.

    “Leigha brings a ton of energy and quickness on defense,” Vencill said. “We expect her to help us on the boards this year with her athleticism. She is a team-first player who does whatever is needed.”

    Faith Vencill, Carly Kray, Jay Philip, Maddy McDonald, and Makenna Rhodes will provide depth for the Warriors.

    Vencill is a 5-foot-10 freshman forward while Kray is a 5-foot-7 forward.

    “Faith is one of our young up-and-coming stars. She is long and can score the ball in many different ways. Her athleticism is off the charts and can’t wait to see what she does for us this year,” Coach Vencill said. “Carly is one of our young up-and-coming stars. She is scrappy and isn’t afraid to do the dirty work on the court. She can score the ball in many different ways and plays a lot bigger than she is. We expect big things from her this year.”

    Philip is a 5-foot-5 sophomore guard, McDonald is a 5-foot-4 senior forward, and Rhodes is a 5-foot-8 junior forward.

    “Jay is one of the better shooters on our team. We expect her to help with ball handling and also to take some of the scoring efforts for the team,” Vencill said. “Maddy is a scrappy player who always gives 110 percent when she is on the court. We expect her to help lead our younger players and play a huge role on both ends of the court. Makenna is an all-around great athlete who is picking basketball back up this season. She has raw talent, and we expect her to do the brunt of our rebounding and playing lights-out defense.”

    The Warriors have depth but it’s young and those players will need to settle into their roles quickly to help the Warriors match their success from a season ago.

    One thing won’t change for Edgewood, Vencill will focus his squad on the fundamentals.

    “Our strength will be our defense and our ball handling,” he said. “I believe we are strong across the board.”

     

     

     

     

    Steve Hare
    Steve Harehttps://www.ohiovarsity.com
    The creator and publisher of OhioVarsity.com, Hare has covered high school sports in Northeast Ohio since 1997. He began as a correspondent for the Lake County News Herald, where he contributed until 2011, primarily covering high school football and wrestling. In 1999, Hare began writing for IrishIllustrated.com, a member of the Scout.com network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. OhioVarsity.com was created in 2004 and was a member of the Rivals.com network until 2012. The site's original purpose was to cover Ohio high school football and recruiting news but since has grown to cover all sports and to provide sports information services to high school athletic programs and individual teams. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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