After winning six games in 2016-2017, the Riverside girls’ basketball team enters the winter season with raised expectations and for good reason.
The Beavers a solid combination of talent and experience.
“With seven returning seniors on the roster, six with varsity experience, and two other seniors, the expectations are high,” said second-year head coach Joel Wolf. “They know what to expect on game days and they know what it takes to be successful.”
The Beavers also have plenty of versatility and size.
“Most of our players can guard both guards and posts,” Wolf said. “That gives us the option to utilize different defensive strategies both full and half court.”
All five of the projected starters are seniors.
Amanda Apanavicius returns at wing, where she averaged 8.0 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. The Edinboro University signee was an honorable mention All-Western Reserve Conference honoree and also played in the Ohio Varsity Underclassmen Showcase last year.
Lauryn Holm will fill the other wing position. She averaged 6.4 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocked shots per game and also earned All-WRC honors and was named the Berkshire Holiday Tournament MVP.
“Amanda has a clear love and passion for the game of basketball,” Wolf said.” Lauren is crazy athletic and pounds the glass like no other.”
Eliza Parsons and Gianna Fiore will fill the guard positions.
Parsons averaged 3.9 points and 2.8 steals per game while Fiore recorded 4.8 points and 2.7 assists per contest.
“Eliza is the team ‘mom;’ she cares for and nurtures all teammates,” Wolf said. “Gianna’s goal this season is to lead the team and the league in assists.”
Marissa Rodriguez is projected to start at the post.
She averaged 3.1 points and 4.0 rebounds per game last season.
“Marissa has worked extremely hard the last nine months and I’m looking forward to see how it transfers to games,” Wolf said.
Senior wing/post Amy Kokal (3.0 ppg, 4.1 rpg), senior guard Hannah Davis and senior wing Rachel Kalb also are expected to contribute this season.
“To be successful we must outwork the opponent,” Wolf said. “Many teams we play are better basketball players, but not many are better athletes.”