November 23rd, 2010

Catholic Girls High School Basketball Preview

Chris Jung

Senior Writer

Catholic Girls High School Basketball Preview
photo from Mercy Academy

Mercy Jaguars will begin state title defense on Dec. 3

Below are previews and projections for the 2010-11 Catholic girls high school basketball teams in the Louisville area.

Assumption High School (Rockets)

2009-10: 17-11 record (lost 67-47 to Mercy in 7th Region Tournament quarterfinal)

The Rockets are a very inexperienced team, with seven of Assumption’s top 10 players being freshmen or sophomores. By tournament time, however, Head Coach Ron Ferch expects his team to be very dangerous.

Senior Maggie Hartlage is the team’s unquestioned leader. Hartlage is a 5'9 guard who averaged eight points and four rebounds per game last season. She is the team’s best shooter and defender.

Other top returning players for Assumption include sophomore guard Dee Dee Sliter, junior forward Morgan Foley, and sophomore forward Katie Freidrich. Two freshmen will also be in the mix for playing time: guards Annie Crotty and Paige Jenkins.

Assumption will begin its season Dec. 3 vs. Ballard.

Holy Cross High School (Cougars)

2009-10: 25-8 record (lost 54-36 to Bullitt East in 6th Region Tournament semifinal)

Starting his fourth season as Holy Cross girls basketball head coach, which follows 37 total years of coaching the boys team at Valley, Fred Copass believes he has the personnel he needs to run the up-tempo, full court press, in your face style of play he’s been waiting for.

And despite having no seniors on the team, the Cougars feature a slew of experienced juniors, including a trio of key contributors from this past Fall’s district championship soccer team – Kim Mingus (10 points per game last season), Maya Hardin, and Sydney Morabito.

Copass says that he is also looking forward to the December tournaments (at PRP and Bullitt Central), because it gets his girls used to playing back-to-back, four days in a row basketball; plus, it helps with conditioning and preparing for a hopeful run in the All “A” Classic.

Holy Cross will begin its season Dec. 3 at Seneca.

Mercy Academy (Jaguars)

2009-10: 27-8 record (beat Rowan County 53-45 to win state championship)

Coming off a magical run to the state championship, Mercy will be dealing with injuries during the beginning of its title defense season. When those players return and get healthy, the Jags will be another force to be reckoned with statewide.

Mercy has two returning starters (Jules Miller and Emily Goetz), but there are several others who played significant roles and major minutes during the pursuit of the championship in 2009-10. Lauren Faris, Courtney and Christine Roush will all play vital roles for this team, while Whitney Hartlage, Catherine Dircksen, Paige Eberle, and Kayla Richardson all gained valuable  experience last year as varsity players.

Mercy Academy will begin its season Dec. 3 against Montgomery County.

Presentation Academy (Toppers)

2009-10: 10-20 record (lost 78-54 to Holy Cross in 6th Region Tournament quarterfinal)

The Toppers’ record last season is somewhat deceiving, as Presentation certainly did not get blown out during its 10-20 campaign. Head Coach David Jackson’s team was outscored in 2009-10 by a mere margin of 1632-1620.

This season, a group of experienced starters will look to get Pres over the hump and winning some of the closer games they let slip away last year. Led by Bailey Reeder (8.0 points and 6.1 rebounds per game) and Rachel Russ (9.6 points and 4.0 rebounds per game), Presentation plays a challenging schedule, including the Fayette County iHigh Tournament in mid-December.

Presentation Academy will begin its season Nov. 30 vs. Male.

Providence High School (Pioneers)


The strength of the Providence team will be the guard play. Returning key players Leah White (averaged eight points and four assists last season) and Kallie Ash (averaged eight points and four rebounds) will provide a great one- two punch. Both have the ability to take over a game with their ability to get to the rim, score, get fouled and create for others.

A balanced attack will also be key for the Pioneers, as several players have the ability to score off the drive, in the post, and from the 3-point line. Head Coach Brad Burden’s team also touts two six-foot post players and three others over 5’8”, making size another advantage for his squad.

The team’s glaring weakness is depth and confidence. Providence will work to develop a deeper bench and must find the fortitude to close out tight games down the stretch. Burden says that a winning season is an expectation this year and that he feels his team has moved into the upper half of the competition within the sectional.

Other significant returning players are Mary Graf, Mackenzie Wilson, Alex Stiner, and Sarah Schueler. Newcomers Meridith Endris (all around offensive player and 3-point shooter), Morgan Boone (back-up point guard), Nichole Tucker (3-point shooter and good defender), and Kelsea Kramer (good post player with great 15’ jump shot) will also contribute this season.

Sacred Heart Academy (Valkyries)

2009-10: 17-14 record (lost to Christian Academy 48-42 in 7th Region Tournament semifinal)

SHA returns all its starters from last year’s injury-laden season (three players projected to be starters suffered season ending injuries). After struggling to a 17-14 record against one of the state’s toughest schedule, the Valkyries enter this season with high hopes and lots of promise.  Many players gained much needed experience last season and that should certainly prepare SHA for this season.

The key returners for Sacred Heart are all seniors and equally integral to the team’s success this season. Maddie Peabody is a guard who started most of last season. She averaged 9.8 ppg, 3.8 rebounds, and 2.7 assists last season. Peabody, who was also SHA’s starting goalkeeper on the soccer team, is very quick, fast and leads SHA in steals. Center Morgan Clemons averaged 12.4 ppg last year, as well as 8.6 rebs. She is a fine offensive rebounder, has good inside moves and draws fouls from the opponents. Annamarie Campbell, forward, is a good shooter from 10-12 feet, and excellent defender and shot blocker Campbell averaged 5.2 ppg and 4.0 rebounds last season.  She should be one of the starters as the season begins. Monica McGreal, Hannah Washle, and Katie Bishop are also important seniors who will add to the makeup of this year’s team. 

SHA will play its usual tough schedule, including the Lexington Holiday Classic in December, the junior Orange Bowl Classic in Miami, Fl. over the holidays, and the always tough Louisville Invitational In January.

Sacred Heart Academy will begin its season Dec. 4 vs. St. Ursula (OH).


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