Photo by Bill Roseberry
Marquette Catholic senior Claire Snider takes a shot during the Class 2A Carlyle Regional semifinals against the host Indians.
The local girls’ prep basketball season supplied plenty of thrills, mostly by Civic Memorial’s Eagles. They won 26 games and captured another Class 3A regional championship.
Then there was Roxana, which finished 16-12, the Shells’ most wins since 2002-03, when they went 18-9. The Shells also snared a Class 2A regional game.
Alton, Marquette Catholic and East Alton-Wood River plan to reboot their programs after all three teams finished under .500. With key players returning for those three teams, their futures appear promising.
Here’s a quick glance at the five squads and the 2014-15 season:
ALTON (4A): The Redbirds sank to 5-22, including losses in 10 of their last 11 games, following a 15-13 record a year ago.
A season-long injury to senior guard Jordann Wilson hampered the Redbirds, though junior guard LaJarvia Brown kept them going. The 5-foot-3 Brown averaged 14.7 points per game and shot 76.2 percent from the foul line.
Junior center Jewel Wagner, who averaged 8.1 ppg, also returns, giving coach Bobby Rickman a strong building block for next season.
CM (3A): The Eagles surpassed all pre-season expectations by savoring a banner season following the graduation of seven seniors from a 31-3 team. And it only should get better for them.
The bar seems unlimited for sophomore Allie Troeckler, a first team Class 3A All-Stater and already a 1,000-point career scorer. The 5-10 Troeckler averaged 21 points for CM, which reached the finals of the Highland Sectional. The Eagles knocked off the top-seeded Bulldogs to win the Jersey Regional. Mississippi Valley Conference champion
Highland had defeated league runner-up CM three times, once in a tournament.
Every player returns for the Eagles, giving coach Jonathan Denney great expectations for another memorable season. Katelyn Turbyfill averaged 8.7 ppg and provided an ample amount of intangibles. Freshman Alaira Tyus took third in the IHSA’s 3-point shooting contest.
EA-WR (2A): The Oilers, members of the Prairie State Conference, intend to improve on a 4-21 season. There’s evidence it could happen.
Seniors Kari Westbrook (11.8), Brandi Lacey (9.4) and Mardelia Bolden (4.3) won’t be back, but coach Mark Maendele has junior Courtney Beneke (5.2) and sophomore Carly Campbell (5.9) returning. So progress appears on the horizon.
MARQUETTE (2A): The 7-20 Explorers, also Prairie representatives, have high hopes for a turnaround in 2015-16. They return eight of their top 11 players, with Claire Snider (6.0) the main one graduating.
Andria and Brittney Pace, a pair of 6-1 junior twins, figure to give the Explorers a solid inside game. Andria averaged 10.1 points and Brittney scored at an 8.7 clip for first-year coach Meagan Hanlon. Junior Caitlin Hanlon, who averaged 7.5, also is back.
ROXANA (2A): The Shells say goodbye to senior guard Maddy Sheraka and they will truly miss her presence. Sheraka, the school’s scoring leader with 1,345 points, averaged a team-best 18.8 points.
Roxana celebrated its second winning campaign since 2003-04 and set in motion for more good things under coach Tammy Talbert’s direction. Erica Sheets, Cindy Scroggins, Elizabeth Rexford and Alyssa Stacy also will graduate. Sheets averaged 9 points and served as Roxana’s top inside player.
Freshmen Hannah Rexford (6.6) and Sara Kreutztrager (4.6) could emerge as the leaders for next year’s team, which seeks to be a legit player in the South Central Conference.