December 16, 2011
Red Lions, Rockets get shifted around
The Cincinnatus and DeRuyter girls’ basketball teams have been moved from Division 4 to Division 5 this season in a realignment of the Center State Conference.
The Red Lions and Rockets will be joined in Division 5 by Otselic Valley and Stockbridge Valley. All four teams will play their three divisional foes three times apiece while also playing two crossover games each with Madison and Morrisville-Eaton from Division 3.
John Rutan returns for his fourth year as coach of the Red Lions, while Chad Newton takes over the helm of the Rockets as their third different coach in as many seasons.
Rutan welcomes back five veterans from last season, when Cincy went 7-4 in CSC’s Division 4 (tied for second with Madison) and wound up 9-8 overall after losing to Hamilton in the sectional Class D quarterfinals.
The returnees include first-team all-leaguer Whitney Cobb, a senior guard who averaged 7.3 points and six rebounds a game in 2010-11, and sophomore guard Devin Blanchard, a second-teamer last winter, when she averaged nine points a game. Also back are seniors Kelli Clark (forward, 10 rebounds per game last winter), Jen Rice (guard) and Katelyn Schroeder (forward).
The varsity newcomers are sophomore guard Darcie Wood, sophomore forward Elizabeth Golicki, senior forward Tamika Martin, junior guard Madison Kemak and sophomore forward Joleen Wingenbach. Wood and Golicki came up from the junior varsity for sectional play last season, Kemak and Wingenbach move up from last year’s JV team and Martin is a new student at Cincy with no team experience.
“This team must be more aggressive offensively and defensively, and use our ability to push the ball up the floor quickly,” Rutan said. “Good decision-making, intensity and confidence should show up on the court as we have several experienced players. Our turnover rate must improve from last year and if so, we should be better offensively. Our team unity is a positive trait. We want to be as competitive as possible, show improvement in every game and hopefully go further in sectionals.
I believe that our four league teams, plus Madison and Morrisville-Eaton, will all be quite competitive. his is a great group to coach. They have played in summer leagues for the past three years, taking their lumps against large schools to improve their defense and rebounding.”
The Red Lions are also slated to meet Southern Cayuga and Tyburn Academy in non-league games. Katrina Wagner will coach the 11-player Cincy JV squad.
Four players return from last year’s 4-14 Rockets squad, including junior forwards Jessica Cox and Kristhen Jimenez, freshman guard/forward Sam Gordon and freshman guard Courtney Randall.
This winter’s varsity rookies are freshman guards Dany Campbell and Danielle Darrow and eighth-grade forward Bethany Prince-Rood.
Lost to graduation were center Jolene Cox (Jessica’s sister), point guard Amber Tucker and guard Amber Marshall.
“The keys to our success this year will be minimizing our turnovers, rebounding well and the execution of solid offense as well as defense,” Newton said. “Another key would to improve our inside-outside game. If we can get good looks at the basket and rebound well, we will be highly competitive this year.
“Our returnees have progressed since last year and look to improve on last year’s record. The first-year varsity players are developing well and are having an immediate impact. The main goal is to keep improving throughout the season. Wins will take care of themselves if we play well on both sides of the ball.”
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