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St. Clairsville must replace a lot of scoring

By KIM NORTH

Times Leader Sports Writer

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – As Stacey Agnew enters his ninth season as head coach of the St. Clairsville girls’ basketball program, he is optimistic as to how good the Red Devils can be in 2022-23.

“We lost three seniors in Shae Brookover, Alexis Thoburn and Sydney Miller,” he said. “We lost a lot of points with those three and most of our ball handling with Shae.”

Brookover and Thoburn were both four-year letterwinners and Miller lettered twice. Brookover and Thoburn were both first team All-District last winter.

However, St. Clairsville returns four letterwinners and a couple who were close to earning a letter. Heading the list is senior three-year veteran Megan Malin (5-8), while classmates Katlyn Gray (6-1) and Madison Sadler (5-7) are two-year letterwinners; and senior Lacy Tuttle (5-6) lettered last winter.

“We have decent experience and some leadership this season,” he acknowledged. “We just need to figure out our roles. Lacy will probably handle the ball more. That’s where we will miss Shae a lot. We need to find some scoring from our inside players.”

“Megan was second team All-District and All-OVAC last year,” Agnew recalled. “She is a real steady player on offense, averaging right around 10 points last year and a really tough defender. She’s a real smart player and can shoot from the outside as well as take the ball to the basket.

“Katlyn has had a pretty good camp. She’s done a lot of good things,” the coach continued. “She wasn’t real comfortable the last two years, but she seems to be a lot more comfortable this year.

“Madison is a smart player, as well. She only averaged 4-5 points a game last season, but she did grab around six rebounds a game.

“Lacy will most likely be our primary ball handler. She is another player that can knock down the outside shots.”

Junior Makenna Moran (5-8) is one of those players who were close to lettering last winter.

“Makenna played some last year before she got hurt. She’s a steady player with a ton of ability. She just needs to get some confidence in herself and she’ll be alright.”

Another was senior Jocelyhnn Zucco (5-6) who has been hurt both the last two seasons.

“She will see a lot of action this year in the backcourt.”

Junior Angel Heatherington (5-9) will be the first player off the bench for the Red Devils. Sophomores Lauren Powell (5-6) Alexa Druzin (5-7) will also see some varsity time, as will freshmen Sidney Wallace (5-5), Kendal Sall (5-5) and possibly Olivia Baker (5-7).

Freshmen Hailey Swierkos (5-6), Anna Kain (5-5) and Taylor East (5-5).

“Last year we won 14 games, so we’re looking to maybe win a couple more. However, our schedule is tough,” Agnew pointed out. “We open up with a good Claymont team. Bellaire will be better. Martins Ferry is going to be good, and of course, Union Local will be the team to beat on this side of the (Ohio) river. We also play John Glenn and Maysville.”

Claymont is the lone newcomer to the schedule.

“Defense I think will be our strength. We are sneakily long. We’re not very tall, but we are long,” he explained. “Hopefully, coupled with our quickness, we will be able to press more than we have in the past.

“But it all boils down to putting the ball in the basket. That’s the name of the game.”

“Our weakness will be taking care of the ball. Last year we were able to give it to Shae and get out of her way. This season we might have to rely on three or four girls to handle the ball.”

Tom Sliva returns as varsity assistant head JV coach. Moriah Angew is the varsity assistant.

Caleb Angew coaches the 8th grade and Ed Kovalsky the 7th.

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