The Wyoming Area girls basketball team returns three of its regular starters and another player with starting experience, but the Lady Warriors still face some challenges in the season ahead.
Wyoming Area will be working on replacing all-star Serra Degnan while preparing to face a division in which three of its four rivals won at least 15 games and at least one playoff game last season.
Abby Thornton and Emily Wolfgang, a pair of honorable mentions when all-stars were selected last season, return to lead the Lady Warriors as they try to find a way to move up in Division 2 of the Wyoming Valley Conference.
“I believe our division is going to be very difficult this year,” Wyoming Area Coach Ryan Kennedy said.
Holy Redeemer, a Class AAA state tournament qualifier, won the division title in a playoff with Nanticoke last season after the two teams split with each other to go 12-1 in a schedule that consists of two games against each Division 2 team and one against each team from Division 3. Lake-Lehman went 9-5 in conference play and returns most of its key players, giving it a chance to be even stronger.
Wyoming Area went 6-7 in conference play and 8-14 overall last season when it lost in the first round of the District 2 Class AAA playoffs to Pittston Area. It finished fourth in the five-team division, ahead of Meyers.
Thornton, a 5-foot-8 center, led the team in rebounds and was second to Degnan in scoring last season. She provides the Lady Warriors with an inside game.
“She’s more of a post kid,” Kennedy said. “If she gets the ball on the elbow or wing, she’s going to be driving and taking it to the basket.
“She’s also a real aggressive defensive player.”
Wolfgang, a natural small forward who played that position last season, has the athletic ability that could allow her to fill just about any role, as needed, this season.
“She can play well in space; she’s a great defender; she can get steals and get out in the open; she runs the floor,” Kennedy said.
Nicole Turner, a senior guard, also started last season, while Felicia Turner, a senior forward/center, was a spot starter.
Wolfgang and Nicole Turner were third and fourth on the team in scoring last season.
Audrey Hiedecavage is the team’s other senior.
A group of talented sophomores will be counted on to join the veteran players.
Power forward Nicole Wright saw significant playing time last season, while guards Rachael Solano and Jordon Kelly and center Jess Sorick also picked up some varsity experience while anchoring the JV team as freshmen.
Katie Wolfgang, Emily’s sister, is a freshman guard who could figure into the mix.
The Lady Warriors open the season Dec. 9 at home against Mid Valley.