Flood is hoping this year turns out a little different.
Not that it won't be difficult. Flood lost four starters from last year's team, which won its division with a perfect 10-0 record - Nicole Ciociari, Barbara O'Connor, Shannon Linehan and Theresa Williams. The coach will also rely greatly on the young Red Storm members.
"They're young and they're a little inexperienced," Flood said. "They're playing well. We'll be very aggressive. We have a shot at it."
Now in his ninth year coaching the team, Flood is looking to Robin Donach, the lone returning starter from last year's club, to lead this team. Also expected to be in the starting lineup are forward Amy Mascia and center Lora Morton, both juniors, sophomore guard Daniell Candidus and freshman point guard Christina Jones.
Also expected to get some playing time this year are Clear Kim, Shanelle Lownves, Starla White, Gabby Almodoval, Cathy Guerrero, Billie Borgolte, Sharon Foley and Jennifer Arias.
The strength of the team, Flood said, is the play of the guards, something that was in effect in the Red Storm's first two games of the season, a non-league win over Public school league 'B; runner-up Bryant and a league victory over Brooklyn's McAuley High School.
St. John's competes in the 'B' league against McAuley, Fontbonne Hall, Nazareth, St. Joseph's and the St. Agnes Panthers, the team expected to give St. John's the toughest time this season.
Last year's coach Nick Carrione went out on a winning note with the Panthers' win over St. John's in the title game. He is replaced this year by four-year junior varsity coach Rick Matzelle, who inherits a team that has lost four starters to graduation, including leading scorer Roe Reilly and Jessica Negulic, but still could be a force in the division.
Maureen O'Hara is the club's lone returning starter and will patrol under the boards with Jennifer West. Jillian Romango and Jillian Zolli will also start for St. Agnes which is weak at the point guard position, Matzelle said.
"I think we'll be OK," the coach said. "We're strong with Maureen O'Hara and Jen West down low."
Matzelle said he isn't sure how his team will fare, adding that St. John's Prep and Fontbonne Hall could be their toughest roadblocks on the road to a possible repeat.
Replacing Matzelle as the junior varsity coach is local native Scott Lagas, who led the JV to its first win in two years in the team's league opener against St. Edmund's.
©2000 Community News Group
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