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The Herald, Sharon, PA


Dec. 4 -- at Newton Falls
   7 -- Liberty
   11 -- Lakeview, OH
   14 -- at LaBrae
   18 -- Hubbard
   21 -- at Girard
   29-30 -- Brookfield Tournament
Jan. 4 -- Champion
   6 -- Fitch, 1 p.m
   11 -- at Badger
   18 -- Newton Falls
   22 -- at Liberty
   25 -- at Lakeview, OH
   29 -- LaBrae
Feb. 1 -- at Hubbard
   5 -- Girard
   8 -- at Champion
   12 -- at Canfield
   15 -- Badger
By The Herald Sports Staff

Tim Filipovich returns for his 20th year as head coach of the Lady Warriors.

He expects some improvement from last year's 5-16 team as he returns the top two scorers from the 1999-2000 season: Callie McMullin (156 points) and Corrie DeCapua (116).

The Lady Warriors will be competing in the always-competitive TAC-8.

"Some of the other teams we play look pretty good, so the schedule is difficult," said Filipovich. "I think each and every game we play there's going to be a fight on our hands. If we don't play well, we won't win. I think every victory we get we're going to have earn."

To earn those wins Filipovich will be resting his hopes on the 5-6 McMullin and the 5-3 DeCapua, a pair of returning senior letterwinners.

"The younger kids were the scorers on last year's team, which was good," said Filipovich.

Also looking to contribute are a trio of additional senior letterwinners: 5-8 Amanda Kohler, 5-10 Jesse Truchan and 5-5 Monica Reiser.

Junior Jennifer Ford also returns after gaining some valuable playing time a year ago and is expected to be first player off the bench.

"I would say that those are the six players who are the nucleus of the girls who we're going to count on," said Filipovich. "And the rest of the players, the supporting cast of these younger players, are going to play an important role as we get up-tempo on people."

That supporting cast includes: juniors -- 5-6 Corey Miller, 5-7 Wendy Ross and 5-5 Samantha Puhak; sophomore -- 5-7 Holly DeMay; and freshman -- 5-5 Kaitlyn Nasci.

"We have two different types of teams," Filipovich said. "The younger players I have are really more of a pressing, full-court type of team. And the older players are more of a half-court set offensive team, so we're going to have a combination of both.

"I think we can play against some people straight up and play some good defense and run some offense in the half-court. And if we have to get up and press people, we have that option with some of our younger players.

"When you're a patient offense and you get behind, it's hard for you to get back in the game. So if we do get behind, there's an opportunity for us to pick up the tempo and press with the other kids. We have a lot of balance."

Filipovich is depending on his team's experience to pay off some of the debt last year's rang up.

"We were in six overtime games last year," Filipovich said. "And lost five out of the six. It wasn't that we did the wrong things in the end of a game situations. We didn't convert a lot of times and do a lot of the right things.

"These kids were never in that situation last year, but now with this group coming back that were in that situation last year, that experience should help us down the stretch."

Among some of the shortcomings Filipovich noted that last year's team had that this squad must overcome are: consistency and shooting. Filipovich noted his team shot only 30 percent last year.

"The kids have been tremendously dedicated, very unselfish and very complementary of each other," Filipovich said. "We come together nicely as a team." -- By Herald writer Pete Chiodo.

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