The Depew High School girls basketball team opened some eyes last season, winning 14 games and posting the program’s first winning season since 2008-09. And everyone on that roster has returned this season – so the expectations are high for the Wildcats.
“It looks great,” Wildcats coach Charlie Guay said. “We’re looking forward to it. We went a long way last year and I got everybody back and a couple of additions. It’s looking good. They’re anxious to get started.”
Two years ago, Depew won just six games and lost its first round playoff game by 14 points. That team was young, though, and things drastically improved last season as the junior-happy Wildcats finished 14-6 and reached the Section VI semifinals.
This season, the girls expect much more.
“Same team from last year but now we have camaraderie,” senior point guard Aviance Clark said. “It’s going to be a great experience this season; it’s going to be a lot of fun. We have a lot of experience and hopefully this year we can beat the teams we didn’t beat last year.”
Depew has 10 seniors on this season’s roster and all 10 were a part of last year’s success. Leading the way will be the dynamic inside-outside combinations of Clark and forward Tess Borgosz.
Borgosz, who recently signed to play Division I basketball at Towson University, averaged a team-best 17.9 last season and enters the season at 719 for her career.
“She’s better this year,” Guay said. “She’s got her foot work down so yeah we’re excited to see what she can do.”
Clark is in her fourth varsity season, second at Depew after transferring from Cleveland Hill, where she played two more varsity seasons, including the 2014-15 Class C championship season for the Eagles. In her first season at Depew as a junior, she scored 13.3 points per game and led the team with 67 steals.
Other returning seniors include Brittany Bobeck, who added 6.9 points and 64 rebounds a night. Bobeck is a tri-captain along with Borgosz and senior Brianna Dotterweich, who contributed five points per game last season for the Wildcats.
Juniors Andrea Taboni and Samira Khalil are up on the varsity team after strong sophomore seasons at the junior varsity level a year ago.
I’m very excited for this season,” Borgosz said. “I’m super-excited to see what we can bring. We have 10 seniors this season and we’ve all been playing together since seventh grade, so hopefully we have a stacked team.”
ECIC III has a different look this season with Starpoint and Lake Shore in and Amherst and Springville out. East Aurora, which won two of three against the Wildcats last season also has a lot back and is expected to be the front-runner again. But Lake Shore and Starpoint have been amongst the best against larger-school ECIC II competition in recent years and will be tough again this season.
That said, this Depew team is ready to compete with anyone.
“We’re right there with them,” Guay said with a proud smile. “Those are great teams, but we’re going to be ready.”