PALMYRA — Coming off an 11-9 season, the Palmyra-Macedon girls basketball team will look to take advantage of athleticism and good guard play as they go for a title in the Finger Lakes East league.
The team is "looking pretty good" in practice, said head coach Dave Gross. It's an assessment some of his players share on a team that has five seniors, although one, Kelsi Nau, will be unable to play due to injury.
Among the returning players is Ashley Vanderwall, the team's leading scorer last year, averaging 19 points per game. Along with Courtney Ameele, she is expected to again be a leader of the team.
"With everybody working with me and around us, I think we'll be good," Vanderwall said.
Sadly, though, the Red Raiders will be without Nau, a senior who suffered an injury while playing soccer earlier in the year.
"We did lose a good rebounder and defender in Kelsi Nau, so that's going to be tough to replace her defense and rebounding," said Gross.
Nau, for her part, hopes to continue supporting her teammates, saying that while she "...can't really play, [my] goal is to be a big part of the team and watch my team succeed as much as possible."
Without Nau, the Lady Raiders will be adjusting their strategy to fit their strengths.
"We have some athleticism we hope we can build on," Gross said. "We're going to have to use our athleticism, push the basketball and get some easy baskets. It'll be a more guard-oriented and fast-paced style of play. ... We do have a lot of guards who are athletic and can run the floor."
Palmyra-Macedon's first game is Wednesday, Dec. 11, against Penn Yan. Future games will provide further indications of how the Red Raiders will do in the 2013-14 season.
"The Waterloo games are going to be big, as we kind of use them as a measuring stick, as they went all the way to the State Finals last year. We think they are the top team in our area," said Gross, "Also, Geneva and two non-league games against Mercy and Aquinas."