SCRANTON — The Scranton Prep girls basketball team will look a lot different this season, both in personnel and style of play.
Bob Beviglia takes over as head coach, replacing Ross Macciocco who resigned the position, and the Classics return just one starter in junior guard/forward Julia Sirotnik.
Beviglia, who teaches at Scranton Prep and spent the last two years as an assistant at West Scranton, has brought an up-tempo approach to the team.
“We want to get out in transition and create as many possessions as we possibly can,” Beviglia said. “We have smart kids, they really picked up on the new system well and did a good job in our first scrimmage.”
Scranton Prep must replace four starters (center Bridget Walsh, guards Jess Genco and Madison Ashby and forward Clare Philbin) who graduated off last year’s team that finished with 25-3 record and advanced to the second round of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Class 3A playoffs before losing to Archbishop Wood.
Beviglia is confident the team has the talent and depth to remain in contention in both league and district play.
Senior guard Jill Paulus, senior forwards Abby Schroth and Tiffany Powell, junior guard Calista Kline, sophomore forward Devon Merritt and sophomore guard Alaina Weston are expected to join Sirotnik as the main contributors.
“My goal is to build a program that is going to be good in a sustainable way,” Beviglia said. “At Scranton Prep, you’re always going to have kids who were very good players in seventh and eighth grade coming up (to varsity). I want to get the most out of the girls year in and year out and make playing for Prep something they enjoy doing.”
While Beviglia understands the transition to his coaching style may take some time, he has been pleased with their willingness to adjust.
“They come to practice every day with a lot energy and they have been very receptive to the changes,” he said. “They really bought into what we’re trying to do. I’m excited to work with them and watch them get better throughout the season.”
Beviglia thinks putting constant pressure on teams on both ends of the court will play to his team’s advantage.
“I believe in playing 94-feet,” he said. “At the high school level, if you can create anxiety for your opponents and force them to adjust, you can be successful.”
Beviglia believes Abington Heights and West Scranton will provide the toughest competition within Lackawanna League Division 1 play.
The Classics will host Crestwood in their first game of the season at 7:15 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 7.
Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.