High School Sports

Girls’ basketball previews: Bald Eagle Area

Head coach: Troy Butterworth (second season)

Last year: 18-7, lost to Westmont Hilltop in District 6 AA second round

Assistant coaches: Jess Neff, Curt Wellar, Tom Poorman, Robert Butterworth

Key losses: Abby Gettig, Chelsey Poorman, Carrie Barnyak, Emily Butterworth, Sara Fisher

Returning letterwinners: Marissa Ward, Kaitlyn Miller, Mary Pillot, Lexi Josefik, Olivia Hardy, Alli Simpson

Key newcomers: Megan Peters, Ellie Chambers, Haley Giedroc, Chelsey Eisenhuth, Maddie Cingle

The skinny: The Lady Eagles are expecting to have another strong season, with four returning starters and six girls who were part of the standard rotation last season. … Coach Butterworth said five girls have gotten attention from college programs, at least on the Divison III level. … Leading the team is guard Marissa Ward, who averaged 13.7 points per game last season and has heard from a number of programs. … Also returning is 6-foot-3 post Kaitlyn Miller, who averaged 7.4 points per game, and guard Lexi Josefik, who scored 8.5 points per game. … Other returning starter is long-range threat Mary Pillot, who averaged 8.1 points per game. … Likely fifth starter is Alli Simpson. … Depth may be an issue, since after the top six no one else has varsity experience. … The season opened Friday with a win at West Branch.

Coach Butterworth says: “It should be a pretty good year. We have some pretty high hopes. We hope to finish what we haven’t been able to the last couple years. Getting to states is the goal this year.”