High School Sports

Girls’ basketball previews: State College

Head coach: Bethany Irwin (20th season)

Last year: 12-12, lost to Mount Lebanon, PIAA AAAA first round

Assistant coaches: Rob Irwin, Renee Womack

Key losses: none

Returning letterwinners: Jenna Altomare, Taylor Allison, Allie Baney, Anna Stevenson, Morgan Kaluza, Megan Karstetter, Frankie Treglia, Bridget King, Carrie Mahon

Key newcomers: Kyla Irwin, Alli Treglia, Jaelyn Shelotn-Burleigh

The skinny: The Lady Little Lions are feeling pretty optimistic this season, with an entire roster returning and plenty of talent. … The season will be vastly different from seasons past, with State College having joined the Mid-Penn Conference, which is very strong in basketball. … State College expects to have plenty of depth this season, with a rotation of possibly nine or 10 girls. … The team is especially deep in the backcourt, with last year’s leading scorer Jenna Altomare (11.5 ppg), Taylor Allison, Allie Baney, Anna Stevenson, Franki Treglia and Carrie Mahon. … Treglia, a senior, plans to attend a prep school next year before an appointment to the Naval Academy and joining the Middies’ basketball team. … The frontcourt is led by top forward Bridget King (10.6 ppg), who was frequently undersized against opponents but more than held her own. … Other top post players include Morgan Kaluza, Megan Karstetter and 6-foot-2 freshman Kyla Irwin, daughter of head coach Bethany Irwin. … New to the coaching staff is former Penn State player Rene Womack. … State College opens its season Monday at Hazleton.

Coach Irwin says: “It wasn’t about wins last year but what we got out of the season. We got a lot of knowledge. … It’s unique that we have that many in our senior class that have stood the test of time. Sometimes we see kids fizzle out, but it’s real exciting that this group has stuck together.

“It’s a great opportunity, a new league, a big division and we want to make a mark. We’ve played 90 percent of those teams, nit every year, but we’ve had out chances. We want to make an impact, and this is the first group that gets to do it.”