Oakville girls’ basketball looks for new result in new conference


For the Call

The Oakville Senior High girls’ basketball team struggled to an 11-15 record with a 4-4 mark in Suburban South Conference play last season, but with a move to the Suburban West Conference and nine letter-winners returning, the Tigers are optimistic about the 2004-’05 season.

“The kids are coming to practice with a good attitude,” Oakville head coach Paul Harrington told the Call. “We’re really pleased with the kids’ progress.”

One thing giving Oakville fans hope is the return of top scorer Faith Zabek.

The junior center averaged a team high 11.2 points per game last year while pulling down 8.4 rebounds.

Harrington is inclined to believe Zabek will improve on last season’s numbers and once again be one of the main cogs to the Tiger’s offense.

“Faith was such a pleasant surprise as a sophomore,” Harrington said. “She works hard and has developed some nice post moves. I thought that she really stepped it up last year and ended up leading the team in scoring.”

Also returning for the Tigers is junior center Sherry Zehner, who averaged 8.9 points and six rebounds a game last year.

“Sherry’s a hard worker and just a great kid,” Harrington said. “She started all of last year and did a really good job for us. Sherry has a lot of character and is someone I can really count on.”

The Tigers incorporate a three-guard offense with senior Stephanie Dippold being the mortar that holds the backcourt together.

Dippold averaged 4.5 points a game last season with 24 assists and 15 steals.

“Stephanie had a great summer and showed us a lot of leadership,” Harrington said. “We look for her to get a lot of playing time this season.”

Also playing in the back court for the Tigers will be junior Lindsay DeGonia, who posted 3.8 points a game with a team leading 59 assists and 44 steals.

“Last year, I thought that Lindsay handled herself well,” Harrington said. “I think that she’s a good all-around athlete with a good head on her shoulders.”

Junior guard Megan Reel also will figure into the Tigers offense after posting numbers of 3.4 points a game with 46 assists and 40 steals.

“Megan has pretty good ball skills,” Harrington said. “I also think that her outside shooting has improved.”

The Panthers are patiently awaiting the return of senior forward/center Brittnie Seibert, who’s currently out after undergoing surgery to remove a cyst. She averaged 2.1 points a game while recording 1.4 rebounds a game.

“She’s one of the better shooters on the team and we’re just waiting for her to get back,” Harrington said. “We’re hoping that she might be ready by the Southside Classic.”

Another senior who’s been bitten by the injury bug is forward/guard Ashley Riley, who saw limited action as a sophomore.

“She’s struggled, but has worked really hard,” Harrington said. “We hope to get her in the game coming off the bench.”

Rounding out the senior corps is forward Danielle Cheney, who spent last season on the junior varsity squad.

“She’s got good height and is quick,” She’s got an excellent opportunity to give us quality time off the bench.”

The Tigers open the season at the Southside Classic as they face Affton at 8 p.m. Monday at Hancock High School.