Tonawanda News — “We’re going to be running. Alanna has been doing good, even against taller teams in scrimmages,” he said. “We try to go with the three guards and out-run them. I think we’ll be more of a run and gun team this year.”
North Tonawanda approached this season in rebuilding mode. It graduated three starters from last season’s team and has just one senior this year. Though the Lady Jacks, who finished 3-16 last season, may have suffered their biggest loss in the preseason.
On Nov. 25, Kayla Barone, a junior point guard, suffered a season-ending knee injury in a scrimmage against Starpoint.
“Timing is everything,” said coach Luke Vogel. “We graduated three key players … It almost felt like it was going to be a clean slate, starting over. But we can’t get healthy.”
The injuries don’t end with Barone, who would have been a second-year varsity player. Katherine Zgolak, a senior and the likely captain in her third year on varsity, is out for the season with nagging injuries from soccer and volleyball season.
“In essence, we’re down two starters from a team that is already incredibly young,” Vogel said.
In fact, Vogel said it’s the youngest team he has ever coached. He’s in his fifth year at NT, and before that he coached girl’s varsity at Cheektowaga for six years. “It’s far and away the youngest team I’ve ever had.”
After the graduating players and the injuries, Vogel’s Lady Jacks roster is comprised of one senior, six juniors and four sophomores.
Gretchen Ringler is the captain and the lone senior. Vogel expects Ringler to display steady leadership throughout the season. But Megan Weaver may be the Jacks’ most talented player.
A junior, in her second year on varsity, Weaver is a guard-forward combo who has a scorer’s mentality — can shoot from deep, handle the ball and attack.