It was tough season for Aurora girls, but many young players back

by STEVE BATKO | CORRESPONDENT Published:

Aurora -- Veteran head coach Erika Greenburg saw her inexperienced Aurora High girls basketball team make some improvements this season.

The Greenmen finished 5-18 overall after the departure of six seniors from last year's squad.

With only two seniors back from last year's 16-8 team, Greenberg (63-68 in six years) knew it would be a growing campaign.

Aurora, seeded 23rd overall in Division I sectional action, lost 93-25 at top-seeded Solon in the first round.

"I thought that the girls improved throughout the season for a young team," said Greenburg. "The girls tried against Solon, but just could not match up with them at all."

The Comets went into a March 4 regional semifinal game against Canton McKinley with a 23-3 record. The winner of that game will face either North Canton Hoover or Twinsburg on March 7 at 8 p.m. at the Canton Civic Center.

Leading the Comets was Maryland recruit Kristen Confroy, who exploded for 30 points. Freshman forward Syarra Sellers played very well for Aurora and led the team with 11 points.

Another freshman, guard April Davis, scored 5 points, while senior guard Hanna Garnek had 4. Freshmen Joyelle Owens and Korie Hobbs netted 2 points each and Maria Mims added a free throw.

"Freshmen combined to score 18 of our 25 points," pointed out Greenburg. "Hopefully, we will improve in future years. Our seniors did a great job this season of trying to lead this young team."

Aurora had only two seniors -- Garnek and forward Kali Bachman. "Kali and Hanna really have put a lot of time and energy into basketball and were great role models for the younger players on the team," said Greenburg.

"Our seniors definitely took a young team under their wings and helped them learn the ropes. They will really be missed next season."

Junior forward-guard Sarah Merkel, along with sophomores like guard Logan Hoffman and Mims, a forward-guard, will enter another season of being in Aurora's player rotation.

This cast will help the deep and promising freshman class, which also includes wing Sarah Marchese. Newcomer Katie McCoy also is expected to contribute next year.

"We really had a rough start to the year, but once the girls got used to playing with each other, things improved," explained the coach. "I think we also had to get used to playing at a faster pace than the newcomers were used to."

Greenburg was assisted by varsity assistant John Misenko and junior varsity coach Bill Ritch.

"We have a lot to look forward to in the future if the girls are willing to put the time in during the off-season to get better," Greenburg summarized.

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