Youth Movement Sparks Spartans Attempt For Back-To-Back SSC Red Titles

After going 12-1 in the South Suburban Conference last year and dominating competition in the weirdest of years, including no Illinois High School Association postseason, the Oak Lawn Community High School girls basketball team is facing even more challenges as it tries to repeat as SSC Red Champions.
The Spartans had nine seniors from last year’s team graduate. Yes, key leaders are returning, but there will also be several new bodies on the court contributing for Oak Lawn this year. While returning SSC Red Player of the Year senior Mia Kennelly and all-conference star junior Kate Dillon will undoubtedly lead the way at both ends of the floor with skill and leadership, the Spartans will need to rely on new faces and young players to find even more success. Both Kennelly and Dillon can score, play strong defense, rebound, and hustle for loose balls. But they will need help.
In looking at the young players, junior Rose Savaglio played quite a bit as a sophomore last year and will be valuable as a guard this year. Other juniors include Shatha Abdeljaber and Ella Hennessy. Abdeljaber is lethal from behind the three-point line, and Hennessy is an improving force in the paint. Junior guards Mila Revell and Deana Green will provide depth as well.
In addition to these juniors, there are three freshman who should make an immediate impact on the varsity squad this year. These freshmen will try to blend in with the veteran girls and fill some of the holes left by graduation. Jacky Canales is a guard, Danielle Dempsey is a forward, and Teagan Krzystof is another guard.
“All three of these freshmen will play an important role if we are to win back-to-back conference titles,” head coach Mark Sevedge said. “They bring some basketball skill, intelligence, and toughness that we don’t normally see from players that young.”
“This group of girls, including the freshmen, have now played together throughout the summer and fall and had success. Their time spent in the gym and weight room since June should take some of the doubt and nervousness out of their minds as we enter the Bobby Bolton Classic at Richards.”
The Spartans open the season the week of November 15, in that tournament at Richards.
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