With four starters back from last year's tournament team, the Appoquinimink High Jaguars are anticipating a big girls basketball season.



LAST YEAR: The Jaguars went 15-5 and qualified for the state tournament in their first varsity season, playing with freshmen and sophomores only. The earned a No. 10 seed and were eliminated in the first round. For the entire season, AHS was 6-5 against playoff teams.

COACHES: Dan Pisani is the varsity head coach, with Cherelle Dennis guiding the junior varsity. Ashley Brucker is the freshman head coach.

RETURNING STARTERS: Tierra Scott (6-1, jr.); Toresha Foster (5-10, jr.); Nicole Cwiertniewicz (5-7, jr.); Amani Clark (5-6, so.).

REST OF THE ROSTER: Taylor Hollins (5-10, so.); Taylor Bond (5-9, fr.); Ali Minner (5-7, so.); Renee Bull (5-7, jr.); Alex Bussey (5-5, jr.); Kayla Fromal (5-3, jr.); Cheyenne Rogers (5-8, jr); Ashley Smith (5-4, fr.).

LOOKING AHEAD: There’s a healthy dose of optimism surrounding the team, which tackles an ambitious schedule with players who now know what to expect in the varsity sports world. Setting the tone are team captains Scott, Cwiertniewicz and Clark.

Seven returning players started games last year and newcomers Bond and Smith could impact immediately. Hollins, Bull and Minner were primarily reserves in 20009-09, but gained valuable varsity time and add impressive depth to what’s still a young program.

“We’ve got a lot of versatile players, and everyone can handle the ball,” Pisani said. “Our team speed is pretty good, and we want to play at a fast pace.”

Scott averaged 13.2 points, 10.5 rebounds and 5.4 blocks as a sophomore, and has the attention of Division I college programs. She’s joined in the frontcourt by athletic Foster, who averaged 7.5 points and 7.2 rebounds.

Clark averaged 11.9 points, 4.0 steals and 5.7 rebounds as a ninth-grader, and provides the outside scoring punch. Also in the backcourt is primary ballhandler Cwiertniewicz, who can shoot as well. She average 7.2 points, 2.8 assists and 3.1 steals.