Bradwell Institute girls’ basketball coach Faye Baker knows it won’t be easy for her team to duplicate last year’s 29-1 overall mark or the Lady Tigers’ 16-0 record in Region 3-AAAAA.
Baker lost starters Mariah Maternik, Quinika Hatchell and Quintunya Chapman as well as bench player Keandre Fraiser to graduation.
“Of course Mariah was our leading scorer and the things that Chapman did on the floor was phenomenal,” Baker said. “A lot of things she did didn’t show up in the numbers but she was phenomenal on the court. She made so many things happen when she was on the floor and they were all in a positive way.”
Maternik led Region 3-AAAAA in scoring with 374 points and led the region in assists with 70. She also had 45 steals and 89 rebounds for BI, and hit 82 of 117 free-throw attempts.
Chapman was the second-leading rebounder in the region with 169 boards and added 137 points, 25 assists and 36 steals. Hatchell pulled down 70 rebounds and finished with 68 points for BI.
“It’s going to be very hard,” Baker said. “Those are some hard shoes to fill. Those kids were in my program for four years and they grew, they matured and they got better and they did what was expected their senior year.
“They had a great year. That is one thing about high school basketball, you lose kids to graduation and you have to mold and develop what comes to you. It’s a process.”
Baker said this year’s team might not repeat a perfect run through Region 3-AAAAA and may lose more than two games, “because we do have a lot of young kids that will be coming out and it takes time to develop. We are just going to try and be as competitive as we can.”
But, Baker added, there are some returning players with experience — lots of it.
One returning starter looking to fill the void left by Maternik was last season’s standout freshman Shaquoia Crockett.
Crockett ended the season ranked third in the region in scoring with 288 points. She hit 11 3-pointers and pulled down 47 rebounds.
Also among the returning players who saw playing time last season are Leitia Leiataua and Latisha Frasier.
“They do understand the system and they know how to win,” Baker said. “We will be looking to those kids to lead us this year. It’s all going to have to mesh together as the younger kids develop over time. We hope that the community and the fans don’t expect to see the type of record we had last year, but we should still be competitive.”
Tryouts start at 4 p.m. Oct. 24.