The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

December 2, 2013

Albion girls basketball team looks to build on recent success

Staff Reports
Medina Journal-Register

ALBION —

ALBION — The Albion girls basketball team had a strong 2012-13 season near the top of the Niagara-Orleans league, finishing at 9-5 overall in league play, good for a third-place tie with Medina.

The Lady Purple Eagles lost a few important pieces to the puzzle, but are returning a few as well, armed with a year of varsity experience that should come in handy this season. The on-court product may look a little different than last year’s, but coach Lucian Price and the team are optimistic for the possibilities presented by the season ahead.

“We have had a good offseason, and we’re working hard,” Price said. “We’re hoping it pays off. We’re looking to build a hard-nosed defense, and we’re going to try to outwork the opposition.”

Price is excited for the return of a group of four key returning players in junior Mandi Covis, junior Justice Nauden, sophomore Kelsee Soule and freshman Chanyce Powell. It’s a relatively young squad that includes only two seniors in Jessica Green and Arianna Smith.

But by the same token, the squad brings plenty of experience from across the Albion athletic spectrum. Soule and Powell helped lead the Lady Purple Eagles volleyball squad to an undefeated N-O season and appearance in the Class B sectional championship game against Starpoint, while Nauden and junior Jayne Bannister make the transition to the hardwood after a strong fall soccer season as goalkeepers under coach Bruce Blanchard.

Price said a few departing seniors will be missed, notably Eboni Taylor and Sarah Papponetti, who the coach noted were solid players who brought energy and determination to the court. 

The N-O league was won by Wilson last season, as the Lakewomen compiled an unblemished 14-0 record in league play. Newfane was second in the league at 10-4, just in front of the Lady Mustangs and Lady Purple Eagles.

Price said he has a lot of respect for the league, and looks forward to dueling it out for the league crown throughout the winter months.

“It’s a solid league,” Price said. “There are a lot of good teams, and a lot of good coaches. A lot of hard-working teams, and it should be a good year.”

This marks Price’s third season as the varsity coach, after two years as serving as the bench boss on the JV sideline, he said.

Rounding out the roster are freshman Emily Blanchard and juniors Savannah Allen, Sarah Metzler and Jessica Raglan.

After a short non-league slate, Albion will open its quest for an N-O title on Dec. 13, in a road contest at Akron.

The non-league schedule begins Wednesday with a home game against Batavia, and Price is excited for the challeng that the early matchup will provide.

“Batavia is a very good team,” Price said. “It’s a good challenge to start the year.”

2013-14 Albion Girls Basketball Schedule
Date     Opponent     Time
12/4     BATAVIA     7 p.m.
12/9     ELBA     7 p.m.
12/13     @ Akron     6:30 p.m.
12/17     @ CSAT     6 p.m.
12/20     WILSON     7 p.m.
12/27     @ Whtlnd-Chili     TBA
1/7     @ Medina     6:30 p.m.
1/10     ROY-HART     7 p.m.
1/14     @ Newfane     6:30 p.m.
1/17     BARKER     7 p.m.
1/21     AKRON     7 p.m.
1/24     @ Wilson     6:30 p.m.
1/28     CSAT     7 p.m.
1/31     MEDINA     7 p.m.
2/5     @ Roy-Hart     6:30 p.m.
2/11     NEWFANE     7 p.m.
2/13     @ Barker     6 p.m.