Basketball

G-A girls confident they can have successful season

Heading into the 2019-20 season, the Greencastle-Antrim girls basketball team appears to be in very good shape.

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“I’m cautiously optimistic,” Blue Devil coach Mike Rhine said. “I think we have good speed, good size and balanced scoring.

“We have some scoring back, our ballhandling is pretty good and the new kids we have inside are taller than last year’s girls.”

If that sounds like a winning recipe to you, you’d probably be right.

G-A produced a 14-8 record last year and won the Mid Penn Colonial Division for the fifth time in the last six years.

The Blue Devils open this season in the Franklin County Tip-Off Tournament vs. Chambersburg at 4 p.m. Friday at James Buchanan.

Rhine said, “The kids are really excited about the season and they’ve worked really hard.”

Two starters are back from last year — two-guard McKenna Rakaczewski, a 5-foot-7 senior, and small forward Sayge Wilhide, a 5-7 junior.

Rakaczewski produced 7.8 points and 3.1 rebounds per game, hit 26 3-pointers and added 50 assists and 30 steals. Wilhide also put up good numbers: 7.7 ppg, 3 rpg, 45 treys, 45 assists and 35 steals.

“McKenna is a good shooter and guards well on defense,” Rhine said. “Sayge is as good a shooter as there is in the division, and we’re trying to get her to go to the basket more.”

Ashley Noblit, a 5-2 senior point guard, missed last year with an ACL injury, but she started two years ago and contributed 3.5 ppg.

Rhine said, “She was really playing well when that injury happened, so it’s good to have her back.”

The other two starters expect to be 5-10 junior forward Olivia Winslow (1.0 ppg, 1.9 rpg) and 5-9 sophomore forward Lauren Pool (1.3 ppg, 2.2 rpg).

“Lauren got some time as a freshman, but she was behind two senior post players and now she’s ready. Olivia can play good defense.”

Off the bench, Rhine expects to use Jenna Powell (5-8, jr.) and freshman Mia Libby, a 5-3 transfer from Grace Academy.

“Mia is super fast and dynamic, and she’s fitting in well,” Rhine said.

Rhine said Big Spring would have been favored to win the Colonial Division, but the Bulldogs’ top player, Laney Noreika, is out with an injury. So the Bulldogs, Greencastle, Shippensburg and perhaps James Buchanan could be in the mix.