2018-19 St. Bede Lady Bruins preview
PERU — After last year’s disappointing 5-23 season, the 2018-19 St. Bede Lady Bruins basketball team feel they have something to prove.
That was then, this is now.
“We’re looking to go, looking to get started,” St. Bede coach Tom McGunnigal said. “We’re changing up our focus, our philosophy a little bit in how we are going about things, and I’m hoping that pays off for us.
“I just hope we’re smarter, stronger, quicker, everything has improved. Including the coach,” he added with a laugh.
That last year’s Lady Bruins were long on talent was never in doubt. Unfortunately for them, so were the teams they faced.
“Well, you’ve got to give credit where credit is due,” McGunnigal said. “We’ve got an awesome conference, our non-conference schedule is loaded and tough. We added BCC and Seneca, so it’s not getting any easier.”
Senior captain and point guard Maggie Sons, who has made herself a threat behind the arc, driving the lane, and on the defensive steal, is ready to lead the team putting the lessons learned to the test.
“I think we have a lot more speed this year and more talent coming into the varsity,” she said. “I think we’ll be a lot better. We put our minds to it, we’ll get it done.”
Sons’ fellow guard, junior Macy Bosnich, grew in confidence as a 3-point shooter last year, and has new experience of her own to bring to the court.
“It’s definitely going to be a challenge, but I think it’s a challenge we can overcome,” she said. “We’re really focusing on getting our defense going a lot quicker this year. I think we can get a lot done.”
Also returning is now-senior Naomi Ochuba, such a threat under the goal that other teams had to double-team her as part of the game plan, sometimes knocking the Lady Bruins out of their own.
“Well, that’s always been my philosophy,” McGunnigal said. “Defenses can take away one or two good players, and other girls have to be ready to step up.
“I think we have girls that can. Carly Eustice (Sr.) and Hannah Johnson (Jr.), Pam Needs (Sr.) on the inside as well, they all have to be ready to play. It’s a long season.”
For her part, Ochuba feels the team will be stronger.
“We’ve been working hard in the off-season, getting in the basketball spirit,” she said. “We know who we’re playing against from last year, how they work, so I think we’ll play them smarter.”
Juniors Abby Weber, Antonia Cattani and Kassidy Brady will be new to varsity play.
“I like the athleticism we have, especially with our new faces,” McGunnigal said. “Along with the athleticism we already had, I think we should be pretty formidable.”