Despite loss of core, E.O. Smith shows strength as season begins
By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Storrs - posted Mon., Mar. 11, 2013
The E.O. Smith girls’ basketball team put together an exceptional year for 2011-12, ending the regular season undefeated, earning a bye for round one of the Class L finals, and maintaining the lead for the majority of the championship game against Bacon Academy. It was a weakening in the offense during the fourth quarter of that final game that lost them the championship last year. And the team lost the core of their players to graduation, with Morgan Olander, Ashley Forand, Chelsea Combs,Taylor Vonasek, Alexa Manaskie and Morgan Stewart all leaving the team.
But judging by a Nov. 29 scrimmage against East Catholic, the Panthers still have a lot of strength and talent going into the new season. “We’re a strong team this year," said head coach Kirk Murad. "Just different than last year." Murphy Murad and Holly Worski come in with the most varsity experience. Murad, a senior, serves as this year’s team captain. The rest of the team comes up from JV, with one, Isa Peczuh, coming aboard as a freshman.
But against East Catholic, the team was fast, showed some real skill with the ball, and was relentless in pursuit of scoring opportunities. “I think we’ve got a lot of work to do,” said Murad, “but there’s potential to be really good.”