North Brunswick Township High School’s girls’ basketball team will again put a youthful lineup on the floor as it looks to improve on last winter’s 6-19 mark.
Coach Shaun Morrell is optimistic that his Raiders are heading in the right direction and will look to a trio of seniors to provide leadership.
Tatum Altman returns at point guard, where she did a solid job getting the ball up the floor last year. A tough defender, Altman is not known for scoring but can drive to the hoop on occasion.
Three-year veteran Danielle Segerholm is the center. She averaged just less than seven points a year ago and at 5 feet 11 inches tall, she gives the Raiders a presence under the boards, where she averaged six rebounds.
Samantha Mehalick, who is also entering her third varsity season, averaged four points and as many rebounds last winter. She will hold down one of the forward spots. Morrell is looking for big things from dynamic junior Alex Walker. As a sophomore, the shooting guard averaged 11 points, pulled own eight rebounds per game and led North Brunswick with 47 3-pointers.
To aid his team’s offense, Morrell said he’s going to mix up the Raiders defense this time around. Look for North Brunswick to try and create points by pressing and trapping.
“Last year, we had a very strong defensive team,” the coach said. “We sometimes had trouble scoring, though. If we’re going to win, we can’t have quarters where we’re only getting four points. We’re looking for Alex to step up and as other teams see that, it will create scoring opportunities for our other girls, too. We’re looking for more scoring from our seniors.”
Junior guard Rhica Austin will likely see increased time this year along with sophomore Emily Farrell, a forward who will provide help in the paint.
In addition, two freshmen will both see significant playing time. Kayla Scher, a guard/forward, is likely to start, and forward Renee Hales will see a lot of action off the bench. Morrell said both girls are strong all-around players who can put the ball in the hoop. The two girls keyed a 23- 1 season for North Brunswick’s Linwood Middle School.
North Brunswick will, however, be without senior guard Nicole Lopez and sophomore forward Khayla Flemmings, both of whom will miss the season with injuries. Lopez is an aggressive defender who can create turnovers, while Flemmings is coming off a promising freshman campaign that showed her to be an emerging scorer, putting up a season-high 21 points in loss to Bishop George Ahr High School.
“We’re going to miss them both, but they’re going to be with us helping out on the bench,” Morrell said. “They’ve already been a positive influence on the other girls, and they want to be part of the team. We’re glad to have them.”
North Brunswick is scheduled to open the season at home Dec. 18 against Greater Middlesex Conference White Division foe Colonia High School. The Raiders visit J.P. Stevens High School in another divisional matchup Dec. 22. and will compete in the Arthur L. Johnson Holiday tournament in Clark during the schools’ holiday break.