SENECA – The Tim Humes Breakout Tournament, hosted by Somonauk, will give Seneca the chance to play four varsity girls basketball games in five days to open its season.
Coach Barb Beck will relish that opportunity, as much remains to be determined about her Lady Irish.
“You get a realistic picture of, you know, what do you gotta work on?” Beck said. “You still got a long season after that. You get a little taste, and hopefully we see some things and work on them before the [Interstate Eight] conference season starts.”
Guard/forward Danielle Hauch, who was Seneca’s second-leading scorer and leading rebounder last season, is one of nine seniors on the 13-player varsity roster. Others are posts Rylee Anderson and Brooke Larsen, forwards Kayla Haines and Ana Munoz, guard/forwards Anna Baker and Jacey Lamboley, and guards Mickey Juricic and Mallory Misener.
Underclassmen fill out the junior-less varsity squad. Sophomore guards Karlie Cade and Olivia Taylor, sophomore forward Claudia Paulson and freshman guard Paige Hacker all made the varsity.
“I’m excited,” Lamboley said. “I think we’ll do good because we’ve all played together for a long time and have good chemistry, so I think it’ll go pretty well.”
The graduation of leading scorer Chelsie McCormick, among others, will necessitate expanded roles for many of the seniors. Lamboley and Misener played travel ball with the Illinois Ambush during the offseason. Hauch did not, but she worked hard to improve on specific aspect of her game.
“Definitely improve my free throw percentage,” Hauch said, when asked what her goals are for this season. “I talked to Ms. Beck earlier this school year, and she showed me my stats, and I know that was like my lowest one [Hauch’s 2012-13 percentage was 37.8], so I really wanna get better at that.”
Hauch and Lamboley both cite a regional championship as a primary goal for the Lady Irish. It is only part of Beck’s annual aim.
“We always have a goal of winning 20, challenging for the conference title and to push on in the postseason past the regional,” Beck said.