DeSales Roundup: Girls basketball squad showing 'great upside'

Dave Purpura
ThisWeek group
Senior guard Gracey Wilson is one of the top returnees for the DeSales girls basketball team, which hopes to improve on last season's 14-10  finish.

Not only did the DeSales girls basketball team go 14-10 in Erick Herzberg’s first season as coach, but he saw most of the signs of growth for which he hoped during the offseason.

With a roster Herzberg thinks is deeper than a year ago, the Stallions had to replace two of their top three scorers as they prepare for a season that has been put on hold through at least Dec. 18 for CCL teams because of the rising number of COVID-19 cases in central Ohio. 

Senior Gracie Sabo (5-foot-10, forward/center) averaged 7.4 points and 6.6 rebounds as a junior, and senior Stefanie Karras (5-9, forward) added 6.1 points and 4.3 rebounds. 

Both expect to be cornerstones in the lineup along with a handful of other returning players, including seniors Cara Jewett (5-8, forward), Lauren Mitevski (5-5, guard) and Gracey Wilson (5-5, guard) and sophomore Jadyn Arnold (5-7, guard/forward).

“Early in the year, there will be a learning curve, but I think we have a great upside with this group,” Herzberg said. “We’ll push the ball a lot more. We’re more athletic than we were last year. As soon as we get everything down, our assignments and the mental aspect, we’ll be fine. We’re learning from our mistakes.”

DeSales lost more than 15 points per game with the graduations of guard Erin Burns (8.9 points) and forward Katie Schuler (6.4 points, 3.8 rebounds). Burns now plays at Capital and Schuler led the Stallions in assists with 75.

“I’m having to step up more and make sure I’m doing things the right way,” said Sabo, who took 15 charges last season. “For me, it’s been more just getting down my skill set, being able to make better shots, better moves and what not.

“We don’t have as many bigs on our team, (so) being a smaller post (player) in the CCL, you definitely need to step up.”

The team’s tallest player, freshman forward/center Bridget Womber, is 5-11.

Arnold has moved to point guard from small forward, a switch she had anticipated after Burns’ graduation.

“In the summertime, I kind of got the memo that I’d be moving,” Arnold said. “Bringing the ball up is different for me. I’m getting out of my comfort zone and stepping up to the challenge.”

Rounding out the roster are senior Kylie Van Fossen (5-8, guard/forward), juniors Kelli Kay (5-6, forward) and Erika Offei (5-9, forward/center) and sophomores Celina Davis (5-7, guard/forward) and Elizabeth Meeker (5-5, guard).

“I think we’ll play more girls than we did last year. We’ll play at least nine girls, hopefully 10,” Herzberg said. “Hopefully we can keep fresher and sub a lot more, but we’ll do a lot of the same stuff.”

DeSales is scheduled to begin CCL play Jan. 7 at Hartley. The Stallions went 2-4 in the league last year to finish third behind champion Watterson (6-0).

Senior forward Mikey Roach and the Stallions went 0-25 overall and 0-16 in the CHC last season. Coach Darcy Cahill expects to see marked improvement this winter.

Hockey squad

hopes to start fresh

Fourth-year hockey coach Darcy Cahill hopes maturity and lessons learned during a winless season translate into considerable improvement this year.

Four seniors, 11 sophomores and three freshmen comprise the roster. Most of the 15 returnees were on last season’s team that went 0-25 overall and 0-16 in the CHC.

“We had a good freshman class last year and they grew up a lot,” Cahill said. “The kids are learning if you want to play hockey at DeSales, you have to take the game seriously. They’re working out. All of the kids who’d just started last year played all summer. We were in a five-on-five league that helped, and we’re getting hockey players. We didn’t have any overlap with football and not as much overlap with lacrosse.”

Seniors Nick Bedzyk (forward), Nathan Granata (defenseman), Arman Karimy (forward) and Mikey Roach (forward) return along with sophomores A.J. Cagnina (forward) and Christopher Henderson (goalie).

Henderson was the team’s only goalie as a freshman, but the Stallions have another this season in freshman Ben Kreuck.

Rounding out the roster are sophomores Michael Friess (forward), Owen Hartsough (forward), Peter Kennedy (forward), Connor Mayes (forward), Mateo Muller (defenseman), Sam Roehrenback (forward), Kaison Russell (forward), Lukas Seyboldt (forward) and Tyler Thompson (forward) and freshmen Noah Bedzyk (forward) and Liam Rice (defender).

“The foundation is there,” Cahill said. “The guys are preparing more now, not just showing up. They see the work they have to put in, like what to eat, how to approach game days. They’re taking things seriously.”

dpurpura@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekDave

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Coach: Erick Herzberg, second season

Top players: Jadyn Arnold, Stefanie Karras, Lauren Mitevski, Gracie Sabo and Gracey Wilson

Key losses: Erin Burns and Katie Schuler

Last season: 14-10 overall

2019-20 CCL standings: Watterson (6-0), Hartley (4-2), DeSales (2-4), Ready (0-6)

2020 postseason: Defeated Licking Heights 41-23; lost to Dublin Coffman 60-19 in second round of Division I district tournament

HOCKEY

Coach: Darcy Cahill, fourth season

Top players: Nick Bedzyk, A.J. Cagnina, Nathan Granata, Christopher Henderson and Mikey Roach

Key losses: Sam Bosson, Mario Lopez, Noah Swenson and Luke Weithman

Last season: 0-25 overall

2019-20 CHC-Blue standings: Columbus Academy (16, 7-7-1-1), Watterson (14, 7-9), Gahanna (10, 5-11), Dublin Scioto (4, 2-14), DeSales (0, 0-16)

*Note: The CHC-Blue now consists of Academy, DeSales, Gahanna, Olentangy, Scioto, Watterson and Worthington Kilbourne.

2020 postseason: Lost to Cincinnati Moeller 12-0 in first round of district tournament