It’s a different look at Oswego East these days.
No Division I posts, for starters.
Sydney Schultz and Ty Battle have graduated, with point guard Jesinde Thomas making three starters gone from teams that won a combined 51 games the last two seasons. A fourth starter, Maya Johns, tore her ACL in July and won’t play this year.
Starting over, though, doesn’t necessarily mean starting from scratch.
Eight girls remain from the Wolves’ team that went 24-5 last year. At least six of them played.
And the Wolves should be just as fast.
Sophomore Christine Corpuz, who started as a freshman, leads a speedy, guard-heavy group.
Corpuz will be Oswego East’s starting point guard, and should score more. She’ll also control tempo, which does not appear to be a problem for her.
“I feel like she did a good job last year of pushing the ball and bringing it back,” Oswego East coach Abe Carretto said. “She likes pushing it more than slowing it down. She likes to run even more than Jesinde did.”
Another returning guard, 5-foot-8 junior Kaili Chval, saw significant playing time off the bench as a sophomore.
“She did well in our big games,” Carretto said. “She was scoring more this summer. She moves well without the ball, too. She does a lot of things that people don’t see right away.”
A third guard, Riley Kelsch, played sparingly, but did give a boost off the bench in a game against Oswego. Junior guard Abby Ford, smart and a strong communicator, figures to be Oswego East’s second point guard.
“Out of everybody, as far as the seniors go, Riley picked up on everything we did really well and she figured it out. That’s why she is starting,” Carretto said. “She’s doing a lot of good things in practice. Hopefully she can get going with her shooting, because I told her to shoot a ton.”
Oswego East, unlike the last two years, doesn’t have much size – but junior Chyna Scott is an interesting player to watch. Long, lanky, close to 6-foot-1, Scott might even have a little of Battle’s game in her.
“She can do things like Ty, she’s just a little more raw,” Carretto said. “She can do a lot of things like Ty did, and she can also block shots like Sydney. Her wingspan is longer than Ty’s, but she doesn’t have Ty’s endurance. I’m hoping she can make a run at Sydney’s record for blocks.”
Others who figure to contribute include junior Chelsea McCullum, the point guard from last year’s sophomore team, senior Courtney Sedlacek and sophomore Caroline Engelhardt.
Carretto expects to pressure teams like the Wolves have always done, and push the pace. In the halfcourt, he expects more of a drive-and-kick game with fewer scores at the rim. A big question is, can they box out and get rebounds.
“I feel like we will surprise some people,” Carretto said.