The challenges facing the High Point High School girls basketball program this season will be steep indeed, but look for the Wildcats to show up as a confident, well prepared and united presence each time that they step onto the court.
High Point has a home game scheduled versus Jefferson on Dec. 20.
Key returning student athletes to the varsity roster for the Wildcats this year include Brittany Hill (senior, forward), Keirra Wingle (junior, guard), Noelle Gaffney (sophomore, guard) and Leia Ruvo (sophomore, forward).
“Brittany’s our top returning player and a match-up nightmare on offense,’’ High Point head coach Brad Dragone said. “She can shoot the three and score inside. I expect her to be one of the top scorers in the county. Brittany is the senior leader of this team. She is our only returning starter and averaged 11 points and eight rebounds last season. I am hoping she will lead by example to pull this young group in the same direction.
“Keirra is a phenomenal ball handler who will be able to get us into our offense, also, a great three point shooter. Keirra is a junior who played a lot last season. As the point guard handling the ball most of the time I expect her to be a leader on the court. Noelle has an incredible offensive skill set when it comes to ball handling, shooting and getting to the rim. Leia Ruvo is a very tough athlete who can also score from the outside and at the rim, will also be a stopper defensively.’’
Promising newcomers hoping to be of impact at the varsity level include Brooke Munoz (junior, forward), Victoria Harnett (junior, guard), Mackenna Percey (junior, forward), Hannah Doyle (sophomore, guard) and Audrey Flannery (sophomore, guard).
The Wildcats tallied an overall record of 15-11 last season.
“The only team we lost to in Sussex County was Newton (twice),’’ Dragone said. “We had victories over Pope John, Sparta, Kittatinny, Walkill, etc.’’
High Point competes in the Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference Freedom Division along with Newton, Jefferson, Kittatinny, Lenape Valley and the Morris County School of Technology.
“The goal is always to win the conference,’’ Dragone said. “That will be a tough task this year, but we believe it is an achievable goal. We would probably be considered a contender. We went 8-2 in the Conference last year with our only two losses coming against Newton, who is definitely still the favorite. However, teams like Jefferson and Kittatinny were young last year and are expected to make a jump this year.’’