The Southern Regional High School girls basketball team begins the season with an upbeat attitude.
A host of returning players from a 15-9 team and two freshmen taller than 6-foot will do that for a team.
Southern should contend for the Shore Conference A South title.
Allison Spaschak, a 5-foot-6 guard, is the lone starting senior. Sophomore Bianca Nicolini will start at point guard. Junior guard Tierney Goetz also will start.
Vicky Caiazzo and Madison Skeie both got experience in the frontcourt last season.
"We have 12 potentially good players on this team," Snyder said.
Two freshmen - 6-1 Gabby Davis and 6-2 Shauna McHale - should have big impact. Snyder said the two can do a little bit of everything, but their strength is their inside game and their ability to score in the post.
"We had no inside game last year or the year before because we had no height," Snyder said. "It's very difficult to get perimeter shots if you don't have to defend inside. Now, we have that inside threat that teams have to respect."
Snyder said she has been pleasantly surprised each day of the preseason.
"The development of our freshmen is going to be key," Snyder said. "They work hard. They play basketball year round. They could be crucial in how far we go this year."
Contact Michael McGarry:
League: Shore Conference A South
Group: South Jersey Group IV
Coach: Kathy Snyder (540-309, 35 seasons)
2012-13 record: 15-9
2013-14 prediction: Contender – Rams return everybody from last season's team plus add some talented freshmen.
Key players: Alison Staschak, Sr., 5-6, G; Bianca Nicolini, So., 5-6, G; Tierney Goetz, Jr., 5-5, G; Vicky Caiazzo, Sr., 5-11, F; Madison Skeie, So., 5-10, F; Gabby Davis, Fr., 6-1, F; Shauna McHale, Fr., 6-2, F; Dana Verrico, Sr., 5-7, G/F; Virginia Kretschner, Sr., 5-7, G/F; Katie Elassar, Sr., 5-7, G/F; Shelby Swenor, Sr., 5-7, G/F