St. Joseph senior girls basketball player Sarah Sharhan looks to pass the ball during a conference game at St. Joseph High School. (Photo by Ian Gustafson/ Advocate staff)

St. Joseph senior girls basketball player Sarah Sharhan looks to pass the ball during a conference game at St. Joseph High School. (Photo by Ian Gustafson/ Advocate staff)

St. Joseph senior girls basketball developing program

Falcons only have one returning player

The St. Joseph Falcons senior girl’s basketball team is a work in progress but has shown improvement early on.

The roster of 15 players is young with only one player returning from last year’s squad and head coach Brad Wolfe explained this season they have focused on player development.

“Our expectations at the beginning of the year were to head to zones and go to provincials, but if we’re looking realistically, our expectation is to improve from game to game,” he said.

“Just be better than last game and if we can do that then we’re going to be successful at the end of the year.”

The Falcons have two Grade 10 students Jaxtyn Marshall and Andrea Retotal. Followed by seven Grade 11s Soobin Yang, Sophia Rolheiser, Madison Mimnagh, Chloe Dirsten, Ava Prete, Sarah Sharhan, and Saryn Jaques.

As for the Grade 12s on the team, there are six including Elyse Borys (returning), Maureen Cabagua, Jordyn Marcoux, Rachel Edwards, Sophia Weibe, and Gracella Cancino.

Many played JV basketball last season but the team also had a trio of newcomers to the basketball program Marcoux, Marshall, and Sharhan who came to the school to attend the Softball Academy Program. The team leaders this season are Borys and Jaques.

“There’s a massive difference between senior and junior basketball. You can see it in the girl’s eyes all of a sudden everything’s just moving that much faster,” he said. “For these girls who haven’t played it yet, it’s tough.”

This team takes pride in their defence but their biggest need is having a player who can take over in the late game and score when they need it most. They might potentially have that player in place and she is committed to taking on the role but Wolfe said they’ll see how she does early on in the season.

Last season they finished second in the 3A central zone after Wetaskiwin forfeited the second-place game in the league playoffs.

That team had the luxury of plenty of Grade 12 players, two of which who were supposed to return this season but didn’t.

“We just don’t have that experience at this level right now… We’ve played 11 games so far and you can see the inexperience because they’re not prepared yet for the big step up to senior basketball,” he said.

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