Transfers could help build Lady Flashes into contender|[11/1/05]

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 1, 2005

With a young team and a new coach, the 2004-05 season was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the St. Aloysius Lady Flashes.

Apparently, they didn’t get the memo.

St. Al went 13-16, won two games at the division tournament, and advanced to the South State satellite game. Now, with most of the key pieces of that team back, plus a couple of big additions, the Lady Flashes are looking for even bigger things this season.

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&#8220I think it was more of a surprise to the girls than it was to me,” second-year coach Drew McBrayer said of the Lady Flashes’ success. &#8220I wanted to get in here and for us to be a better basketball team by the end of the year. And we were.”

And St. Al might have gotten even better in the offseason. They picked up a pair of transfers from Porters Chapel, sisters Annie and Amy Beaugh. The duo played for St. Al in junior high before moving to PCA before their freshman year.

Annie Beaugh averaged nearly 20 points per game in three seasons at PCA, while Amy was a solid defender and offensive role player. In addition to their skills, both players will bring some welcome experience to the Lady Flashes. They are the only two seniors on the roster, and make up for the departure of three seniors from last year’s team.

&#8220They’re both fundamentally sound, so they’re going to help us in that aspect. They bring some good character with them, also,” McBrayer said.

How well the new players gel with the returning ones will also play a big part in determining whether the Lady Flashes improve on last year’s showing, McBrayer said.

&#8220They have the ability to. The talent is there” to improve, McBrayer said. &#8220How they gel together and play together is a big part of that.”

The Beaughs aren’t the only weapons St. Al has.

Sarah Kerut, who averaged 17 points, seven rebounds and three assists last season, is back for her junior season. So is Bonney Neill, who will bring some needed height to the lineup, and defensive stopper Elizabeth Mazzanti.

A bench that is a year older and a year better will also give the team a lift, McBrayer said. Five sophomores who saw playing time last season are back to provide depth.

&#8220Off the bench, we should be OK. I think we can get some help out of it,” McBrayer said. &#8220We’re going to need some help out of it.”

The returning players and experienced new faces should help St. Al improve on one of its weak points last season. Turnovers were a nagging problem for the Lady Flashes, especially early in the season.

&#8220We definitely need to cut down on the number of turnovers in our games this year,” Mazzanti said. &#8220We’ve been working on our ball-handling skills a lot.”