Shawnee Girls Basketball Looking to Build Off Big Win

Shawnee Girls Basketball Looking to Build Off Big Win

Shawnee’s girls’ basketball team was hit hard by graduation from a team that was two points away from advancing last season to the South Jersey Group 4 championship, but the Renegades have remained highly competitive, even if the record doesn’t reflect it.

Shawnee began the week 3-5 but the Renegades are coming off an impressive 53-25 win at defending South Jersey Group 1 champion Haddon Township.

The Renegades, who compete in one of the best divisions in the state, the Olympic Conference American, started the season out with wins over two strong Olympic National teams, Bishop Eustace and Paul VI.

Shawnee then lost five in a row, most by close margins against top teams.

“Our schedule has been brutal, not to make excuses but it is brutal,” Shawnee coach Chrissy McGovern said. We got off to a great start (with the two wins) but faltered on the road and there were lessons learned.”

While the schedule has been difficult to this point, it won’t get any easier. In fact Shawnee entered the week still having to play Cherokee the consensus No. 1 team in South Jersey twice.

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Leading the way on this young team is senior forward Sierra Sanson, who entered the week averaging 18 points per game. Sanson is a Gettysburg recruit.

“She is an awesome player,” McGovern said of Sanson. “Sierra is a kid everybody wants to have on the team, she wants what is best for everybody and doesn’t think about herself.”

McGovern said her improvement year to year has been truly impressive.

“She worked so hard on her game and now can knock down the three and that wasn’t part of of her game before,” McGovern said. “Her tough is beautiful and she can pull up (for a jumper) and also play well in the post.” 

Junior Ciana Viccharelli was second on the team in scoring averaging more than 9 points per game.

The win over Haddon Township was impressive, not only because the Hawks had been undefeated but because they are annually one of the top defensive teams in South Jersey.

Could it be a spring board for Shawnee?

“Before facing Haddon Township we had a chip on our shoulder and were tired of losing,” McGovern said. “They are such a good team to play because they give you so many different looks offensively, running off so many screens, and they are so strong defensively, so we hope this is a game that can turn things around.”

Most of all this is team that should get much better in the next month, with the added experience. The schedule won’t get any easier, and in fact it may be more difficult, but Shawnee is a team that by late February, could show the same form that enabled the Renegades to make a deep postseason run last year.

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For more Local Sports features, visit our South Jersey Sports page. 

Author: Marc Narducci; Photo by Marc Narducci


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