2003-04 DODDS-Europe Division I girls basketball preview
December 3, 2003
It’s the classic case of the Royals getting richer.
With three straight European titles in their pockets, the Ramstein Lady Royals start the campaign for their fourth crown this Friday with some added firepower.
A look at the Lady Royals, and the rest of the Division I girls’ field:
Ramstein Lady Royals
The backcourt is set with All-Europe and European tourney MVP guard Krissy Grosselin (16.4 ppg) and speedy Raquel McCullom.
Now, Ramstein adds center April Brown, who according to coach Ceclia Grosselin, “will be a major contributor this year.” Brown should provide the Royals with a solid low-post rebounding and scoring presence, said Grosselin, who also welcomes back senior Tatreka Polite and sophomore Heather Harvey.
“With the talented returnees and energetic newcomers,” coach Grosselin said, “the Royals appear to have a lot of pieces in place for another successful season.”
Wiesbaden Lady Warriors
Steven Jewell’s Warriors, runners-up at Europeans last season, will rely on returnees Precious Johnson and Shaveeka McCullough for scoring and their fellow returnee, Danielle Gregory, for defense and rebounds.
Jewell hopes his youthful players, especially Sara Roderic, Jessica Fuller, Quintelle Smith and Shontae Wells, will be able to step up.
New coach John Hedberg inherits a talented nucleus for his first season, including All-Europe sophomore forward Trinity Bursey (18 points, 14 rebounds and 3 blocks per game). She will be joined by all-conference senior forward Amanda Hood, junior swing player Ebony Morris and sophomore point guard Mimi Smith.
Heidelberg Lady Lions
Rich Bennett, fresh from coaching Heidelberg to the European volleyball crown, returns to the bench for the first time since 1997. He brings with him four members of his championship volleyball team: 5-10 forward Megan Briggs; 5-7 power forward Alissa Dawson; and 5-6 guards Megan Brousseau and Carissa Beach.
They won’t have to do it all, however.
Bennett, leading his 18th Lady Lions hoops squad, can also call on returning starter Germaine Calvin, a 5-7 junior, and 5-10 forward Shalonda Larry, along with 5-3 newcomer Grethel Frias-Merritt, who provides ball-handling and shooting prowess, Bennett said.
Kaiserslautern Lady Raiders
Corey Sullivan, with just four experienced returnees from last season’s 12-7 team, plans to combat inexperience and lack of height with speed.
Senior Kristil Tatum is the only returning starter, and none of her fellow returnees — Lynndsey Hyter, Bianca Gerena-Perez and Nadiyah Batiste — averaged more than four points per game last year.
Würzburg Lady Wolves
David Arthur returns seniors Jessica Branch and Jane Castillo from last year’s team, which went 1-11 during the regular season.
No other information was provided by the school.
International School of Brussels Raiders
New coach Frank Morandini counts seven returnees from last year’s 2-10 squad on his nine-player roster.
Seniors Michelle Kilian and Natalya Procynshyn lead them in scoring, but newcomer Anneliese Brinkman, a 6-1 sophomore, is expected to help significantly.