When first-year St. Charles North coach Sean Masoncup wanted to install a new, up-tempo style of game, he found something he liked right away with the Stars: up-tempo players.
“It’s a little bit different style than what they’re used to with more pressure and the hope that we cause turnovers and have our offense come out of the defense,” said Masoncup, who coached five years under North boys coach Tom Poulin. “We’ve got a young team, but it’s something they’ve taken to.”
The Stars will start three juniors and two sophomores.
Junior guard Sam Novak, who suffered a torn ACL at midseason last year, is healthy and returns, and 6-1 sophomore Morgan Rosencrants is a player who causes Masoncup to note “the sky is the limit for her.”
Junior forward Nicole Davidson is the top returning scorer for the Stars, after averaging 9.4 points last year.
The other sophomore is guard Kyla Heslsel. Junior guard Ashley Davern and Novak also are moving into key roles.
“Helsel, at the point, has handled everything we’ve thrown at her, which is impressive for a sophomore,” Masoncup said.
Post player Abby MacKay-Zacker is one of two seniors who figure to get a lot of playing time. She went to school in Spain last year as part of a foreign exchange program and wasn’t with the Stars during their 9-20 campaign.
Guard Allie Reed is the other senior in a rotation that will go eight or nine deep. Sophomore forward Lauren Neslund “has been a nice surprise so far,” Masoncup said.
A player Masoncup was familiar with because he is a middle school teacher at Haines has also made an impact — freshman Sammy Sample.
“She’s shown she can handle it at this level,” he said.
With such an emphasis on a faster pace and pressure defense, the Stars will hope to avoid foul trouble and use their bench.
“As a team, we’re going to be so young that it’s a goal to be in games into the fourth quarter and let the chips fall as they may,” Masoncup said.