Highland Park girls basketball preview

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Guard Lizzy LoGrande

Playing in her third season on varsity, LoGrande will be expected to lead as Highland Park tries to fill the shoes of graduated all-state guard Lena Munzer. Like Munzer, LoGrande was named to the all-CSL North team last year. Bechtel said she feels good about LoGrande’s leadership abilities, given her extensive experience on varsity.

“She’s just someone you can always count on,” Bechtel said.

Forward Grace Quirk

This will be Quirk’s second year on varsity. She was the only sophomore on the team last season, but despite the inexperience was named to the all-CSL North team.

Quirk was close to averaging in double figures in scoring last year, so Bechtel is counting on her to take another step forward. LoGrande said she thinks Quirk’s athleticism — the junior is also on the soccer team — will be an additional asset.

“She’s a good fill-in for Lena,” LoGrande said. “They are very similar with their play.”

Forward Kiera Thorpe

Already a state qualifier in track, Thorpe will make her varsity debut in basketball this year as Highland Park looks to take advantage of her speed and agility.

“She’s going to be such an asset to the team,” LoGrande said. “She can jump and get rebounds. We need someone like that on the team.”

They are going to look a lot different after losing their best player. They have a pretty even group of talent, so no one player can be focused on, but they also could be searching for points and are going to need someone to step up offensively. Defensively, though, they are still going to be a tough team to play up against.

2012-13 record: 16-11, 8-2 CSL North

2013 playoffs: Lost in Class 4A regional semifinal to Grayslake North

Head coach: Jolie Bechtel, ninth season

Projected starting five: sr. G Lizzy LoGrande, jr. F Grace Quirk, jr. F Kiera Thorpe, sr. G Sarah Glazer, sr. G Lucy Hoffman

Game to watch: Deerfield at Highland Park, 7:30 pm. Dec. 10. These longtime conference rivals always seem to bring out the best in one another, and Highland Park is coming off a CSL North title a year ago.

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