CAMBRIDGE, N.Y. -- The Cambridge Central School girls basketball team have a tall task ahead this season. They have to replace 1,000-point scorer Molly Lauver, center Sara Tironi and guard Elizabeth Bell, who as a trio were responsible for more than 80 percent of the scoring.
The only two returners from last year's 12-8 campaign are senior Jean Brownell and junior Sarah Cuddihy. The rest of the roster comes from a junior varsity team that went 0-18 last season.
So to say Cambridge will have some growing pains may be an understatement.
"Sarah and Jean were role players last year," said coach Doug Luke, entering his 17th season leading the Indians. "We lost our three best players. Now [Sarah and Jean] have to be the stars. Then the others need to play a role, but I'm not sure who that's going to be yet."
Brownell scored just over 4 points per game as a fourth or fifth option last year, while Cuddihy scored 43 points in 19 games off the bench.
"You don't get two players like Molly and Sara very often," Luke said. "They were in the same class, playing from eighth grade on the varsity. We're not going to fill Tironi and Lauver's shoes."
Brownell said she understands it will be a rebuilding year for the Indians.
"We'll really have to step it up without those [players]; everyone just needs to give it their all," Brownell said.
One of the younger players coming up to the varsity as a freshman is Olivia Mooney. Mooney, also a member of the soccer team, is Luke's tallest player at 5-foot-10. But that height will be challenged by the tough post play in the rest of the Wasaren League.
"Physically, Olivia is at a big disadvantage, but she deserves to be on the varsity with us," Luke said. "She needs to come a long way but she has athletic ability. If she can get some points and rebounds, that would be great."
Brownell said she's optimistic about the young talent coming through the program.
"Some of the freshman are going to be good, they need to work to their highest potential," Brownell said. "I have to try to keep their heads up no matter what happens."
Unfortunately for Cambridge, rebuilding comes at a price. They'll face reigning Class C champ Hoosic Valley and perennial power Tamarac each twice.
"We're not tiny, but physically we're thin and we might get beat up," Luke said. "It's going to be a tough year."
Luke said he isn't necessary looking for results now; that it's more about two or three years down the road.
"I want each person to improve, on simple things, and I would like to be competitive in a couple years," Luke said. "I think the girls realize that. We had two real good players last year and now we don't." Boys basketball
* Coach: Tim Oglivie (sixth season)
* Last year: 1-17, loss to Hoosick Falls in Class C sectionals
* The team: Everything a season ago ran through guard Will Bromirski, who has graduated and is now playing at Roberts Wesleyan in Rochester. Now, Cambridge will have to depend on seniors Matt Parmenter and Shaeden Mosso, the second and third-leading scorers, without teams having the distraction of a ‘shoot-from-anywhere' player like Bromirski. Three other players return in seniors Schyler Bissonette and Kyle Drummond and sophomore Ethan English.
* Next game: Friday at Tamarac
* Coach: Sherm Trinkle (fourth season)
* Last year: 0-14 (dual meets)
* So far: 2-3
* The team: Trinkle loses two 4-year starters in Jeremy Stevens at heavyweight and Adam Mimms at 126. Stevens was the best for the Indians last year, finishing fifth at the Class C sectional tournament. But this season, Trinkle is close to filling out all 15 weight classes, avoiding losing points in dual meets because of forfeits. Five wrestlers return: Eric Telford (138), James Wilmot (126), Nathan Winchester (220), Chris Couture (145) and Austin Dean (152). Dean, Couture and Telford started the year with good performances at the Voorheesville Duals last Saturday as all but two wrestlers picked up wins. Trinkle said there's a lot of potential for the newcomers, which include six freshmen and a seventh grader.
* Next meet: Thursday vs. Granville, 6 p.m.