Panthers ready to battle in tough Wasaren League

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HOOSICK, N.Y. — The Hoosick Falls girls basketball team has a solid group of returning players from a 12-11 campaign and a Class C sectional semifinal appearance.

New coach Ken Facin is ready for his Panthers to build off of last year's success.

"I think we want to be reasonable with our expectations, we want to get better every day in practice," Facin said. "We want to be better every time we step on the floor and want to go farther than we did last year. The girls are striving to do that, that's the goal they have and they're realistic goals but also goals we'll have to work hard to attain."

The Panthers are led by junior Logan Thayne, who returns after a campaign where she scored more than 450 points, averaging nearly 21 points per contest.

"We're all about playing together and for us, Logan fits into our system because she can play any of the five positions on the court," Facin said. "She has incredible versatility for a big, can come out and drain a three, go inside on the block. A lot of what we do falls off of that and that occupies a lot of energy [for a defense].

Senior Lillian Hickey will help run the point after averaging about five points a game last season.

"She plays with tons of energy and plays downhill, she's intense," Facin said.

The rest of the starting lineup, at least for Game 1, will be junior Maddy Walker, senior Grace Wysocki and senior Sky Haynes.

Coming off the bench will be seniors Faith Adamczenko and Lily Abbott, along with Olivia Brownell, who is coming off an injury during the soccer season.

"They are all complimentary and selfless, they don't care who scores, they just want to play well," Facin said.

Sophomore Molly Walker will also contribute minutes off the bench.

"She's an intense and physical player. I expect a nice contribution from her, we're very pleased at what we've seen so far," Facin said.

Defensively, Facin said they will try a few different things, including a press.

"Many offenses run off [a team's] point guard, so what we'll try to do, we want them to start their offense 40 feet from the basket," Facin said.

Hoosick Falls' schedule is extremely tough. The Wasaren League is one of the best in Section II, with Class B power Tamarac and Class C semifinalist Cambridge at the top, with Mechanicville and the Panthers in the mix.

Hoosick also faces Mount Anthony twice, sectional finalist Mekeel Christian, Class A's Schenectady and perennial Class C contender Lake George, among others.

"We have 10 games against Class A and B teams to prepare for the sectionals. We're going to see speed and size and that will help us for playoffs," Facin said. "We have a lot of great teams in our league. But I think basketball lends itself that you play better against better competition and that will help us improve. We'll know by the end of December what we're good at and what we need to improve."

The Panthers begin the season on Monday at Mekeel Christian, then travel to Schenectady on Wednesday.

Roster: Lillian Hickey, Faith Adamczenko, Lily Abbott, Sky Haynes, Olivia Brownell, Grace Wysocki, Abby Decker, Logan Thayne, Maddy Walker, Mackenzie Ellis, Sophie Estes, Maggie Brown, Molly Walker


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