By BRIAN CUNNIFF
Cape May Tech’s girls basketball team experienced a rough season last year.
Not only did the Lady Hawks – like everyone else – have to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, but they were thrust into a division that included all of the Cape-Atlantic League’s heavyweights. The result was a 2-10 finish.
Armed with some more experience and a more manageable schedule, Tech should be in a better position to compete in 2021-22.
Cape Tech brings back its top three scorers and will compete in the CAL National Conference this winter, a conference that also includes Atlantic Tech, Cedar Creek, Holy Spirit, Ocean City, Pleasantville and Vineland. Tech also gets the opportunity to play some more competitive games outside the conference.
“We only graduated one senior so we have almost our entire roster back,” said head coach Amber Waddington (fourth season, 17-43 career). “A lot of these kids, this is their third or fourth year with us now, so that’s going to help us compete. I think we have good chemistry and the kids are mentally ready to go.”
Tech features one of Cape May County’s top returning players in 5-7 senior guard/forward Kennedy Campbell, who averaged 12.5 points and 9.8 rebounds last season. Other key returnees include 5-2 senior captain and point guard Izzy Schmucker and 5-4 senior guard Alex Garcia.
“Kennedy can score on the offensive end and she’s also the center of our defense as well,” Waddington said. “She can score in double figures every night. As long as we also get some scoring from Alex and Izzy, I think we’re going to be fine.”
The team’s two other seniors are 5-6 forward Hailey Pinto and 5-4 guard Emma Cleffi.
Others expected to help the varsity include 5-7 junior forward Alyssa Gery, 5-6 freshman guard Amanda Daino, 5-5 junior guard McKenna Anderson and 5-6 freshman guard Marley Wetzel.
Tech opens the season Friday at Cedar Creek.
Waddington’s assistant coaches are Andy Ridgway, Jessica McAnulty and Jacqui Schmucker.