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Preseason Prep Talk: Girls basketball

It won't be long until gyms are filled each night with games in boys and girls basketball.

The girls got the jump on the boys with the first major player announcing a verbal committment, as Pioneer's Joelle Connelly, the reigning News Player of the Year, accepted a scholarship offer from Hofstra.

The first games don't get rolling until after Thanksgiving, but there's no reason we can't get some discussion going about 2007-08 girls basketball.

Here a quick review of 06-07: The Section VI winners were Jamestown (AA), Kenmore East (A), East Aurora (B), Randolph (C) and Sherman (D) while Mount Mercy upset Sacred Heart in the championship game of the Monsignor Martin Association. East Aurora, which went on to win a storybook state public school championship in Class B, returns tenacious twins Jessie and Sarah Tarantino.

Underclassmen who were named All-Western New York were (all were juniors unless noted): First team --- Connelly, Erinne Cunningham-10 (Jamestown); Second team -- Nikki Frederickson (Jamestown); Third team -- Samantha Kopp-10 (Franklinvile); Fourth team -- Kaitlin Donahoe-10 (Nichols), Katie Medina (Hamburg), Jessie Tarantino (East Aurora); honorable mention --  Melissa Graham-10 (Mount Mercy), Sam Eimers-11 (Ripley), Rachel Ottaway-10 (Sherman).

So who's going to end their season screaming and streaming onto the court as the champs of their league? Or the Section? Or maybe even the state? Does EA have enough to pull of a state run now that it has moved up to Class A? Can Jamestown follow up on a strong showing with Rush-Henrietta in last year's regionals? Which teams will come out of nowhere? What league will be the toughest? Who should be the preseason No. 1s for large and small schools?

We'll be taking a look at other winter sports in the coming days as well.

Coaches, make sure you send your schedules -- and rosters, as soon as you've finalized them -- to us via fax (849-4587) or email ( Thanks.

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