CONTINENTAL — For Continental and head coach K.C. Knowles, the only way to go is up in 2022-23.
The Pirates tallied just two wins a season ago, but with five returning letterwinners — all seniors — varsity experience and improvement will be at a premium as the Blue and Gold look to rise in the Putnam County league hierarchy.
Leading that group of returners is 5-8 senior guard Bryn Tegenkamp. The veteran will slot into the starting lineup after serving as the team’s leading scorer (9 ppg) on the offensive end and a stalwart on the defensive side with five rebounds and 5.6 steals per contest en route to a second team all-PCL and honorable mention all-district campaign.
Senior guards Reese Knowles (4 ppg, 4.5 rpg, honorable mention all-PCL), Liv Logan (2 ppg, 1.5 spg) and Macie Cordes will likely join Tegenkamp to tip off contests this season for the Pirates. 5-10 senior Cheyenne Rose is a candidate to round out that starting unit, along with juniors Tori Searfoss and Destiny Pier.
“We’ve got a good returning core with some young girls to complement them,” said Knowles, a Defiance College and Continental graduate. “This is the largest group of seniors (five) on a team I’ve had since taking over the program and we’ll look to them for leadership in tough times.”
Youth will also bring some energy to the varsity roster as 5-6 freshman guard Kenzie Shock is a promising newcomer to the Pirate program, along with 5-10 freshman forward Olivia Crossgrove and 5-10 sophomore Corrine Sprague.
“The team will struggle early on until we can get the core to work with the new pieces,” admitted Knowles. “Our bench play will be a weakness, especially early, as we have limited varsity experience outside of our starters. We’ll look to improve as the year continues and try to make a run come tournament time.”
In all, five freshmen and four sophomores dot the varsity group for Continental, forming the building blocks of anticipated future success.
“We will look to bounce back in the league after a tough season last year,” noted Knowles. “Hopefully we can compete and pick up two, three league wins to finish in the middle of the pack. The league looks to be wide-open this year with graduation and a few off-season injuries.”
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