Colonie returns several veterans for 2008-09

No need for nametags for this year's Colonie girls basketball team.

There will be several familiar faces in coach Heather Fiore's second season at the helm, which is good news for Garnet Raider fans.

We have five players returning from last year, said Fiore. "Obviously, last year's team was young and inexperienced. This year, with those five returning players, we have a lot more experience."

Colonie will also have a lot more depth than last year. Several newcomers from last year's junior varsity team will give the Garnet Raiders both athleticism and speed, which will allow them to go back to the style of play that they're known for throughout the Suburban Council.

"Our bench is deeper, which will allow us to press (defensively) and run a lot more because I'll be able to throw some fresh legs out there," said Fiore.

Colonie's offense will be led by guards Shea Madden and Tehresa Coles, both of whom played key roles for the Garnet Raiders last year.

"Tehresa will be running the point a little more for us this year," said Fiore. "Shea is an off guard and shoots the ball well from the outside, so she'll be doing more of that for us."

Another player expected to make an impact this year is eighth-grader Sidney Rosales. She had an impressive debut in last year's Section II playoffs, as she scored 12 points after being called up from the JV team.

"We're definitely looking for her to do some good things for us," said Fiore. "She's quick, she's athletic and she shoots the ball well."

To have a shot at winning the Suburban Council South Division title this year, though, Colonie will need contributions from everyone including Lauren Cross, Carrie Kipper, Amy Jefferson, Ashley Loggins, Gabby Fisher, Rachel Scofield, Kelly Dillon and Amanda Tashjian.

"It's not going to be easy any night, which is good because it will teach them that they have to be ready to play every game," said Fiore.

Colonie has some tough tests to start the season. The Garnet Raiders visit Bethlehem " last year's Section II, Class AA finalists " next Tuesday before going to Shaker's Berkery Memorial Tournament, where they will play Section III power Nottingham in next Friday's opening round.

"It will be a tough week, but the kids are excited. Hopefully, we'll surprise some people," said Fiore.""

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