2019-20 Southwestern Conference Winter Preview – Girls Basketball

With the winter athletic season beginning this week, the Southwestern Conference is excited to launch its Southwestern Conference Winter Preview. The preview will be a tradition for faithful Southwestern Conference followers and will signal the beginning of the much anticipated 2019-20 winter athletic seasons and the first step on the pathway to this year’s Southwestern Conference Champions.

Follow along this week as we preview each of the Winter sports as they begin their 2019-20 campaigns:

Monday Nov 18 – Bowling & Gymnastics
Tuesday Nov 19 – Swimming/Diving & Hockey
Wednesday Nov 20 – Wrestling
Thursday Nov 21 – Boys Basketball
Friday Nov 22 – Girls Basketball

Amherst Steele

Head Coach: Jay Valadez

Years at school: 2

Last Year’s Overall Record: 13-7 (9-5 SWC)

Number of Returning Starters: 3

Athletes to Watch: G – Lexie Alston (Sr), G – Faith Lewis (Sr), F – Amaya Staton (Sr)

2019 Season Outlook: This year the Comets are looking to play tough hard nose defense as their staple, letting their defense dictate their offensive play . With such a tough conference every game will be a challenge, but that wont stop Coach Valadez and the Comets from competing every time they step on the court.


Head Coach: Meghan Larrick

Years at school: 11

Last Year’s Overall Record: 13-10 (10-8 SWC)

Number of Returning Starters: 2

Athletes to Watch: Abby Liber (S0), Ashlee Torbert (Sr)

2019 Season Outlook:  The Eagles look to become more consistent and disciplined in 2019. They have a lot of talent that is being added to the roster, including great length that they hope to use to their advantage.  Coach Larrick hopes the team can build confidence through experience.

Avon Lake

Head Coach: Dave Zvara

Years at school: 9

Last Year’s Overall Record: 22-4 (15-3 SWC)

Number of Returning Starters: 2

Athletes to Watch: F – Grace Dean (Sr), G – Emma Knick (Jr), F – Keely McGinty (Jr), G – Devin Medved (Sr), G – Arianna Negron (Sr), F – Emily Yarham (Jr)

2019 Season Outlook: Avon Lake will look to fill key positions from the last year’s graduating class. The Shoregals should be competitive in a very strong league once again in 2019.


Head Coach: Brittney McNamara

Years at school: 1

Last Year’s Overall Record: 14-10 (10-8 SWC)

Number of Returning Starters: 1

Athletes to Watch: F – Jenna Bycznski (So), G – Sydney Lantow (Sr), G – Athena Sevastos (Jr), G – Lauren Yee (Fr)

2019 Season Outlook: The Titans start the Brittney McNamara era in 2019 and as a team they are excited to get started. The Orange and Blue are looking to make their mark in the SWC and compete with the top dogs of the conference.


Head Coach: Mike Harper

Years at school: 8

Last Year’s Overall Record: 7-17 (4-14 SWC)

Number of Returning Starters: 3

Athletes to Watch: G – Ava Clause (Sr), F – Morgan Harper (Sr), G – Asia McAuliffe (Sr), G – Gianna McAuliffe (Jr)

2019 Season Outlook: Coach Harper has his Rangers focused in the pre-season with several team meetings that he hopes will translate into success on the court.  He knows that the SWC schedule is a grind and has been preaching focus for every opponent. Look for Ava Clause to be the emotional leader for Lakewood this year, and Asia McAuliffe to help carry the load offensively for the Rangers.


Head Coach: Jessy Bendik

Years at school: 1

Last Year’s Overall Record:  7-16 (3-15 SWC)

Number of Returning Starters: 3

Athletes to Watch: F – Isabella Patarini (Jr), G – Jordan Reddinger (Jr), G – Autumn Vance (Jr)

2019 Season Outlook: The Middies are a young team with a lot of potential and possibility. Coach Bendik will have the team bring hard work, effort, a positive attitude, and team play to every contest. She would like to build upon last year’s performance and continue to grow as a team and a program.

North Olmsted

Head Coach: John McDermott

Years at school: 6

Last Year’s Overall Record: 1-22 (0-18 SWC)

Number of Returning Starters: 3

Athletes to Watch: F – Brooklyn Beeman (So), G – Mary Bloomfield (Sr), F – Jenna Cvijovic (Jr), F – Natalie Ellis (Sr), G – Sam Wengstrom (Sr)

2019 Season Outlook: The Eagles return a lot of Varsity lettermen who saw a good amount of action last season. They are a cohesive group that enjoys playing for and with each other. North Olmsted continues to work hard and will be a tough match in the SWC.

North Ridgeville

Head Coach: Amy Esser

Years at school: 12

Last Year’s Overall Record: 11-13 (6-12 SWC)

Number of Returning Starters: 4

Athletes to Watch: G – Mady Rosado (Jr), G – Leia Smith (Sr), F – Nina Vlach (Sr)

2019 Season Outlook: With a mixture of experience and young players, the Rangers hope to put it all together and have a great season.

Olmsted Falls

Head Coach: Jordan Eaton

Years at school: 6

Last Year’s Overall Record: 21-4 (17-1 SWC)

Number of Returning Starters: 3

Athletes to Watch: G – Lauren Galaska (Jr), G – Sara Glover (So), G – Jessica Holcomb (Sr), G – Mia Kalich (Fr), G – Nadia Khalaf (Sr), G – Paige Kohler (Fr), G – Allison Milligan (Jr), G – Lauren Noernberg (So), G – Grace Simon (Jr)

2019 Season Outlook: Coach Eaton and the Bulldogs are looking to compete for another Southwestern Conference Championship.


Head Coach: Karen Swanson Haan

Years at school: 2

Last Year’s Overall Record: 18-5 (14-4 SWC)

Number of Returning Starters: 3

Athletes to Watch: G – Gina Adams (Sr), F – Abby Carrington (Sr), F – Stephanie Randar (Sr)

2019 Season Outlook: The Westlake girls have their core group returning from last year — the talented trio of Gina Adams, Abby Carrington, and Stephanie Randar. They Demons look to be one of the teams competing for the SWC crown this year.