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NW girls hope fall success carries over

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Published December 04. 2019 12:50PM

This time of year, most coaches will talk about how they have work to do with their team and how it’s a work in progress and they have to wait to see how things turn out.

Northwestern girls basketball coach Chris Deutsch is a pretty straight shooter, though, and when he says that scrimmages exposed some things that his team needs to work on, you can believe him.

Northwestern faced tough teams in Easton, Nazareth, Pottsgrove and Wilson, and used the time to help players adjust to each other and assess where they stand coming into the season opener on Friday.

“We have a lot of work ahead of us,” said Deutsch. “We’ll get there, but it’s going to take some time. The girls are working, and some of them are coming from fall programs that had a lot of success with all of the championships that those teams won, so they have that experience to draw from.

“It’s just taking time adjusting to new personnel, and it’s going to take time, but I’m encouraged by how they’re working.”

While the Tigers lost just two players – Sage Christopher and Maggie Motolese – to graduation, they suffered another loss when rising junior Emily Sekerak transferred to Bethlehem Catholic. Christopher and Sekerak provided some size down low for Northwestern, along with being the team’s top two scorers and combining to average just over 21 points per game. Deutsch will look to fill some holes with players who have shown development in lesser roles and are now ready to take on more responsibility, but he also has three seniors to draw from for leadership.

The Sevrain family has kept Deutsch’s teams well stocked with players. Gabby Sevrain is entering her sophomore season at Dickinson College, and Sydney Sevrain averaged just over 10 points per game as a junior last season with the Tigers. This season, Paige Sevrain joins the team as a freshman, and Deutsch is high on the latest addition to his team from the Sevrain family.

“I think we’re going to have a freshman starter in Paige Sevrain at center; she’s one that we’ll be counting on for sure,” said Deutsch. “We have a good mix of some freshmen, some seniors, juniors and sophomores. Of our 16 kids on the JV/varsity roster, (only) three are seniors.”

As the middle sister, Sydney Sevrain has gotten to play high school basketball with both of her sisters, and is looking forward to being the older sibling on the court this time around.

“It’s great to be playing with my little sister. I got to play with my older sister, and now I get to play with my younger sister,” said Sydney Sevrain. “Paige is very different from Gabby and I’m very different from both of them, so it’s different, but yet still along the same lines.”

In addition to Sevrain, Deutsch has Mackenzie Hess and Gabriella Giese as seniors on this year’s roster. Hess was a member of the soccer team that won gold medals in districts, and then went as far as the quarterfinals in states, and is one of several players who played on winning teams during the fall season. The experience of being part of a winning team and gaining postseason experience could be an intangible for a young team such as this.

“We have some youth there and for some of them, this is their first year getting some varsity time or getting more time, than they’ve gotten in the past,” said Deutsch. “That experience of playing in that type of environment is a bonus, absolutely. I’m excited about it because I’m sure they all took a lot from that experience.”

While Deutsch remains nervous about the start of the season, Sevrain is confident that things will all work out.

“There are always things to work on,” said Sevrain. “But I think we all get along really well, and we’re all working toward getting better.”

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