After suffering through a winless regular season in Lackawanna League competition, Western Wayne's girls basketball team drops down to Division III for the 2008-'09 campaign. Coach Colleen Corrigan is excited to see what her young & athletic team can do...

Western Wayne’s varsity girls basketball team faces yet another challenge this winter: adjusting to new competition.

The Lady ‘Cats are a Class AAA school that competes in the Lackawanna League. The past several seasons, Western Wayne has been a member of Division II. For the 2008-‘09 campaign, however, the local girls will join Division III.

Carbondale Area, which won Division III with a perfect 14-0 record last winter, moves up to Division II. Western Wayne, which failed to win a single Lackawanna League game, drops down.

Joining the Lady ‘Cats in Division III this season will be: Montrose, Elk Lake, Mountain View, Blue Ridge, Lackawanna Trail, Forest City and Susquehanna.

“We really don’t know what to expect,” Coach Colleen Corrigan told TWI Sports. “We haven’t played many of these teams before, so it’s going to be a little bit of a learning experience...especially in the first half.”

This will also be Coach Corrigan’s first full year at the helm. Colleen was an assistant last year, but took over in mid-season when Steve Salley stepped down for personal reasons.

Western Wayne opens up its exhibition slate next Tuesday afternoon against local rival Canaan Christian Academy. The Lady ‘Cats and Eagles will tip-off at 3:30 p.m. on the Varden Garden hardwood.

Breaking It Down
Western Wayne is young, but four starters return to the fold for a team that went 0-14 in league play last year. The Lady ‘Cats have just one senior, but boast a strong group of underclassmen that includes six juniors and six sophomores.

“We don’t have alot of height, but we’re pretty quick and athletic,” said Coach Corrigan. “We’re hoping we can run a little bit. We’d like to dictate the tempo, create some turnovers and score points in transition.”

Co-captains for this year’s team will be Emily Prussia and Charlcie Brink.

Prussia is Western Wayne’s lone returning senior. Emily is a battle-tested post player who isn’t afraid to battle for boards in the paint. She thrived in big game situations last season, putting up double digit point totals at both the Hawley Rotary and Honesdale Area Jaycees tournaments.

“Emily is our most experienced player, so we’ll be looking to her for leadership on the court,” said Coach Corrigan. “She has some nice post moves and she’s a good foul shooter. We want her to attack the basket and if she doesn’t score, we’d like to see her at the line as much as possible.”

Brink is Western Wayne’s best all-round athlete. She’ll be handling the point on offense and leading the defensive charge. Brink is a three-sport star who also excels in soccer and track.

“Charlcie is going to be a big part of whatever success we have,” said Coach Corrigan. “She’s very vocal and very competitive. Charlcie is a terrific leader. All our younger girls look up to her. They want to play hard because they see how hard she plays.”

Stacy Skates and Shannon Nolan were both in the starting line-up last year and return for the current campaign. Skates & Nolan are juniors and should be right in the thick of things at both ends of the floor.

Courtney Kromko and Sarah Wildenstein saw significant varsity time last season. Both are sophomores and each made key contributions to Western Wayne’s play-off bound girls soccer team this fall.

Junior Amber Curtis played mostly on the jayvee squad last year. Coach Corrigan describes Curtis as “hard-nosed and hard-working.” Amber is a three-sport standout who also runs track and cross country.

New Horizons
Western Wayne’s entry into Division III this winter brings with it hope for a fresh start.

The Lady ‘Cats struggled in Division II against perennial powerhouses like Dunmore, Riverside and Valley View. This season, the local lasses will face longer bus rides, but many more winnable games.

“Montrose and Mountain View are probably two of the favorites,” said Coach Corrigan. “We played Montrose last year and didn’t fare too well. We’ll have to do some serious scouting just to find out what we’re up against.”

The Meteors went 11-3 in league action last season, while the Eagles posted a 6-8 mark. Blue Ridge is the only other Division III team returning with a winning record (7-7). Trail (5-9), Elk Lake (5-9), Forest City (4-10) and Susquehanna (4-10) all finished below .500.

According to Coach Corrigan, the Lady ‘Cats will play an up-tempo game. Western Wayne will play aggressive, man-to-man defense and look to create scoring opportunities off turnovers.

Western Wayne’s first real test of the campaign comes Friday, December 5th at the Hawley Rotary Tournament. The Lady ‘Cats open their quest for a title against longtime rival Wallenpaupack Area. Honesdale and Carbondale Area make up the other half of the bracket.

“I can’t wait for the season to get going,” said Coach Corrigan. “This is a great group of girls and I have wonderful assistant coaches. I’m a little bit nervous because it’s all on my shoulders this year, but I’m also excited.”

Western Wayne will open its Lackawanna League regular season schedule on Monday, December 22nd. The Lady ‘Cats will welcome Blue Ridge to the friendly confines of the Varden Garden for a 7:30 p.m. tip-off.