Western Wayne's girls varsity hoops team is champing at the bit to get on the court.
One year after finishing 5-8 in the Lackawanna League and fourth in a 5-team division, Western Wayne is poised to make a bona fide title run in girls varsity basketball.
The Lady 'Cats boast a roster brimming with battle-tested veterans and talented youngsters.
Wallenpaupack Area and Honesdale may be favored at this early point in the pre-season, but Western Wayne will have plenty to say about who walks away with a championship.
"We've been itching since the fall to get out here and see what we have," Coach Colleen Kloss said.
"The kids are excited and so are the coaches. I'm very optimistic about the season. We're a senior and junior dominated team, so that experience should help us win some of those close games we lost last year."
The Lady 'Cats will tip-off their exhibition slate next Saturday afternoon, Nov. 30 at Dunmore.
Any conversation about this year's girls varsity hoops squad must begin with the Carmody Twins.
Rebecca and Rachel are two of the area's truly elite players. The juniors will present nightmare match-ups for opposing coaches, both in the paint and on the perimeter.
Becca is just coming off a sensational volleyball season that saw her named Lackawanna League MVP.
As Western Wayne's point guard, Carmody will be expected to run the offense, lead the defensive charge and knock down the occasional big shot.
"Becca is an amazing athlete," Coach Kloss said.
"Having her out there is like having a coach on the floor. The kids look up to her and she's and excellent leader. Becca is one of the best defenders in the league and she's very tough."
Rachel is also a multi-sport standout who stars on the softball diamond.
Carmody is an imposing presence in the paint at both ends of the floor. She's comfortable at both the big forward and center spots, but can also run the floor in transition or step outside to drain a deep trey.
"Rachel leads by example on and off the court," Coach Kloss said. "She's always hustling. Rachel can hurt you in so many ways, be it scoring or rebounding or playing defense."
Rebecca and Rachel closed out their sophomore seasons among the league's to scorers, averaging 11.8 and 11.6 points per game, respectively.
The Carmody Twins are an excellent 1-2 punch, but Western Wayne also has a treasure trove of talented athletes champing at the bit for a chance to star.
Kelsey Russo returns to provide the Lady 'Cats offense with perimeter marksmanship. A senior who was in the starting line-up all last year, Russo is ready to make a statement.
"Kelsey is shooting the ball really well so far in practice," Coach Kloss said. "All that experience she got last season should help her tremendously."
Caleigh Wildenstein is another senior returning to the fold. A versatile role-players, Wildenstein does many of the little things a team needs to win.
"Caleigh plays great defense, makes good passes and will shoot the ball when she's open," said Coach Kloss. "Caleigh knows her role and she embraces it."
Senior Kourtney Jones came off then bench last season and played suffocating defense against some of the league's top scorers.
"Kourtney is a super defender," said Coach Kloss. "She comes into the game and gets everybody fired up. Kourtney will be fighting for a starting position this year."
Jordyn Jacques is that rarest of high school cagers, a 5'8" center.
The senior was just named to the Lackawanna League all stars in volleyball and possesses an unparalleled leaping ability.
"Jordyn can jump right out of the gym," said Coach Kloss. "She's just tenacious on defense and on the boards."
While Coach Kloss is careful to say she doesn't want to look too far ahead, she is setting some serious goals for this team.
The Lady 'Cats open their regular season December 3 at the Hawley Rotary Tournament, where they will get their first taste of competition against rivals Honesdale and Paupack.
"We didn't make the final there last year and we really though we should have," she said.
"That's our first goal. After that, we're just taking it one game at a time and trying to get a little bit better every time we step on the court."