Metuchen girls hoops team ready to start new season


The Metuchen High School girls basketball team had its Dec. 18 season opener against Middlesex High School postponed due to a bomb threat. While the two teams have been in talks to schedule a rematch, a definitive date has yet to be determined. Due to the postponement, the Bulldogs were scheduled to open the season earlier this week when Spotswood came to town on Dec. 21.

The good news for Metuchen is that four of its five starters from last year’s 8-14 team are back and ready to put last season’s struggles in the team’s rearview mirror.

“This is probably one of the more versatile groups to come through Metuchen in a while,” Metuchen head coach Val Gazda said. “We lost a key player from last season in Lindsay Peragallo, but the returning kids are used to my style. They know how I work, and we’ve had a really good preseason.”

Senior Stacy Carr returns to the floor after leading the team in scoring with 17 points per game her junior season.

“We’re looking for her to have an all-out year,” Gazda said. “She’s one of those kids who play a lot in the offseason, and she understands the whole concept of being a leader. She also puts her best foot forward, and she’s matured a lot since last year.”

Sophomore guard Jenna Oyler is expected to be another major contributor this season on the offensive end of the floor. Unfortunately, Oyler is just coming off a bout of illness and will see limited action to start the season.

“Jenna is a real nice player,” Gazda said. “She just came back to us last week, so she’ll need some time to get back in the groove.”

Juniors Sara Corson and Shelby Hallas return to the starting lineup. Corson was one of the team’s leading rebounders, and Hallas gives the team added low post presence.

“Shelby now understands the importance of her role on this team as a 6-footer,” Gazda said. “She can make things happen and take the pressure off our guards.”

Seniors Caroline Murphy and Kristina Rosamilia will see action in the backcourt this season and may see their playing time increased with Oyler working her way back into the lineup.

“They gained some confidence during the preseason with Jenna sidelined,” Gazda said. “They will get key minutes. We’re pretty deep at guard and have about eight kids that can play at any time. Barbara Poandl and freshman Jamie Wooding can fill spots depending on what we need. Jamie can also play forward.”

Sophomore Moira Mulligan, junior Amanda Callas and senior Laura Speziale will also crack the lineup once they’re healthy.

“All three are currently injured, but all three will see playing time,” Gazda said. “Along with our depth in the backcourt, we can be tall with certain lineups. The beauty of this group is that anybody can start.”

The Bulldogs will compete in the Benedictine Academy Tournament over the winter break. The team’s first game is scheduled for 5 p.m. Dec. 26 against St. Patrick High School.