Weber leads Warriors to win in girls hoops season opener


New Egypt High School’s Faith Weber has enjoyed more success in 2015 than most student-athletes would enjoy throughout their entire high school careers.

The 6-foot senior got off to a roaring start for the two-time defending Burlington County Scholastic League Independent Division champion girls’ basketball team, scoring 26 points, grabbing 18 rebounds and blocking seven shots as the Warriors rolled past Medford Tech, 49-30, in their season opener Dec. 18 at home. Younger sister Samantha Weber had 10 points and seven rebounds for New Egypt, and Sarah Weirsky added 10 assists. The trio continued their exploits Dec. 21 in a 58-50 victory over Pemberton High School. Faith Weber erupted for 31 points and 18 rebounds, and Sam Weber had 14 points, 11 rebounds, five blocks and four assists for New Egypt. The Warriors used a 19-5 secondquarter run to take a 13-point lead at halftime. Weirsky recorded eight assists and three steals.

Faith Weber also pitched in the spring for the softball team that was one win away from returning to the state championship game after winning the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group I title. She also was an integral player for the Burlington County team that won the Carpenter Cup in Philadelphia in June and then played for the New Jersey Bandits travel softball team that won the United States Specialty Sports Association regional softball championship in Salisbury, Maryland.

She is looking for an NCAA Division I college softball career with keen interest in Bucknell University, as well as Philadelphia University and the University of Pennsylvania.

Weber also played field hockey in the fall.

For now, she is focused on winning again in basketball. The Redbirds are coming off a 14-11 season that ended with a loss in the state tournament opener against Woodbury High School. Weber, who averaged 19 points and 14 rebounds and is 218 points away from 1,000 for her three-year varsity career coming into this week, believes this team can be successful again and perhaps go farther in tournament play. But she believes it can do it with a different dynamic.

“We lost a couple of seniors and have a lot of younger people coming up, two who never played varsity before, and we’re adapting to a different style of play,” she said.

Guards Ashley Borik, Jessica Andreula and Danelle Lewis graduated.

That different style this season, according to Weber, is to establish a more prolific outside shooting game that will free the inside for Weber to work toward open shots and then pass it back out again to an open teammate if a good shot opportunity is not there.

“She’s definitely in great shape and ready to go, motivated that this is her team,” coach Matt Brogan said. “She’s phenomenal, very difficult to handle, very versatile. She’s incredibly strong with great hands and a lot of skill in the post. She’s agile and can step out and shoot 20-foot jumpers all day.”

Weber said she worked on her post moves and her outside game during the offseason. She found she was getting doubleteamed regularly at the end of last season.

But she’s not doing it alone.

“There’s a lot of chemistry, with unspoken words,” Weber said.

Senior guards Weirsky and Kalilah Johnson and freshman guard Holly Wetzel will keep the ball moving. Weirsky has gotten stronger and more confident, Brogan said, and Johnson is a good outside shooter who averaged just less than six points a game last year and is a floor leader and emotional leader with her intensity.

“She’ll keep everybody moving in our motion offense,” Brogan said.

Brogan said Wetzel is probably the team’s most talented freshman since Emily Bausher.

“She plays well beyond her years,” the coach said.

Weber will be complemented underneath by her sister, Samantha, who is a sophomore.

“She’s incredibly versatile and is our best athlete,” Brogan said of the younger Weber. “She can shoot, get to the rim and is a tremendous defender. She’s also a slasher who can create her own shots.”

Amanda Weaver, a 5-foot-8 junior transfer, also can help in the post coming off the bench.

“Don’t be surprised if we stretch the bench,” said Brogan, who is assisted again by Kaitlyn Carty.

Seniors Michaela Shenker, a solid defender at guard, and senior swing player Kirsten Homeny, who can pass the ball well, can help.

“The key for us is to keep the ball off the floor and use the dribble to attack and move side-to-side to keep the inside open,” Brogan said. “We definitely need game sense and need to play well together under fire and to be able to knock down shots. We have a lot of options and hopefully will make a good percentage of shots. If we do that, we’ll be tough to beat.”

New Egypt plays Raritan High School in its Warriors Holiday Classic that it hosts at 4 p.m. Dec. 28. Lindenwold High School and Pinelands Regional High School play in the other bracket of the four-team tournament at 1 p.m. that day. The consolation game is at 1 p.m. Dec. 30 and the championship is at 4 p.m. that day.