DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. – The Dobbs Ferry varsity girls’ basketball team came into preseason with an early goal.
“Last year, we got off to a slow start and toward the end of the season, we were playing to our potential,” said senior and four-year varsity player Kristine Foresti. “This year we want to play up to our potential from the start and develop to our full potential by the end of the year.”
Foresti and classmate Kristy Degener, in her third varsity season, are excited about the team’s potential. Coach Erik Bartell has seven returning players from a team that reached the 2012 Section 1 Class B final four at the Westchester County Center. The Eagles dropped a heartbreaker in double overtime to Blind Brook in the semis.
Returning along with Foresti and Degener are juniors Alyssa Chipelo, Christine Whitty and Kana Kihara, and sophomores Molly Althoz and Bridget Sheridan. Chipelo started with Foresti and Degener, and Whitty was the six girl.
“We played really well together and even though we are a young team, we want to build off what we did and get at least as far as we did last year,” Degener said.
Degener explained that after the season concluded in March, Dobbs Ferry did not stop playing basketball, especially during the summer. The team played in the O’Hara summer league in Irvington and also competed in a summer tournament at Siena College.
Even though Irvington defeated Dobbs Ferry in the summer-league final, playing together in the league and also at the Siena tournament brought the team together.
“We realized we could accomplish as a team,” said Foresti, who runs the point. “We know there is going to be competition for the starting five, but we also know that any combination of girls on the court for us is going to do well.”
As a result of the additional play during the summer, Dobbs Ferry came into practice ahead of schedule. Degener and Foresti said the team came in working hard and by the fourth practice, the Eagles were running their offensive sets.
Dobbs Ferry will open the season Wednesday in the Irvington tournament. The Eagles are hoping to soar into the County Center for the final four and win the gold ball.