Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

4 Starters Gone, but Trojanettes off to 5-2 Mark

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

4 Starters Gone, but Trojanettes off to 5-2 Mark

Article excerpt

When the Trojanettes of Buchanan High in Troy started basketball workouts this season, coach Renee Bishop didn't know exactly what to expect.

After all, the Trojanettes, who finished 17-9 a year ago, graduated four senior starters and returned just two players with any real experience.

"We had one returning starter (Sarah Lawrence) and another girl (Stacey Friesenborg) who moved up during the season," Bishop said. "But that was it. Our only senior, Natalie Griesbauer, and one of our top juniors, Erin Niehoff, missed all last season because of injuries.

"We came into the season with a lot of question marks."

But the young, untested Trojanettes have responded positively to the early-season challenge. They're off to a 5-2 start and will play the Hazelwood Central/Marquette winner in the consolation championship game of the Trojanette Coca-Cola Classic on Saturday.

"I'm very optimistic after what I've seen during the first few games," said Bishop, whose team was 5-3 in Gateway Athletic Conference play a year ago. "At times this season, I think the girls have surprised themselves with how well they've played. At other times, though, we've had some trouble. But that's to be expected.

"We're a young team and that means we're going to have our ups and our downs."

Bishop continued: "But as long as we continue to work hard, we're going to continue to improve. That's the really encouraging thing about this team."

Lawrence, the team's lone returning starter, has emerged as a leader for Troy. A 5-foot-6 junior, she is averaging about 16 points a game. Friesenborg, a 5-11 junior, joins 5-7 senior Griesbauer, 5-6 sophomore Jenny Turpin and 5-10 freshman Nicole Lindsey as the team's other starters.

"We don't have a lot of size, but we play bigger than we are," Bishop said. "Both Nicole and Stacie are averaging around nine rebounds a game and playing strong under the basket."

Bishop is still hoping to develop a little more depth, but she has been encouraged by the play of junior reserves Carrie Cannon, Michelle Spies and Niehoff. …

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