Niagara Gazette


December 13, 2012


Niagara Gazette —

For the past few years, the Grand Island girls basketball team has found itself among the area's elite. Winners of the past two Section VI Class A championships, the Vikings earned a spot in Western New York's best.

But this year's team will differ greatly from those of the past. This year's Vikings are built from the inside out, going into a season for the first time in six years without point guard Kallie Banker, now running the floor for Division I University of Rhode Island.

That's not to say the Vikings are suffering on talent, though. Leading the way this season will be 6-foot-2 forward Cassie Oursler, a senior who recently signed on to play next year at Robert Morris University, also Division I.

"Our size is going to be our strength without a doubt this year," said Jenepher Banker, Vikings coach and Kallie's mother. "That's what we'll be trying to do — get the ball inside where we have the advantage."

Also returning will be forward Kassie Bennett and guard Grace Olszewski, both seniors who started last season. Joining Olszewski in the backcourt will be junior Lexi Kalinowski, making her return to the court after missing most of last season with a leg injury, senior Jessica Amsdill, sophomore returnee Megan O'Leary and freshman Kayla Winfield, making her debut on varsity.

Stephanie Knight, who was first in off the bench for the Vikings last season, is recovering from injury but will return to aid Oursler and Bennett at forward later this year.

Banker said her players have some work to do if they want to repeat last year's success.

"We just have to really get better, and that's what our goal is: to try to get better every game to be where we want to be at the end of the year," she said. "We're just trying to figure out what our strengths and weaknesses are, especially defensively. We're still seeing what we do well and what we might want to work on."

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page