The Kenmore West Lady Blue Devils were one of the hottest teams in all of Western New York at the beginning of the 2005-06 season, opening with nine straight wins. Along the way, they captured the championships in the Hutch-Tech and Matt Colpoys tournaments.

The Blue Devils’ 40-17 road win over Lockport on Feb. 3 will rank as one of the all-time great Ws in team history. West ran a smothering, intense defense that held the Lions to just two points in the first half.

A brief slump saw them drop three consecutive Niagara Frontier League games midway through the season but they regrouped and went 5-2 down the stretch.

Sparked by 21 points from Holly Przybysz, the Blue Devils bested Orchard Park 56-50 in the Section VI Class AA quarterfinals, before losing to Lancaster 38-32 in the semis.

Freshman Jenna Rickan was the leading scorer in 11 of the 21 games.

Junior Raven Metoyer and sophomore Jordan Rickan will no doubt see increased playing time next season and are favorites to win starting jobs. Heather Cartwright will also see more floor time.

“I’m looking forward to next year a lot, (getting) a lot more playing time,” said Jordan Rickan, who is already immersed in off-season workouts.

The 6-foot Metoyer will take over the inside role that Lisa Runions primarily held this season. West will need to replace the speed and teamwork that Courtney DeVille and Kayleen Cahill brought on the fast break. With her speed, it’s a role Jordan Rickan is suited for.

Next season will represent a reunion of sorts for Jordan Rickan, as many of the JV players who will by vying for the open varsity jobs are fellow sophomores she hangs out with.

“We’re all best friends. Missy Walters, Sammy Larson, Cassie Wegrzyn, Sarah Borgenicht, Michelle Fatta. They’re girls I hang out with every day. I can’t wait to finally play with them again. I can’t wait until we’re on the court practicing together,” said Jordan Rickan.

The future is similarly bright on the boys side for the Blue Devils, as they should be in the thick of the playoff race next season.

Sophomore Edvin Ramulic was dominating at times in 2005-06 and showed he has the ability to be one of the premiere players in Western New York.

Junior Joe Mogavero also brought solid offensive punch (230 points scored) and a reliable presence under the boards (148 rebounds).

Perhaps the biggest surprise came in the form of junior guards Mike Licata and Mike Maritato, who complimented each other perfectly in the backcourt and gave the Blue Devils two solid ball handlers who could get the rock to Ramulic and Mogavero on a consistent basis.

West handed Lockport its only NFL loss with a 71-64 decision Jan. 6, but the Blue Devils also suffered through a frustrating stretch were they lost four of five games that were decided by two points.

“The potential was there as far as wins and losses to be a very good team,” Badgley said. “I hope our kids are thinking positively and are encouraged for next year.”

The Blue Devils gave Niagara Falls all they could handle in their 68-52 Class AA pre-quarterfinal loss.

“We played with spirit, enthusiasm and reckless abandonment. We didn’t back down. There was no selfishness. If guys played a minute then were taken out, nobody complained,” Badgley said. “It was great to see that kind of excitement. If we can take it into next season we’ll be in good shape. If selfishness (comes) in then we didn’t learn anything from the Falls game.”

Kenmore West Blue Devils

- TEAM: Girls

- RECORD: 15-6 overall, 9-5 Niagara Frontier League

- LEADING SCORER: Jenna Rickan (10.7 points per game)

- LEADING REBOUNDER: Lisa Runions (3.6 per game)

- STARTERS GRADUATING: Courtney DeVille, Lisa Runions and Kayleen Cahill

- STARTERS RETURNING: Holly Przybysz and Jenna Rickan

- GAME OF THE YEAR: Coach Mike Licata was hesitant to choose one, saying instead: “The most important thing I took from this season wasn’t so much one game, but rather the total improvement over last season. We had only eight victories the previous season and finished with 15 this year.”

- TEAM: Boys

- RECORD: 9-12 overall, 5-7 Niagara Frontier League

- LEADING SCORER: Edvin Ramulic (15.1 points per game)

- LEADING REBOUNDER: Ramulic (7.7 per game)


- STARTERS RETURNING: Ramulic, Joe Mogavero, Mike Licata, Mike Maritato, Matt Nagorski and Tim Cammarata

- GAME OF THE YEAR: According to coach Jim Badgley, it was a tie between a victory over Lockport on Jan. 6 or Kenmore East on Jan. 10.

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