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Basketball Preview: Fininzio looks to build program’s future starting with this group

The 2012-13 North Collins High School varsity girls basketball team includes, from left, first row: Taren Mancuso, Kara Bliss, Carly Richardson, Christine Blidy and Angela Filkov. Second row: head coach Vince Fininzio, Jasmine Filkov, Sam Gier, Destiny Kennedy, Veronica Richardson and Emily Swiatkowski.

While North Collins may be back in the rebuilding process, head coach Vince Fininzio is looking at this year’s group to be the one to eventually help change the culture of Eagles basketball.

He uses the process that it took for the volleyball team at the school to build as an example. Just this fall, that team played in its first sectional final.

“We’re going to be around for a while, so hopefully, we can start now and build the program up,” North Collins head coach Vince Fininzio said. “We’re here to win; we’re not here just to have fun. And having fun comes with winning.”

He’s got the type of athletes that can create the pressing team he has wanted to be the last several seasons. He thinks the running style will be appealing to a young team that is looking to build through experiences at this level.

“I want them to create those turnovers and easy baskets,” Fininzio noted.

But with only three seniors, and an insurgence of youth, which includes two sophomores, one freshman and an eighth grader, he can see it taking some time for the group to gel and learn to play the game at this level.

“Hopefully, by the middle of the season, we’ll be getting better and more accustom to the varsity level going forward,” Fininzio said.

North Collins lost eight seniors, including its leading rebounder in Hannah Renaldo and top scorer in Cindy Nelson, and returns only senior Christine Blidy and sophomores Sam Gier and Carly Richardson. Gier will start at forward and Richardson at point guard, while Blidy will fill a role as a small forward or shooting guard.

“I’m hoping to get some leadership and scoring out of those three,” Fininzio said.

Fininzio has two more seniors in Veronica Richardson and Emily Swiatkowski, but they’re in their first season with the program.

Up the junior varsity are juniors Taren Mancuso, Destiny Kennedy and Kara Bliss. Kennedy is the team’s tallest player, so Fininzio is hoping that she does some rebounding. Mancuso and Bliss will be scrappy on defense and bring some speed.

Freshman Jasmine Filkov and her younger sister, eighth grader Angela Filkjov, will help in transition, but both are still learning the game.

Fininzio is looking for contributions from all 10 of his players. Depending on match-ups, he said they may each play on any given night.

Other key losses from last season’s team, which finished 5-14, are starters, Nicole Achtyl at forward, and Julie Yager at guard.

“I have 10 players that I feel confident putting on the floor,” he said. “It’s going to be a team effort to pick up the rebounding and scoring. I’m going to have a lot of these kids for three, four and five years, so I want to set a precedent.”

North Collins girls 2012-13 schedule
Mon., Dec. 3 at Forestville              7:30 pm
Thur., Dec. 6 vs Catt-LV              7:30 pm
Tues., Dec. 11 vs Silver Creek     7:30 pm
Fri., Dec. 14 vs Forestville              7:30 pm
Tues., Dec. 18 vs West Valley      7:30 pm
Fri., Dec. 21 at Ripley                   6 pm
Wed., Jan. 2 at Catt-LV               7:30 pm
Fri., Jan. 4 vs Brocton               7:30 pm
Tue., Jan. 8 at Ellicottville               7:30 pm
Fri, Jan. 11 vs Sherman               7:30 pm
Wed., Jan. 16 at West Valley        7:30 pm
Fri, Jan. 18 at Clymer               7:30 pm
Tues., Jan. 29 vs Ripley                6 pm
Thur, Jan. 31 at Brocton               7:30 pm
Mon., Feb. 4 vs Ellicottville         7:30 pm
Thur., Feb. 7 at Sherman                7:30 pm
Mon, Feb. 11 at Silver Creek       7:30 pm
Wed., Feb. 13 at Clymer               7:30 pm


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