The 2022-2023 Hornell girls’ basketball team.
By CHRIS METCALF, special to the Hornell Sun
HORNELL – The future looks incredibly bright in the Maple City for the Hornell girl’s basketball team, featuring their top two returning players in senior Maddie Moore and sophomore Lillian Hoyt.
However, head coach Brian Dyring has rolled the balls out this winter to a group that features five freshmen and an eighth-grader.
But three of those freshmen – Jordyn Dyring, Selena Maldonado and Payton Bentley – collected valuable playing time a year ago for a Hornell squad that enjoyed a tremendous season finishing 16-6 dropping their Class B1 title game to Waterloo.
Hornell lost four players from last year’s squad, including Ronald McDonald participant Jane Spitulnik, who averaged a near double-double of 10.6 and 7.7 rebounds. Spitulnik’s loss will be a tough void to fill especially in the post where she didn’t mind mixing it up.
Tayghan Doorley, who is now playing at SUNY Morrisville, and Ayla Prior and Juliet Marino, also graduated.
But this year’s returners are solid.
Hoyt, one of the area’s top perimeter shooters averaged 13.7 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.5 steals, and 2.2 assists per game. She connected for a team-high 73 three-pointers.
Moore, the team’s center, also had an outstanding season where she averaged 8.6 points and 7.5 rebounds per contest.
Dyring also opened a lot of eyes last year as an eighth-grader knocking down 40 three-pointers to average 8.8 points. She also delivered 3.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.1 steals per game.
Maldonado gave Hornell some scoring depth as well averaging 6.1 points to go along with a team-high 3.6 steals, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game.
Bentley averaged nearly a three-spot every game.
Top newcomers include eighth-grader Raegan Evingham, freshmen Parker Graham and Mia Nasca and junior Kadience Gollnitz.
“With our youth we are looking to be competitive night in and night out and play hard,” coach Dyring said. “We want to win as many games as possible but more importantly is to get better and learn night in and night out. We are athletic and skilled and if we can do those things previously mentioned I think we could be a tough out when sectional time comes and make a deep run.”
As for his team’s youth, Dyring knows the future is bright but there will most likely be some growing pains.
“This is by far the youngest team we have had during my time as a head coach so I’m excited to see the growth of this team from the first day of practice to the end of the season,” Dyring said.
Hornell’s first four games of the season – all non-LCAA divisional games – should give an early indication of high how this team’s ceiling can look this winter.
They open their season Thursday, Dec. 1 when they host Avon.
They will then take to the Wayland Showcase Tournament two days later where they will face a very tough Pavilion squad featuring two of Section V’s top players in seniors Lauren Kingsley and Karelle Zinkievich.
They will play at defending sectional champ York Dec. 7 before another road trip at Section IV rep Waverly Dec. 10.
Their divisional opener is Dec. 16 at home against rival Bath-Haverling.
Hornell Sun Prediction: This team, like last year, will be extremely fun to watch with their up-and-down style. Hoyt can shoot it with the best of them and Dyring can light it up from the perimeter as well. Maldonado is a flat-out hustler who will have her hands in everything. Moore will be a major factor, especially with Spitulnik now graduating. It will be crucial for this team to rebound and keep their opponents off the boards.