Last season: 16-6, 7-0 GSSC, lost in Class 2A River Forest sectional semifinal to Bowman Academy
Inside the Oilers
Leading returning scorer: Bri Blackwell, 16.2 ppg
Leading returning rebounder: Blackwell, 6.2 rpg
Star power: Blackwell, Jr., G. The smooth-shooting third-year varsity player comes from a long line of great Whiting shooters over the last 15 years, which includes the likes of Thes Kollintzas, Becca Papach, and Abby Gazda. She reminds the Whiting sports audience of all three in a way and she will undoubtedly see more shots come her way as she develops more confidence. "She led the area in 3-point percentage at 48 percent. I expect her to get more shots because she won't be handling the ball as much," Whiting coach Kevin Moynihan said.
Newcomer to watch: Alex Danielides, Fr., C. The newest face on varsity also comes from a long line of tall, athletic players. She keeps growing, as she's listed at 6-feet tall already. Many believe that when she stops going through a growth spurt and gets all of her coordination back, she will be a part of the long line of talented Oilers once she graduates in 2016. "Alex is extremely coachable and this is a good opportunity for her to gain experience. She'll also be playing with three experienced guards, which will help her a lot," Moynihan said.
The sky is the limit
The sky is the limit for the Oilers, as they're coming off a GSSC title. Whiting experienced a tough loss to perennial powerhouse Bowman Academy in the Class 2A River Forest sectional, which also includes Wheeler and Bishop Noll. Blackwell has the potential to lead the Region in scoring. Fellow backcourt mate Citlali Lopez, who scored 13.2 points per game along with 4.5 assists and 4.2 steals per game, will be the X-factor for this bunch. Opponents know that Whiting will be tough all over the perimeter, but the biggest question will be if the Oilers can develop a post presence to complement their strong outside game. Junior Kaylynn Anderson dealt with a bit of the injury bug during volleyball season and will be a question mark going into the winter. Danielides will have to get going early, as teams will most likely have to play man-to-man defensively and not let Whiting's 3-point shooters beat them. "We have to play good basketball ASAP," Moynihan said. "If we start to come together earlier and put four good quarters together, then there's a lot of good possibilities with this group."
-- Paul Honeycutt