Thursday, December 7, 2023

Geneva ready for challenge of Division I basketball

Geneva heads into the 2017-2018 season with three returning starters, several other returning varsity lettermen and a boatload of potential.

The Eagles, who finished 13-10 last year, also bumped up to Division I, but they’re ready to compete at the highest level this winter.

“We have a strong nucleus returning and if we can get all of our players healthy and to stay healthy, we should be capable of competing with anyone,” said 22nd-year coach Nancy Barbo. “We want to put ourselves in the position to win our conference this year, and although we have been moved to DI and will be competing at the tough Perry District, we think if we have everyone healthy and have progressed the way we should this season, that we can surprise some teams.”

Senior forward Hailey Peoples, senior point guard Emily Harriman and junior forward Miranda Francis are the returning starters.

Peoples suffered an ACL injury in the middle of last season but still earned first team All-Chagrin Valley Conference, second team All-District and was the Ashtabula County Basketball Foundation Player of the Year.

She averaged 14 points and nine rebounds per game.

“Hailey has been our go-to girl for the last two seasons,” Barbo said. “She is strong and powerful in the paint, both offensively and defensively.”

Harriman, a first team all-conference and all-county selection, averaged five points, four assists and four steals per contest while Francis recorded eight points and eight rebounds per game.

“Emily has been our starting point guard since her freshman year. She runs the show on offense and is a tenacious defender. Emily’s passion and team spirit inspires her teammates to never give up,” Barbo said. Miranda is currently recovering from a hamstring tear, but will hopefully recover to impact our team once again this year. Miranda is a versatile player with speed and strength. Miranda can score both inside and out and never backs down from a battle.”

Sophomore guard Hope Stanley and freshman guard Abby Carter fill out the projected starting lineup.

“Hope is quick, aggressive and has a good nose for the game. She will be a nice complement to Emily and will help elevate our defense,” Barbo said. “Abby has been a dedicated basketball player for years despite only being a freshman. Abby is a capable scorer both long range and driving to the hole. Her length is an extra bonus and will strengthen our team on both ends of the floor.”

Look for senior guards Riley Carter and Elena Logan, senior forward Jamie Bradbury, junior guard Vonda Harold, junior forward Milla Nylander and sophomore forward Jordan Vencill to also make an impact for the Eagles this winter.

“We have a decent combination of speed and size, which will allow us to utilize the transition game in the full court and the inside out game in the half court,” Barbo said. “We are coming off some injuries, so we will need to be patient with our overall development and chemistry of the team. We will need to commit to being fundamentally sound and disciplined both offensively and defensively.”

Steve Hare
Steve Hare
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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