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Oakville High girls' basketball coach excited about the outlook for the 2003-2004 season

When examining the roster of the Oakville Senior High School girls' basketball team, many would believe that a major reconstruction is in progress.

The Tigers may have lost all five starters from a squad that went 15-11 overall with a 5-3 mark in the Suburban South Conference, but that won't keep head coach Paul Harrington from being excited about this year's team.

"I'm pretty excited about the kids because we had a great summer," Harrington told the Call. "I think we're going to have to grow as the season goes along. I think there's potential in this year's squad. We're lacking experience, but we'll have a little more depth and speed this year."

Senior forward Sarah Bartholic and guard Shannon Ferguson look to lead this year's Tigers squad after Oakville suffered a season-ending 38-37 loss to Lindbergh in the district semifinal.

Bartholic averaged 3.9 points a game last season with 75 rebounds and 18 steals.

"We're going to be looking for a lot of leadership out of her (Bartholic) this year," Harrington said. "She's done an outstanding job in the summer and the fall. She's very quick and has good size. I think she's going to turn into a good ballplayer for us."

Ferguson saw limited action last season with just 10 rebounds and three assists last season. But it's her quickness and ability to shoot the ball which could prove to be a huge asset to the Tigers this year.

"Shannon's an intelligent young lady," Harrington said. "She's got good shooting skill and is very quick."

The Tigers have three talented sophomore guards coming up to the varsity team. Harrington actually is looking forward to watching their progress this season in terms of gaining experience at the varsity level.

Megan Reel, Rebecca Wooge and Lindsay DeGonia all will provide solidity at the guard slot this season.

"With the style of game we're playing, we're going to have to utilize all three of them," Harrington said. "All three of them are going to get a lot of playing time this year. I just think that if we're patient and can tolerate a few errors, we'll be OK."

The Tigers open up the 2003-2004 season at home as they serve as host of the South Side Classic. Oakville is scheduled to play St. John the Baptist at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 1, in the main gymnasium of the school, 5557 Milburn Road.

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