If winning an early season tournament is a precursor to a team's future success, then Corcoran girls basketball is likely headed toward another banner year.
The Cougars started its 2009-10 season off with a bang by winning the Lady Raider Classic Nov. 27-28 at Utica Proctor. Corcoran opened the year with a victory over defending Section III Class AA champion Cicero-North Syracuse, 40-34, in the opening round and won the tournament title with a 62-61 win over host Utica Proctor.
It was a bold statement to other CNYCL teams that the Cougars have the pieces to win another league and Section III title. Corcoran is the defending CNYCL American Division champs and won a sectional crown in 2008.
The Cougars (19-3 last year) have an experienced team led by junior lefty Coriesha Hickey, who was named tournament MVP in Utica. Hickey, a guard, is one of eight returning players. Despite the graduation of leading scorer Irene Hudson, Corcoran has Nadia Jackson back (11.1 points per game) and an athletic frontcourt with Ayana Bradley and Carrie Blunt.
Here's a look at some the preseason scouting report on the other Syracuse area schools.
Nottingham (14-8 last year): With a Division I recruit like Nikki Works, there's no doubt the Bulldogs will win their share of games this winter. Works, a 6-foot forward, is considered one of the top forwards in Class AA. Last month, Works chose Temple over Boston University and George Mason.
Works was among the CNCYL scoring leaders a year ago with 15.7 points per game, and she also averaged 11 rebounds. A secondary scoring option to compliment Works will be key for the Bulldogs, who went to the sectional quarterfinals last year.
Institute of Technology (new program): The Eagles will make their varsity debut this winter playing in the Onondaga League Patriot Division. Head coach Danielle Wheeler is breaking in several young players who are new to the game and considers this a learning year. The team, which doesn't have a home gym, practices at Webster Elementary School.