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IAC GIRLS BASKETBALL: CANDOR STILL YOUNG, BUT HOPEFUL FOR IMPROVEMENT (2023-12-05)

Tioga County Sports Report
OWEGO — The Candor girls basketball team is hoping a year’s experience will lead to a more successful 2023-24 campaign.

Young and green last season, the Coyotes were 2-11 in IAC play and 4-15 overall.

The team is still pretty young, but with five players returning, including four starters, and graduation losses by other teams, coach Carl Kanoff is looking to be competitive.

“Every other team in our division lost all-stars to graduation,” he said. “It could all come down to who has a good night against each other and if anyone can steal a win or two against someone in the North Small, which is a much stronger division.”

Candor’s returning players include senior center Maggie Jennison, sophomore forwards Nicola Soper and Hazel Ray, and freshmen guards Emmi Makie and Malley Heidl. Soper and Makie were IAC all-stars last season.

One thing that could play against the Coyotes is a lack of players in the program.

“Numbers are low and roster construction is still underway (as of Dec. 2), and may be fluid all season because administration wants us to attempt to run two six-girl teams at the JV and varsity levels,” Kanoff said. “There are a few teams in the league without JV teams so several girls, including Megan Williamson (freshman guard), Claire Rollins (freshman guard), Ava Fernando (sophomore guard), Shawna Conkiln (sophomore forward), Emmi McCracken (sophomore center) and Montana Vorhis (sophomore guard) will all see some varsity action this winter.

One plus for the team is the fact there was only one graduation loss, although center Kara Morse’s height will be missed.

Several of the players were on the state semifinalist volleyball team, so if the Coyotes can carry some of that mojo over, the season could be promising.

“Having a short bench could play a role on those particular nights when we are split,” Kanoff said. “We have a lot of athleticism and are learning every day. Still an incredibly young team, we look to increase our win total from last season.”

Candor opens its season this evening hosting Trumansburg at 5:30 p.m. (no JV game).

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IN PHOTO: Candor’s Hazel Ray. ... TCSR stock photo.

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