Sports

Cappuzzello takes over Niles girls' program

Mike Cappuzzello begins his first year as head coach at Niles

NILES, Ohio (WKBN) - After winning their season opener over Girard a year ago (44-27), the Red Dragons lost 9 of their next 12. However, Niles finished the year strong as they were victorious in 6 of their last 8 contests during the regular season. Coach Doug Foster leaves the girls’ program as he’ll take over as the leader of the boys’ team this winter. Longtime assistant basketball coach Mike Cappuzzello takes over for Foster as the head man on the Niles’ bench. Cappuzzello once led Hubbard’s girls to a 17-win season in the mid-2000s. He is set to lead a team of experienced Red Dragons in 2018-19.

 

At a Glance

HEAD COACH: Mike Cappuzzello, 1st season

2017-18 RECORD (AAC White): 10-12 (7-5) 

2017-18 POSTSEASON: Lost to Ravenna, 49-42, in the Austintown Sectional Semifinal

KEY LOSSES

Emma Dellinger (8.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg)

 

Strengths 

"A real strength for us is our senior class," says first-year coach Mike Cappuzzello. "Led by Lindsay Hayes (5.2 ppg, 3.5 rpg), Kenzi Johnston (4.0 ppg), Brandi Baker (3.3 ppg) and Madison Johnson (6.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg). They've played together for the last five years and work well together." Returning juniors who will be asked to contribute will be the team's leading scorer from a year ago Aneziah Fryer (8.5 ppg, 3.7 apg, 3.1 spg) and Kayla Taylor Hall (5.3 rpg). Fryer was the Dragons' lone First-Team All-AAC selection.

Points of Concern

"I believe how well the girls transition to me as their head coach will be the key," says Cappuzzello. "Doug Foster (former coach) had done a remarkable job on-and-off the court with this team. He rebuilt the program over the past five years and the players had responded to his expectations. I've kept most of the coaching staff intact and brought in some of Doug’s former players to assist in coaching this upcoming season." The loss of Emma Dellinger will also be felt as she finished second on the team in scoring (8.0 ppg) and fifth in rebounding (3.3) while shooting 75.9% from the foul line and 25.8% (22-29) from the three-point land (16-62). 

Schedule

Nov. 26 – at Liberty, 7

Nov. 29 – Salem, 7

Dec. 3 – Champion, 7

Dec. 6 – at Hubbard, 7

Dec. 8 – Brookfield, 2:30

Dec. 10 – Jefferson, 7

Dec. 13 – Lakeview, 7

Dec. 17 – at Girard, 7

Dec. 20 – South Range, 7

Dec. 22 – at Edgewood, 7

Dec. 29 – McDonald, 7

Jan. 5 – at LaBrae, 2:30

Jan. 7 – Struthers, 7

Jan. 10 – at Poland, 7

Jan. 14 – at Jefferson, 7

Jan. 17 – Hubbard, 7

Jan. 24 – at Lakeview, 7

Jan. 28 – Girard, 7

Jan. 31 – at South Range, 7

Feb. 4 – at Struthers, 7

Feb. 7 – Poland, 7

Feb. 11 – Howland, 7


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