Baldwin girls basketball honors senior class that has seen it all

Sunday, February 28, 2021 | 9:01 AM

They have been friends and teammates throughout their high school careers, sticking together through thick and thin.

The seniors on the Baldwin girls basketball team were honored at home Feb. 17 during pregame ceremonies with Canon-McMillan.

The 2020-21 senior hoopsters are guards Lexi Bernotas, Sydney Carr, Anna Lucarelli and Taylor Walker, G/F Abby Marzina and forwards Meghan Dryburgh and Kayla Radomsky. Most are four-year varsity players.

Carr, Marzina and Dryburgh attended Seton LaSalle as freshmen. Bernotas, Marzina and Radomsky will remain teammates next year in the Chatham women’s basketball program.

Nina Dongilli also was lauded at the pregame festivities as a third-year member of the program. She is serving as team manager this season.

All are top-of-the-line student-athletes with impeccable credentials. As a group, their composite GPA is 3.87.

In the backcourt

• Lexi Bernotas, who stands 5-foot-6, peppered in a career-high 24 points against Fox Chapel as a sophomore. She is a member of the National Honor Society, math league and mini-thon club. Bernotas is a four-year letter winner, has a 3.8 GPA and plans to study nursing.

“We have dealt with many challenges due to covid and a new coaching staff, but as a team we have worked together to push through the hurdles and persevere,” she said.

Bernotas suffered a torn ACL last March.

“I have been able to focus on getting back to the player I once was and prepping to play at the college level,” she said. “Throughout my experience at Baldwin, it’s been challenging at times. I’ve had three coaches over the last four years, but my teammates and I have adjusted and grown as a team.”

• Sydney Carr, who has a 3.6 GPA, participates in the math league.

“We’ve been working really hard this season and have adjusted to our coaches really well,” said the 5-4 Carr. “I think I’ve had an impact just by being there for my teammates and bringing them up when we have a bad game or bad practice.”

Carr rang up a career-high 24 points last year against Propel Andrew Street. She plans to enroll as a pharmacy major in college.

“I would love to play basketball in college,” she said.

• Anna Lucarelli, a 5-8 West Liberty recruit, suffered a hip injury Feb. 17 against Canon-McMillan.

With a 4.1 GPA, she anticipates majoring in education in college. Lucarelli has been a unique four-year varsity team captain and four-year letter winner and is a NHS member. Off the court, she also participates in the Special Olympics club, math league and mini-thon club.

“Our expectations coming into the season were very high,” Lucarelli said. “Our team has played (together) since fifth grade, and we’ve always looked forward to doing well in high school. We have finally been able to play a few games in the past week and are playing more consistently.”

Lucarelli connected for a career-high 22 points Jan. 9 against Thomas Jefferson.

“My career at Baldwin has prepared me in many different ways, on and off the court,” she said. “The competition, injuries, covid-19 and coaching changes have made me understand that I need to be prepared, work hard and put in the time to be successful.

“As a freshman, I was able to play with my older sister Mia for a short period of time, and now as a senior, I am able to play with my (freshman) sister Katie, who has started varsity the past few games.”

• Taylor Walker, a 5-3 guard, has a 3.2 GPA.

“We have a talented group of girls,” Walker said. “Everyone is starting to know their roles and getting ready for a playoff push. I feel like we have not hit our stride.”

Walker has fought through an injury plagued career. She was hit with ACL injuries as a freshman and sophomore, then took a year off to further recuperate.

“My basketball career at Baldwin has been rough, honestly,” she said. “I worked hard to come back my senior year and finish what I started with my best friends. And I’m appreciative of my opportunity to be back with this group, and having coach (Jamal) Woodson offer me the opportunity to be a part of it all.”

Walker anticipates studying forensic psychology at West Virginia.

Frontcourt players

• Abby Marzina stands 5-7 and is a four-year letter winner. She is a member of the NHS, Special Olympics club, math league and mini-thon club. Marzina has a 4.0 GPA and wants to become a physician’s assistant.

“I think our team has been successful,” she said. “It’s been hard not being able to play many games, but we have seven seniors who want to finish our high school careers off strong, so that just makes us want to win even more.

“We have such a special connection on and off the court. I believe that that’s the reason for a lot of our success.”

• Meghan Dryburgh, the team’s tallest player at 5-11, is a four-year letter winner and NHS treasurer. She also participates in the Special Olympics and mini-thon clubs, math league and activities council. With a stellar 4.5 GPA, Dryburgh plans to study biology in college. She also wants to continue her basketball career at the next level.

Dryburgh missed most of her sophomore season because of an ankle injury.

“I feel I’ve made a great impact at Baldwin,” she said. “I really think our connection as a team has helped us become successful.

“This year has been so different, especially with covid and a new coaching staff, but I think our team has adjusted really well. Our performance this year has been really good. We came up short in a couple games, but we played with great intensity as a team every time.”

One of the best all-around games of Dryburgh’s career was her double-double performance (16 points, 10 rebounds) against McKeesport last season.

• Kayla Radomsky, meanwhile, netted a career-high 24 points Feb. 20 to lead Baldwin to a 62-53 late-season nonsection win at Fox Chapel.

The 5-10 Radomsky has a 3.9 GPA and is another four-year letter winner. She is a member of the Special Olympics and mini-thon clubs and math league and will study nursing in college.

“We have worked really hard this season,” Radomsky said. “Having a new coaching staff for our senior year has been stressful, but I think our coaches have taken the time to understand how each of us plays and have personally gotten to know us. There definitely have been some tough losses, and some really good wins, but I also believe every game fuels us for the next.

“In terms of my own career, all my teammates are very encouraging and want me to be successful and vise versa. All of us have been playing with each other for as long as I can remember. I feel like I contribute a lot on rebounding, toughness and finishing under the basket.”

• Nina Dongilli played basketball for the Highlanders as a freshman and sophomore before turning her attention to volleyball. She is a member of the NHS, Special Olympics club and Best Buddies and plans to look into the health sciences at Duquesne.


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