Mac coach likes elements new recruits bring to the court

Size, depth, and desire are the three dimensions this year’s recruits will bring to the McMaster Marauders women’s basketball team, according to coach Theresa Burns.

“We now have the size and depth in our front court to compete for 40 minutes hard every game,” said Burns, while announcing the 2009 additions. “Each of our incoming players brings an intensity and desire to win to the court each day. They all come from winning programs and have had great coaching, so their basketball intelligence and court sense are very, very good and they will all be able to contribute right away.”

The latest additions to the team are:

Vanessa Bonomo, Liz Burns, Hailey Milligan, Jacklyn Nimec, and Nicole Rosencranz.

Mac finished third in the Ontario University Athletics’ West division last season with a 14-8 record despite graduating six players (Julia Crichley, Alicia Fidanza, Rachel Hart, Deanna Hollinger, Chiara Rocca, and Cari te Boekhorst and losing two-time All-Canadian, Lindsay Degroot due to injury in the first tournament of the season.

McMaster will be host for the Canadian Interuniversity Sport women’s basketball championship, next March 12-14.

McMaster will begin training camp in the fall.

Bonomo is a 5’5″ guard who arrives via St. Mary’s high school and Hamilton’s Blessed Sacrament club team. Her achievements include being a member of the 2009 Ontario Basketball Association Provincial Division 1 under-19 gold medal winning team. In 2008 she was team most valuable player. The honour roll student also was a bronze medalist in 2007 on the triple-A Ontario Federation of School Athletic Association basketball team and the year previous was a member of the gold medal winning team at OFSAA.

“Vanessa has shown the ability to control a game from the point guard position, and getting everyone involved in the game,” noted coach Burns. “Be it a three point shot, running a half court offense or stepping out and taking an offensive charge, Vanessa’s ability and knowledge of the game has allowed her to play at a high level of competition.”

Liz Burns is a 5’7″ guard who honed her skills at St. Thomas More high school and with the Blessed Sacrament team. This past season she was a teammate of Bonomo on the U19 team and in 2008 was a silver medalist at OFSAA in the quad-A division. She was More’s 2007/08 Senior Athlete of the Year and the honour student was a bronze medal winner in 2007 at OFSAA.

“Coaches value what Liz brings to the basketball court everyday, as she is an intense overall player who leaves it on the floor every time,” said Burns’ new coach. “Coming from successful high school and club programs, Liz has developed her overall game to be threat on both sides of the ball. What you’ll come to realize is her approach to defense, which can be described as tenacious.”

A 6-3 forward, Milligan, is a graduate of Assumption Collegiate in Brantford. In 2008-09 she attended McMaster University but sat out due to transfer rules after playing the 2007/2008 season at Canisius College (NCAA Division 1). She is a four time captain of her high school team and led Assumption in scoring and captured OFSAA’s AA championship as a junior.

Milligan was also a two-time all-star in her high school’s division of play.

“Hailey has a tremendous work ethic and desire to learn and improve every day. She is a physically strong post player who can dominate the boards and finish with a soft touch around the hoop,” said Burns. “Hailey can also step off the lane to shoot. An intelligent player who understands the game, Hailey is also able to pass the ball well and make strong reads away from the ball.”

Nimec, a 6’0″ forward from Stoney Creek and Saltfleet Secondary School also played with the Hamilton Wildcats Club Team. She was also a member of the

2009 Ontario Basketball Provincial Division 2 U19 bronze medalists and was a two-year senior starter in high school, She too is an honour student.

“Jacklyn has combined her knowledge of the game with her natural athleticism to play the game at a very high level throughout high school and club,” noted Burns.

“Being part of team and understanding what needs to get done on the court, has made Jacklyn a valued asset to any team she has been a member of.

Being able to score in the paint or perimeter, coupled with a good foundation of team defense has developed Jacklyn into a very well rounded player.”

Rosencranz, a 6’1″ forward played with Blessed Sacrament but attended school in Niagara Falls at St. Paul Secondary School.

She was a member of this year’s Ontario Basketball Provincial Division 1 U19 Gold Medalist and in 2008 won a bronze medal at OFSAA ‘s AAA division. In 2006 and 2008 the honor student received the Harold Biggar Award as Niagara Falls Female Basketball MVP.

“One of Nicole’s strengths is her ability to get the job done on the court, be it a tough rebound, a defensive stop or a score, she has been able to compete at that elite level throughout high school and club ball, said Burns.

“Nicole is a true scoring threat, as her ability to run the floor in transition, score either in the paint or perimeter makes her tough to stop”.