High School Girls Basketball Preview: St. Paul hopeful for successful season

St. Paul’s Holly Shafer is one of the top players for the Swordsmen, who have high expectations this season. (Keith Durflinger / Staff Photographer)

By Eric Terrazas, SGVN

After advancing to last year’s CIF-Southern Section Division 4A girls basketball semifinals, St. Paul High School has high hopes for the 2012-13 season.

The Swordsmen, who lost to Brentwood 49-41 in the semifinals the previous season, are ranked No. 2 in the Division 4A preseason poll. They have started strong, posting an 8-2 record before Thursday’s nonleague game against Serra.

Senior power forward Holly Shafer, who averaged 14 points and eight rebounds per game last season, helps lead a Swordsmen team that also features senior guard Priscilla Hidalgo, senior forward Cassidy Carrillo and guards Shannon Cruz-Canul, Clarissa Hernandez and Clarissa Perez.

“We’re playing pretty well,” St. Paul coach Robert Miller said. “We won a tournament (Norwalk) and finished second in another tournament (Leon Davis Classic at Whittier Christian). We’re feeling good about our ability to compete.”

After posting an 0-8 record in the tough Del Rey League last year, the Swordsmen (17-15 overall in 2011-12) have switched to the Camino Real League. They start league play against Cantwell Sacred Heart on Jan. 8.

The Camino Real schedule also figures to be a challenge for the Swordsmen. The league also features St. Monica and Cantwell-Sacred Heart, which are ranked No. 1 and No. 7 respectively in the Division 4A preseason poll.

“It’s a strong league,” Miller said. “We’re excited and it’s going to be fun.”

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