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  • Writer's pictureDan Russoman

Seniors lead HHS girls basketball team

THG/Dan Russoman. To purchase photos in The Gazette, call (609) 704-1940. Emma Peretti returns as one of the top players in the Cape Atlantic League.

HAMMONTON—A strong veteran lineup should help make Hammonton High School’s girls basketball team one of the best in the Cape Atlantic League, as the Blue Devils chase both league and sectional championships this winter.

The Blue Devils posted a 15-10 record last season and will return four senior starters this winter for first-year head coach Sarah Kinee.

Kinee was an assistant coach last season for Hammonton, and takes over for Mike Velardi, who resigned the post last spring. The coaching change is the fourth in the last six seasons for Hammonton.

“We have a strong cast of seniors and should be very good this year,” Kinee said.

Setting the tone for the Blue Devils this year will be their varsity veterans. Leading that group is Emma Peretti, an All-South Jersey performer last season.

The senior forward averaged 19.5 points per game last year and pulled down more than 15 rebounds per matchup. Peretti is the leading returning scorer in the Cape Atlantic League and the Yale University commit (track and field) is expected to be one of the state’s top players.

Senior guard Giada Palmieri is also back this season. Palmieri spent time at the point last season and is one of the Blue Devils’ top ball-handlers and shooters. She scored almost 11 points per game last year and should improve on that number this season.

Ava Divello added close to 10 points per game last year and is one of the region’s top perimeter shooters.

Another senior guard, Shamaya Simola, joined Hammonton as a transfer last year and became one of the Blue Devils top ball-handlers and defenders. She found her shooting touch late in the season, and was also one of the team’s top rebounders.

In addition to the four seniors, Hammonton has depth on the roster. Sophomore Kiley Kozlowski played well off the bench last year and could start this season, while Adrianna Palmore, a senior, and sophomore Angelina Virelli will also see minutes. Two new varsity players, freshman Sarah Griffiths and sophomore Sophia Booker should also contribute.

Hammonton opens the season on December 15 against Middle Twp. at 5:30 p.m.


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