Stepping up their games on the court

For the three Cabinet-area girls varsity basketball teams, the upcoming 2017-2018 girls basketball season – which commences this week in the Granite State – revolves around taking one giant step.

Of course, three different programs, three different strides.

For Milford High, first-year coach Len Kulikowski hopes he’s got time to get to know his talent and jump from missing the playoffs a year ago into the 2018 tourney field this time around.

At Souhegan, Mike Heaney’s club has a legit playmaker in senior guard Mia Len, second-team All-Division Ii talent a year ago. The Sabers return four starters with sights set on going from playoff also-ran to potential contender.

And at Wilton-Lyndeborough, the goal is a simple one. Crack the losing skid and win a game.

The Wilton-Lyndeborough girls opened up Tuesday night at Sunapee and play Friday night at Lin-Wood.

Souhegan opens its season Friday night at home against West. Fans of the Milford High girls will have to wait until Tuesday night when the Spartans host Hollis Brookline in the season-opener.

DIVISION II

Milford

HEAD COACH: Len Kulikowski

LAST SEASON: 5-13, did not make playoffs

RETURNING

STARTERS: Bree DeGroot, 5-5, Sr., guard; Emma Gray, 5-3, Sr., guard

RETURNING

LETTERMEN: Elizabeth Paul 5-8, Jr., forward; Nicole Brooks, 5-5, Jr., guard; Meghan Cavenaugh 5-6, Soph., guard; Haley Lamos, 5-9, Soph., forward

PROMISING

NEWCOMERS: Sarah Dobbs, 5-9, Frosh, forward; Sophie Palmer, Frosh.; Jessie Gendron, Frosh.; Kylie Greska, Frosh.; Alexa Wilder, Frosh.; Sydney Bailey, Frosh.; Leslie McGrath, Frosh

COACH’S COMMENT: “We are a very young and inexperienced team (seven freshmen). We hope to make this more than a rebuilding year. We have a solid starting five and a bench that gets better every day. I think we may surprise a few people.”

Souhegan

HEAD COACH: Mike Heaney. 5th Season

LAST SEASON: 8-10, Division II First Round

RETURNING

VARSITY STARTERS: Mia Len, 5-7, Sr., guard; Beth Greenwood, 5-7, Sr., guard; Madison Robicheau, 5-8, Sr., guard; Emma White, 6-0, Sr., forward

RETURNING

LETTERMEN: Molly Driscoll, 6-0, Jr., forward; Kenzie Robinson, 5-5, Sr., guard; Elizabeth Apple, 5-5, Sr., guard; Halle Van Bollygen, 5-8, Soph., forward

PROMISING

NEWCOMERS: Emma Parrott, 6-1, Frosh., forward; Anna Wason, 5-10, Sr., forward; Brenna Norda, 5-6, Sr., guard; Izzy Aiello, 5-5, Soph., guard; Devon McGrath, 5-7, Soph., guard/forward

COACH’S COMMENT: “With a core group of seniors to lead us and some exciting newcomers we are looking forward to building on the lessons from last year.”

TOP RETURNERS: Mia Len, Telegraph All-Star and second-team All-Division II

DIVISION IV

Wilton-Lyndeborough

HEAD COACH: Joy Burge

LAST SEASON: 0-18, did not make tourney.

RETURNING

STARTERS: Cheyenne Hall, 5-6, sr., guard; Abby LeBlanc, 5-6, jr. guard; Kaitlyn LoVerme, 5-9, soph., forward; Rama Koudsi, 5-9, soph., forward.

OTHER RETURNING PLAYERS: Brooke Lane, 5-6, eighth grade, guard; Tiffany Cuddihy, 5-0, frosh., guard.

PROMISING

NEWCOMERS: Sophia Sistachs, 5-2, soph., guard; Cali Hagen, 5-8, eighth grade, forward; Alyssa Putnam, 5-7, eighth grade, forward.

COACH’S COMMENTS: “They have a lot of team unity and play very well together. We’re looking to at least win a game.”

COMMENTS