Greenberg has nucleus of three starters returning next season

Steve Batko
Correspondent
Aurora senior Shyanne Sellers will graduate as one of the most decorated players in school history. She has chosen to play collegiately at the University of Maryland.

Veteran Aurora girls basketball coach Erika Greenberg is hoping for a somewhat normal off-season and summer to prep for the 2021-22 campaign.

The Greenmen finished 9-3 this year battling the ups and downs of a season torn by COVID-19.

Aurora had an abrupt end to their season recently as Akron Hoban defeated the No. 11 seeded Greenmen 74-56 in the Division I Northeast 2 district semifinals.

“I told the girls that I was extremely proud of their effort and the way they played — I thought we really came into their place and played really tough,” said Greenberg. “All of our girls really stepped up and played great defense and did their best to compete.”

Greenberg knew her club’s chances against third-seed Hoban (18-3) would be limited when standout Shyanne Sellers was tagged with her third and fourth fouls in the third quarter.

It was a tough way to end a tough season.

“This season was extremely difficult because we stopped and started so much with quarantines and pauses on playing,” Greenberg said. “It seemed like we were spending a lot of time trying to get the team back into game shape after a break.”

“Our girls handled it in stride. We have really tough kids in our program who are very dedicated and focused,” she added. “They were able to step right back into gameplay without much of a dropoff. I am so proud of the way our team stayed together and got through this crazy season.”

Although the promise of a normal season next year may be on the horizon — there will be one thing that will be very different when Greenberg breaks open camp. No Sellers.

Aurora will miss a strong and deep senior class that included Sellers, Mya Neal, Abby Kimes, Emma Krondorfer and Kennedy Nietert.

Aurora junior Ava Ryncarz averaged more than 13 points per game for the Greenmen this season and will be one of three returning starters.

The loss of Sellers is devastating.

“Our seniors are great players and people,” said Greenberg. “This group of seniors has definitely left their mark on our team on and off the court. This group of young ladies has shown great leadership throughout our offseason and the uncertainty of this season.”

It wasn’t an easy season to navigate through, but senior leadership helped Aurora.

Sellers capped a brilliant career as a McDonald’s All-America nominee as she averaged 23.2 points, 13.0 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 2.8 steals, and 1.8 blocked shots.

Headed to the University of Maryland, Sellers will be playing in an elite top-10 program. 

“Shyanne is a once in a lifetime talent,” said Greenberg. “She has led this team since she was a freshman and has contributed to the change of culture and winning mentality of our team.

“She has a great career ahead of her at Maryland and we are proud to have had the pleasure of her to come through Aurora,” added Greenberg.

Neal was a big contributor in 12 games this year. She added 1.6 points, 2.4 boards, and 1.0 assists per game. In 11 games this season, Kimes chipped in 1.2 points and 1.5 rebounds while Krondorfer (1.2 rebounds, 1.0 points) and Nietert also aided the Greenmen. 

Next year, Aurora will be returning three starters in Ava Ryncarz, Mika Dalton and Samantha Stask.

The versatile Ryncarz is a veteran who blossomed this winter, averaging 13.4 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.1 steals a game.

“I think we are all looking forward to the challenge of the upcoming season,” said Greenberg. “I am hopeful that we can have a productive offseason and really look to improve our skills over the coming months. This season was cut extremely short and we are hoping that things will return back to normal for next season.”

Also bringing strong experience is Dalton, who hit for 7.4 points, 1.1 assists, and 1.6 thefts a contest.

Stask came on strong and played well, hitting for 6.4 points, 3.3 boards, and 1.4 assists a game.

In addition, Kailey Feckner (3.1 boards and 1.4 points a game) is one of a host of other underclassmen who saw varsity action this season. 

Others who saw limited action were Grace Barbour, Camryn Cohn, Emily Feckner, Bailey Hemming and Hannah Rogge.

“It is going to be a challenging season coming up, but I feel like our players are up for the challenge,” said Greenberg. 

Aurora junior Mika Dalton averaged more than 7 points per game for the Greenmen and will be a returning starter for the Greenmen in 2021-22.