It’s still early, but as the young 2021-22 season begins to take shape and conference season is soon set to ramp up in earnest, a handful of local small-college players have cemented their places among the top contributors on their squads, in their conferences, and around the area.
Here are a few D-II and D-III players from our coverage region who are off to great starts to the season, focusing on players who played their high school ball in the CoBL area:
Emily Chmiel (30) has had a huge impact off the bench for CHC. (Photo: Chestnut Hill Athletics)
Emily Chmiel (Fr./Chestnut Hill)
She’s not the leading scorer on the Griffins — that would be senior forward Leah Miller, at 16.4 ppg — but there’s no doubt that Chmiel’s had a huge impact on CHC’s 7-3 (2-0 CACC) start to the season. The 6-2 forward out of Central Bucks East has come off the bench in all of her team’s 10 games but is second on the team in scoring (13.2 ppg) and rebounding (8.7 rpg), leading the team by making 57.8% of her shots; she’s also 28-of-32 (87.5%) from the foul line, and has a team-high 13 blocks. We’d also be remiss if we didn’t mention Archbishop Wood product Cassie Sebold; the 5-5 senior guard is right behind Chmiel (13.0 ppg), the team leader in assists (58) and steals (17), and she hasn’t scored fewer than nine points in any outing; talk about consistency. Sebold also scored the 1,000th point of her college career on Nov. 21.
Jess Huber (Gr./USciences)
It’s the final year of USciences athletics, and Huber is doing all she can to make sure it’s a success. The 5-10 guard from North Penn is the Devils’ only double-digit scorer (18.9 ppg), shooting 44.5% overall and 34.8% from the 3-point line. Huber’s now within 250 points of getting to 1000 for her career, a number she’s likely to reach at her current pace — especially as USciences currently sits at 7-1 on the season, including 3-0 in CACC play. Huber has five 20-plus outings so far this season, topping off with a 27-point effort against Florida Tech.
Haley Meinel (Soph./Jefferson)
One of the top producers for Tom Shirley’s always-successful Rams is Meinel, a 5-10 wing from Central Bucks South. She’s already scored 25+ twice this year, averaging 13.9 ppg and 3.0 rpg while leading her team in steals (29) and blocks (11), and she’s second on the team in assists (24) with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.5:1. Through the first 10 games of the season, Jefferson is 8-2 (2-0 CACC) and riding a four-game winning streak into a road game at Southern Connecticut State (6-2, 3-0 NE-10).
Moe Moore (above) is leading Holy Family in numerous categories. (Photo: Holy Family Athletics)
Moe Moore (Jr./Holy Family)
Moore has picked up right where she left off two years ago at Holy Family, when she averaged more than a dozen points per game in her rookie year. Now a junior, the 5-7 guard out of Archbishop Ryan is averaging a team-best 13.1 ppg and 9.5 rpg, while also pacing the team in assists (42), steals (26), minutes (34.0) and free-throws made (45) and attempted (64). She’s coming off a massive 23-point, 16-rebound, five-assist, three-steal effort in a win over Georgian Court, which lifted the Tigers’ record to 6-5 (1-2 CACC).
Casey Remolde (Jr./Kutztown)
The Golden Bears are off to a great start to the season at 8-3 (1-1 PSAC), having won seven of their last eight, the only setback a loss to No. 10 IUP. Senior guard Rylee Derr, a Lititz (Pa.) native, is leading KU in scoring (14.5 ppg), but she’s getting plenty of help yet again from Remolde, a Philly native and St. Basil Academy product. A 6-0 forward, Remolde is averaging 12.9 ppg and a team-best 6.5 rpg and 24 blocks; her best effort this season was likely a 24-point, eight-rebound, five-block outing against Minot State (N.D.).
Dana Bandurick (Jr./Swarthmore)
The second-leading scorer in the Centennial Conference, Bandurick currently leads the Garnet with 17.4 ppg this season, to go with 9.4 rebounds — good for third in the league. The Council Rock North native is also second among Centennial competitors in shooting percentage, with a clip of 51.3 percent from the field. She’s doing it all, adding right around two steals, blocks and assists apiece per game.
Veronica Christ (R-Sr./Elizabethtown)
With 18.4 ppg in seven games this season, Christ is just half a point off the pace for top scoring marks in the Landmark Conference, and she’s also got 6.3 rpg to boot. The 5-10 forward hasn’t been the most efficient shooter, going just 40 percent from the field so far this year, but she’s been the picture of consistency, racking up at least 14 points and four boards in every game this season. After dropping 27 in a blowout win to open the season against McDaniel, Christ recently broke the 20-point mark again with 21 in an overtime loss at York.
Haley Crossley (above) is off to a hot start in her junior year. (Photo Gwynedd-Mercy Athletics)
Haley Crossley (Jr./Gwynedd-Mercy)
After showing promise having wracked up 38 points in Gwynedd-Mercy’s abbreviated two-game 2020-21 slate, Crossley — a William Tennent alum — is backing up those performances with a co-team-high 15.4 ppg and 9.6 rpg to start her junior campaign. The 5-10 forward is getting done mostly from inside the arc, shooting just shy of 50 percent from the field despite a 2-of-14 mark to date on three-point shots. Crossley’s numbers have leveled off slightly from a blazing start; she averaged 22 points through the Griffins’ first four contests.
Dakota Hitchner (Sr./Cairn)
The CSAC’s second-leading scorer so far this season, Hitchner has ripped off 18.6 ppg to start her senior year — including 33, 22, 23 and 25 in four of her last five outings — plus 5.4 rpg, 3.6 apg and 3.1 apg. Hitchner’s 30-point showing was also her strongest three-point shooting contest; the Ocean City, N.J. native knocked four of her six attempts and shot an impressive 55 percent from the field in the Highlanders’ 71-63 win at Cedar Crest.
Averi Jordan (Sr./DeSales)
DeSales’ leading scorer is among the top five MAC Freedom scorers as well, with 16.8 ppg to her name. The 5-10 forward has been productive from beyond the arc, making a third of her shots from downtown, and currently averages just shy of seven rebounds. Jordan has only gone below 15 points in just one contest this season — and that was all the way back on November 16 — and has averaged 18 points in her last five games.
Theresa Kearney (above) is currently among the top six scorers in Atlantic East play. (Photo: Hunter Martin Photography)
Theresa Kearney (R-Sr./Immaculata)
Kearney, an Archbishop Carroll alum, is currently among the top six scorers in Atlantic East play with 13.5 ppg on the young season, plus 5.4 rpg to boot. A 38 percent three-point shooter, Kearney has had a pair of breakout games, including a 19-point effort in the Mighty Macs’ season-opening win over Ursinus. Just recently on December 4, Kearney lit up the stat sheet 24 points — 22 of which came on two-point field goals — six rebounds, four assists and four blocks in a blowout defeat of Penn State Abington.
Haley Keenan (Soph./Del Val)
Keenan put up one of the more eye-catching individual stat lines at any level in the area this season with her 23-point, 20-rebound game against Juniata on Nov. 20. A 5-foot-7 guard out of Bensalem, Keenan has been putting up numbers across the board for the Aggies all season, leading Del Val in scoring at 16.9 ppg, rebounding at 8.7 boards per game and has a team-best seven blocked shots. She hasn’t scored less than 10 points in any game this year and had a career-best 28 against PSU-Abington on Nov. 23.
Leah Springer (R-Sr./Messiah)
Springer is one of just three players in the MAC Commonwealth to average a double-double this season, with team-highs as well in points (16.4) and rebounds (10.3). The senior from Camp Hill had her most impressive performance by far in a two-point win over DeSales, dropping 23 points, snagging an astounding 17 rebounds, while adding three steals, four assists and a pair of steals. Springer has also been near-perfect from the charity stripe, connecting on 20 of her 23 attempts to date.