The Falcons ended a post-season drought dating back to 1999 when they advanced to the district title game and qualified for regional play – a nine-point loss at Fort Myers First Baptist – during a remarkable 2016-17 turnaround season.
Under first-year head coach Mike Verrill, SSES went 10-12, including 6-4 in district play with sweeps of Out-of-Door Academy and Sarasota Christian. Entering the season, Saint Stephen's had won eight district games since 2006, and went winless in district play from 2009-2015. The Falcons won just five games in five seasons between 2009 and 2014.
SSES appears poised to build on its success of last year. The key pieces of the team return, including all five starters led by senior forward Claudia Sbaschnik (12.3 ppg.) and senior point guard LaNae Jones (10.4 ppg.). The duo brings double-figure scoring and leadership to the court every night. Also back are sophomore center Sarah Stevens (7.2 ppg.), junior guard Maria Herrig (3.1 ppg.) and guard Jamie Springstead, who played more than 26 minutes per game and averaged six points as a seventh grader last season.
Basketball is FHSAA sanctioned and is a winter season sport.