"Last year was a beginning block for me," said Budzyn, a point guard who earned all-league second-team accolades after averaging 5.1 points, 2.5 steals and 2.1 assists per game. "I was always out there learning and getting to know what high school basketball was like.
"There were a lot of times when it was exciting and scary, but I found out what it's like to compete. Being named to the all-league team meant so much to me. We weren't winning, but we were always fighting and the other coaches in our league noticed that."
Budzyn would like nothing better that to equal or even surpass the numbers she put up last season, which culminated with Sacred Heart advancing to the CIF Southern Section Division IV-A playoffs. Budzyn registered 57 assists, 88 rebounds and 67 steals.
In Budzyn's mind, those numbers can be eclipsed this season for a Sacred Heart squad that returns the bulk of its lineup. She's taken the initial steps to completing that task by spending an extra 30 minutes after practice running, going over drills and shooting about 50 shots.
It's all in the eye and mind for Budzyn, who recorded a team-best 10 points and added three steals in the Tologs' 63-48 road playoff loss against Notre Dame Academy in February.
"I really want to be able to go out there and be a leader," Budzyn said. "I want to keep a flow for the game and have that positive energy that my teammates can see.
"I've got good time management skills and I don't procrastinate. I see what I need to do out there and get it done."
Sacred Heart third-year Coach Gino Pacella, who has guided the Tologs to two postseason appearances in a row, said Budzyn's athletic ability sparked the Tologs.
Pacella played Budzyn close to 30 minutes a game, often giving her a brief break so she could regain her stamina by the time the closing moments of a contest took place.