Connect with us

Basketball

2019-20 District 9 Girls’ Basketball Preview

2019-20 girls’ basketball preview:

(Photo: North Clarion’s Abby Gatesman will try to make it four out of four District 9 Class 1A titles this season. Gatesman will play college basketball at Clarion University. Photo by Paul Burdick. Check out more of Burdick’s work here)

A-C VALLEY
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 22-5 overall, 10-0 KSAC South (1st place; Won KSAC Title Game); Finished Second in District 9 Class 2A; Advanced to PIAA Class 2A Quarterfinals
Head Coach: Dave Sherman
Top Returning Players: Andrea Meals (6.3 ppg), Rachel Cullen (4.0 ppg), Mia Sherman (7 points in nine games)
Key Newcomers: Baylee Blauser (12 points in 16 games), Meah Ielase (1 point in 14 games), Paige Klingler (2 points in 12 games), Avah Burke
Coach’s Keys to the Season: In spite of losing the league MVP and two first-team KSAC players from last year, and although we are extremely young, we should be able to compete at a high level. Andrea Meals and Rachel Cullen are the only returning starters with extensive varsity experience. Mia Sherman and Baylee Blauser saw some time last year, but not a great deal. Mia was out over three-quarters of the year with a broken foot and Baylee saw some time as a freshman if we got into foul trouble. The juniors have to take on a larger role as leaders at both ends of the floor and contribute more on offense. We need to continue to get better defensively. We will be able to score, but we will probably win games with our defensive effort. In addition to our group of juniors. We have some talented athletes that are improving as basketball players. Baylee Blauser was an eighth-place medalist in the long jump at PIAAs last year and Meah Ielase was second-team KSAC in volleyball this year. We are also expecting contributions from senior Allison Lewis, sophomore Paige Klingler and freshman Avah Burke.
Note: A-C Valley will play in the KSAC North this season

AUSTIN
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 0-21 overall, 0-16 NTL (9th place)/None
Head Coach: Denise Valenti
Top Returning Players: Taylor Brewer (4.7 ppg), Kenda Valenti (2.7 ppg), Kylie Welsh (1.8 ppg)
Key Newcomers: Shaylynn Nichols
Coach’s Keys to the Season: We are going to continue to build on what was started last year. A huge key for us will be to get more aggressive on both sides of the ball. Looking for our top three returners to be more assertive offensively. We’ve added some quickness to the team so we are also looking to apply more defensive pressure.

BRADFORD
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 7-15 overall, 2-8 D9 League (T-5th place)/None
Head Coach: Bob Hannon
Top Returning Players: Erica Marshall (11.3 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 3.4 apg, 3.0 spg), Hannah Lary (14.6 ppg), Kate Huber (3.8 ppg; Missed the final half of the season due to injury), Mackenzie Swanson (1.2 ppg)
Key Newcomers: Rylee Close, Sierra Taylor
Coach’s Keys to the Season: Erica Marshall will be counted on for her all-around game and we will be looking for leadership and a little bit more scoring this season from her … Hannah Lary has the ability to stretch the floor with her shooting and we expect to see improved shooting from her this season … I believe the key to the season will be whether our girls meet the challenge of doing all the little things necessary to be a winning program. We have stressed the importance of working hard on defense and on the boards as well as valuing our possessions. If we improve in those areas and can put the ball in the basket consistently then we will be competitive.

BROCKWAY
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 3-19 overall, 3-17 AML South (3rd place)/None
Head Coach: Dick Esposito
Top Returning Players: Danielle Wood (10.0 ppg), Morgan Lindemuth (8.6 ppg), Selena Buttery (6.0 ppg, 11.0 rpg)
Key Newcomers: Three freshmen, Madalyn Schmader, Madison Marzullo, Nikki Baker
Coach’s Keys to the Season: We return four of five starters and the fifth starter had plenty of playing time last season. We return 30 ppg, and, yet, we are also a very young team with only one senior, two juniors and nine sophomores and freshmen. A plus for us is having a bench to use this year as we only had eight total last season playing both varsity and JV. We are hoping our biggest strengths will be our defense and speed.

BROOKVILLE
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 19-6 overall, 6-4 D9 League (3rd place)/Won District 9 Class 3A Title; Won District 5-9 Class 3A Subregional: Lost in the first round of PIAA Class 3A playoffs
Head Coach: Mark Powell
Top Returning Players: Marcy Schindler (1st team All-District 9; 12.5 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 2.4 spg, 1.9 bpg), Morgan Johnson (3rd team All-District 9; 13.4 ppg, 2.7 apg, 2.4 spg, 39 3-pointers), Madison Johnson (8.2 ppg), Lauren Hergert (6.8 ppg), Kira Powell (4.0 ppg).
Key Newcomers: Elizabeth Wonderling, Alayna Haight, Jordan Cook.
Coach’s Keys to the Season: The keys to our success this season will be our conditioning and staying out of foul trouble. We have been very deep the past couple of seasons but have graduated five girls from last year’s team and with that a whole lot of experience. With that being said, we have seven seniors who are returning and several of those will be four-year letter winners, so we have experience at the top. With Marcy, Morgan, Madison, Lauren Hergert and the return of Kira Powell after the holiday, we look forward to the challenge of putting together a successful season.

CAMERON COUNTY
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 15-8 overall, 13-3 NTL (2nd place); Lost in District 9 Class 1A quarterfinals
Head Coach: Dave Sullivan
Top Returning Players: Kaelee Bresslin (9.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg), Hailey Hilfiger (6.5 ppg, 10.5 rpg), Mallory McKimm (2.3 ppg, 2.0 rpg), Reggie Goodrow (2.4 ppg, 1.1 rpg)
Key Newcomers: None
Coach’s Keys to the Season: How fast we mature as a team. We lost three starters and with it, senior leadership. We’ll need players with little varsity experience to step up and contribute at the varsity level. With only 12 players to cover both varsity and junior varsity, avoiding injuries is going to play in our success.

CLARION
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 17-9 overall, 4-2 KSAC North (2nd place)/Lost in District 9 Class 2A semifinals; Won District 9 Class 2A consolation game to finish third in Class 2A; Lost in PIAA Class 1A first round
Head Coach: Roger Walter
Top Returning Players: Kait Constantino (Third-team All-District 9 selection last season; 12.9 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 2.9 spg, 1.5 apg; Enters senior season with 794 career points); KK Girvan (9.9 ppg), Jordan Best (6.7 ppg)
Key Newcomers: Eva Lerch, Payton Simko, Ava Cherico, Rebekah Ketner.
Coach’s Keys to the Season: Controlling the tempo and pace of play. We work each night to push the basketball and score in transition but sometimes that gets us playing too quickly and out of control. We need to feel the game and decide when it is right to attack and when we need to slow down. I often say to our players to “value the basketball.” Causing turnovers just to give them back is pointless … Rebounding & Speed: What our team has in speed we lack in size. I am asking players to play up-tempo and utilize various defenses but concentrate on rebounding. We must commit to crashing the boards.
Note: Clarion will play in the KSAC South this season

CLARION-LIMESTONE
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 2-20 overall, 0-6 KSAC North (4th place)
Head Coach: Gus Simpson
Top Returning Players: Jenelle Pezzuti (4.6 ppg), Anna Kennemuth (3.4 ppg), Francis Milliron (5.5 ppg)
Key Newcomers: Kendall Dunn
Coach’s Keys to the Season: Our keys this year is looking for other kids to contribute. I am wanting our two seniors to play bigger minutes. I also want Anna and Jenelle to cut turnovers in half, Maddy Winter to control the boards, and I would like some offensive punch from Sydney Simpson off the bench. We will go as far as our defense will take us.

CLEARFIELD
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 9-14 overall, 4-9 Mountain League/Lost in District 9 Class 4A semifinals
Head Coach: Joey Castagnolo
Top Returning Players: Tesa Miller (5.5 ppg), Megan Durendetta (5.3 ppg)
Key Newcomers: None
Coach’s Keys to the Season: We have nice team speed lead by eight returning letter winners that can play multiple positions.

COUDERSPORT
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 19-6 overall, 15-1 NTL (1st place)/Lost in District 9 Class 1A semifinals; Won District 9 Class 1A consolation game to finish third in Class 1A; Lost in the first round of PIAA Class 1A playoffs
Head Coach: Bob Tingley
Top Returning Players: Sarah Chambers (12.4 ppg), Rosalyn Page (8.4 ppg), Mikayla Gunn (4.8 ppg), Elizabeth Frame (2.9 ppg), Lauren Stimaker (1.9 ppg in 17 games).
Key Newcomers: None
Coach’s Keys to the Season: Keys for us this year will be the development of the younger players and new players to our program. We will rely on them coming off our bench.

CRANBERRY
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 12-11 overall, 2-4 KSAC North (3rd place)/Lost in District 9 Class 2A quarterfinals
Head Coach: Carrie Melat
Top Returning Players: Ava Ferringer (Played in four games last season; Avg. 11.8 ppg, 6 rpg before an injury ended her season), Kaylie Bruce (4.7 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 40 steals), Maddie Cornelius (5.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg)
Key Newcomers: Kaia Dean, Kendell Findlay, Mackenzie Karnes
Coach’s Keys to the Season: – Offensively – take advantage of our size and the matchup problems that we will cause with the other teams. Push the ball up the floor for easy layup opportunities. Knock down the open 15-18-foot shots when we have them … Defensively – stay out of foul trouble. Pressure the ball to force bad decisions. Get deflections/steals that convert into easy baskets on the other end. Be aggressive … Other – win the rebound game with our size. Win most 50/50 balls to create more offensive possessions. Communicate effectively on both ends of the floor.

CURWENSVILLE
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 5-17 overall, 2-8 AML South (4th place)/None
Head Coach: Bob Desmett
Top Returning Players: Tarah Jacobson (5.5 ppg), Alyssa Bakaysa (4.2 ppg), Brinna Swindell (5.9 ppg), Jordan Witherite (2.0 ppg), Hannah Condon (2.7 ppg),
Key Newcomers: Kyra Henry, Skylar Pentz
Coach’s Keys to the Season: Our team is looking to be dangerous from all angles. For us it is key to continue underclassmen development. With no juniors on our squad, we will depend on our seniors and key underclassmen to push the ball in transition. While we expect a solid start, our goal is to be even a better team in the second half of the season.

DUBOIS
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 11-13 overall, 2-8 D9 League (Tied for 5th)/Lost in District 6-8-9 Class 5A semifinals
Head Coach: Keith Kriner
Top Returning Players: Olivia Johnson (7.6 ppg), Abby Guiher (5.4 ppg), Saige Weible (3.8 ppg), Taylor Smith (2.9 ppg)
Key Newcomers: The team has nine incoming freshmen who are all eager and ready to contribute
Coach’s Keys to the Season: Our season will hinge on us being able to come together and play as a team. We have no seniors this year so our junior class has stepped up to inspire the team. We will be rotating players every game to play an upbeat style of basketball.

DUBOIS CENTRAL CATHOLIC
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 7-16 overall, 6-4 AML South (1st place; Lost in AML semifinals to Johnsonburg)/None
Head Coach: Jordan Hoover
Top Returning Players: Shay Gulvas (6.8 ppg), Jordan Kosko (2.7 ppg), Martina Swalligan (5.5 ppg), Maia Cogley (2.7 ppg in 19 games)
Key Newcomers: Faith Jacob
Coach’s Keys to the Season: Our keys to the season are taking advantage of versatility. In many ways, we are falling into the philosophy of positionless basketball. Most of our lineup combinations will include five kids that I will let push the ball as a point guard. Many of these kids also guard multiple positions well. My senior class is very talented and all of the kids mentioned are all good leaders. We have had to make subtle changes to our defensive philosophies to combat a lack of depth. At the time and for the foreseeable future I only have eight kids playing varsity, 12 total. Offensively we have also stressed patience more than in previous years because our ability to control pace and tempo is important. Although we lack depth, I would still call this an experienced team as I return four kids who have all started games. Gulvas will be a three-year starter and has led the team in scoring the past two seasons.

ELK COUNTY CATHOLIC
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 11-12 overall, 4-6 D9 League (4th place), 6-4 AML North (3rd place)/Lost in District 9 Class 1A quarterfinals
Head Coach: Ken Pistner
Top Returning Players: Taylor Newton (1st team All-District 9; 3rd team All-State Class 1A; 17.0 ppg, 10.5 rpg, 2.2 apg, 1.7 spg; Enters senior season with 924 career points), Julia Aikens (5.7 ppg), Tami Geci (2.4 ppg)
Key Newcomers: None
Coach’s Keys to the Season: Key to the season is developing our young players as we only have two juniors and two seniors on the roster.

FOREST AREA
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: Did not have a team
Head Coach: Jeff Wagner (1st season)
Top Returning Players: Dez Ginnery (1.6 ppg in 2017-18), Kat Johnston (2.0 ppg in 2017-18), Jessica Wagner
Key Newcomers: Megan Clow, Haleigh Tebay
Coach’s Keys to the Season: Keys to the season are work hard, be aggressive, and improve every game since there was no varsity team last year … Improve overall ball-handling skills and rebounding.

GALETON (District 4 teams playing in NTL)
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 9-14 overall, 4-12 NTL (7th place)/Lost in District 4 Class 1A quarterfinals
Head Coach: Andy Macensky
Top Returning Players: Cara Parsell (6.3 ppg), Jessie Evans (5.1 ppg), Lauren Sauley (1.7 ppg)
Key Newcomers: Alli Macensky (6-foot-1 freshman)
Coach’s Keys to the Season: Our numbers are low as we only have 10 total girls, but we have a good mix of older and younger girls we been working hard on the fundamentals in practice the girls all have a good work ethic and are improving each night.

JOHNSONBURG
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 20-7 overall, 8-2 AML North (2nd place; Lost in AML title game)/Lost in District 9 Class 1A championship game; Lost in PIAA Class 1A first round
Head Coach: Mike King
Top Returning Players: Emma King (0.5 ppg in 21 games), Tessa Kojancic (0.5 ppg in 13 games), Carmellia Pratt (4 points in 5 games)
Key Newcomers: We have a very talented freshman class coming in this year, so it will be exciting to see what they can add to our team.
Coach’s Keys to the Season: We will be looking for our returning players to step in and realize what they can do … Our key to this season will be bringing the girls together and build on every situation.

KANE
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 25-4 overall, 10-0 AML (1st place; Won AML title game)/Won District 9 Class 2A championship; Lost in PIAA Class 2A quarterfinals
Head Coach: Brandon Troutman (1st year at Kane after being at Sheffield)
Top Returning Players: Emily Bucheit (8.0 ppg), Ainsley Saf (3.0 ppg), Sierra Hillman (2.5 ppg), Sarri Swanson (3.0 ppg), Hannah Brown (3.0 ppg), Madison Koza (29 games, 26 points), Rainee Wright (17 games, 3 points)
Key Newcomers: Not so much newcomers but players who will be asked to step up and fill big shoes including Madison Koza,
Coach’s Keys to the Season: Letting this team come into their own – the group of seniors and juniors have played at a high level on some big stages the last couple of seasons, and this year they have the opportunity to take this team, make it their own, and lead … We won’t be replacing Ella Marconi or Hannah Buhl. We’re simply building a future without them as we must do. Their contributions to the team can’t be replaced or duplicated. You have to have players willing to step into roles to solidify the team and lead it into its next phase, which I feel that we have. What we are and how we get there will obviously be different, but the kids we have are beyond capable of getting the job done. Proving ourselves as coaches to the kids in order to get them to buy in – Coach Moore and I come in knowing we have some big shoes to fill with the retirements of Dave Kiehl and Kerry Wolbert. Dave took a team that was well respected in the league and the district and put it on the statewide stage. There’s an aura around the program, and Dave Kiehl’s hard work and dedication to this program are responsible for that. Kerry may not have been recognized on the level that Dave was, however, the work Kerry did the last few years with the JV teams, readying these kids to be at Dave’s disposal in varsity action and playing such key roles can’t be understated. They ran a top-notch program here, Shannon and I are both very honored to be in Kane and excited about the challenge to keep this program at a high level.
Note: Kane must replace District 9 Player of the Year Ella Marconi (22.9 ppg, 12.0 rpg, 1,723 career points, all-time leading scorer in school history)

KARNS CITY
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 4-16 overall, 1-9 KSAC South (6th place)/None
Head Coach: Steve Andreassi
Top Returning Players: Emma Johns (8.2 ppg), Emily Huff (2.9 ppg), Brittney Friters (1.0 ppg), Peyton Turner (9 games, 6 points)
Key Newcomers: None
Coach’s Keys to the Season: In addition to Johns, there are five other sophomores who got a lot of experience as freshmen. The key is to have the sophomores move to the next level to complement the experience of the seniors in order to win games.

KEYSTONE
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 11-13 overall, 6-4 KSAC South (2nd place)/Lost in District 9 Class 2A semifinals; Lost in District 9 Class 2A consolation game
Head Coach: Josh Almes
Top Returning Players: Emily Lauer (12.5 ppg), Alyssa Dunlap (3.3 ppg), Maddie Dunlap (3.9 ppg), Jozee Weaver (4.5 ppg)
Key Newcomers: Natalie Bowser
Coach’s Keys to the Season: Keys to the season are going to be communication and increasing our competitiveness. When these girls are playing well together, they can defend and score anyone on the court with them. Getting ourselves into game mode during practice has been a major point of emphasis this season thus far.

MONITEAU
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 9-14 overall, 5-5 KSAC South (T-3rd place)/Lost in District 9 Class 3A championship game
Head Coach: Dee Arblaster
Top Returning Players: Kristin Auvil (14.2 ppg), Aslyn Pry (8.6 ppg), Ivie Scott (4.8 ppg)
Key Newcomers: Brynne Barger, Victoria Pry
Coach’s Keys to the Season: Top returners producing … The other two starters need to provide stability and play their role … Girls off the bench providing a spark.

NORTH CLARION
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 19-7 overall, 6-0 KSAC North (1st place; Lost in KSAC title game)/Won District 9 Class 1A title (3rd in a row); Lost in PIAA Class 1A first round
Head Coach: Terry Dreihaup
Top Returning Players: Abby Gatesman (1st team All-District 9; 3rd team All-State Class 1A; 14.3 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 3.5 apg, 2.8 spg, 1.2 bpg; Has signed to play basketball at Clarion University; Enters senior season with 837 career points), Mackenzie Bauer (10.4 ppg; Has signed to play basketball at PSU DuBois), Hayley Sherman (7.0 ppg), Gabby Schmader (6.8 ppg)
Key Newcomers: Trinity Thompson (transfer from Keystone who scored 3.6 ppg in 14 games last season; Is deemed eligible for the postseason); Amya Green, Gwen Siegel, Claire Kriebel.
Coach’s Keys to the Season: Keeping an even keel no matter what the results are … Continued development of our young players … We need to always be looking forward

NORTHERN POTTER
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 11-12 overall, 8-8 NTL (5th place)/Lost in District 9 Class 1A quarterfinals
Head Coach: Cindy Cowburn
Top Returning Players: Courtney Martin (8.1 ppg), Alyssa Burchell (1.4 ppg), Madison Hoopes (1.4 ppg)
Key Newcomers: Rebecca Martin, Abbie Cady
Coach’s Keys to the Season: We are a young team again this year. We have one senior, one junior, four sophomores, and six freshmen. One key will be to play with confidence and know-how to play to win. Also to realize that they will make mistakes and need to learn from those mistakes and not give up. We will need to find multiple scorers.

OSWAYO VALLEY
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 8-14 overall, 6-10 NTL (6th place)/None
Head Coach: Dale Norton
Top Returning Players: Macy West (2.8 ppg), Mackenzie Mesler (0.9 ppg)
Key Newcomers: Mikayla Bell, Jadyn Brabham, Ella Malogrino
Coach’s Keys to the Season: Being a young team this year, we will be focusing on learning new strategies and working together.

OTTO-ELDRED
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 15-11 overall, 12-4 NTL (T-3rd place)/Lost in District 9 Class 1A semifinals; Lost in District 9 Class 1A consolation game to finish fourth; Lost in PIAA Class 1A first round
Head Coach: Shawn Gray
Top Returning Players: Jadelyn Spinney (5.9 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.6 spg), Reilly Raught (7.2 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.0 bpg), Kayley Heller (5.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.1 spg)
Key Newcomers: Bri Heller, Katie Sheeler
Coach’s Keys to the Season: For the Lady Terrors to have the type of season we are looking to have, we must rebound better than we have in the past and play better under pressure. We have experience, even though we have only two returning starters (Reilly Raught and Kayley Heller), with Morgan Dalton and Jadelyn Spinney having started games last year, and Haley Cousins really coming on late last year, following some nagging injuries. We will also have a couple of sister duos this year with Emmalee and Katie Sheeler, and Kayley and Bri Heller all likely to see significant minutes each night. A very hungry and talented group of freshmen, besides Heller and Sheeler, might also break into the rotation at some point this year, which should make for competitive practices and zero complacency, all year long.

PORT ALLEGANY
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 16-7 overall, 12-4 NTL (T-3rd place)/Lost in District 9 Class 2A quarterfinals
Head Coach: Jamie Evens
Top Returning Players: Cailey Barnett (13.4 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 3.9 spg; Enters her senior season with 879 career points); Bree Garzel (9.6 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.9 spg), Jade Evens (1.8 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 1.0 bpg)
Key Newcomers: Gracie Archer, Shannon Curfman, Evin Stauffer
Coach’s Keys to the Season: We need to replace 3 graduated starters, so looking for leadership from our seniors Barnett and Maleah Daniels to help blend younger players into the lineup. We will need someone to step up as a consistent third scorer. We
hope to improve on our shooting ability from last season and while we expect our guard play to be a strength, we will need some newcomers to step up on the front line.

PUNXSUTAWNEY
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 22-2 overall, 9-1 D9 League (1st place)/Won District 9 Class 4A title; Lost in PIAA Class 4A first round
Head Coach: Mike Carlson
Top Returning Players: Sarah Weaver (2nd team All-District 9; 10.1 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 3.0 apg, 2.5 spg), Riley Presloid (9.6 ppg), Abby Gigliotti (7.7 ppg)
Key Newcomers: Chloe Presloid
Coach’s Keys to the Season: We need to be able to rebound consistently. Our team will not have much height so we have to focus on rebounding.

REDBANK VALLEY
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 8-14 overall, 5-5 KSAC South (T-3rd place)/None
Head Coach: Chris Edmonds
Top Returning Players: Tara Hinderliter (3rd team All-District 9; 18.2 ppg, 9.8 rpg, 6.6 spg; Enters senior season with 806 career points), Lauren Smith (4.4 ppg), Emma Huffman (2.7 ppg), Karlee Shoemaker (2.6 ppg)
Key Newcomers: Alivia Huffman, Megan Gourley, Ry Smathers
Coach’s Keys to the Season: We have 21 players out for the team and a nice combination of upperclassman and underclassman that work hard in the gym together. As the season progresses, we need to come together as a unit and make a push for the playoffs. We are relying on our returning starters (Tara, Lauren, Emma, and Karlee) to provide leadership as the season moves along.

RIDGWAY
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 10-13 overall, 5-5 AML South (2nd place; Lost in AML semifinals)
Head Coach: John Bennardi (1st season)
Top Returning Players: Gabbi Rohr (8.3 ppg), Lindsay Steis (3.9 ppg in 8 games before season-ending injury), Christina Fullem (7.0 ppg)
Key Newcomers: Eve Cobaugh, Julie Peterson, Payton Delhunty
Coach’s Keys to the Season: Building our brand and understanding what is expected from us at both ends of the court to win games. We need to restore the tradition of what Lady Elker basketball once was. The girls have been working very hard on fundamental basketball, execution and learning what it takes to win ball games … We have a very athletic team we just have to transcend that into basketball and basketball participation. Their effort and intelligence have exceeded all of my expectations. I am very excited and anxious to see how they perform in a game situation.

ST. MARYS
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 17-8 overall, 7-3 D9 League (2nd place)/Lost in District 9 Class 4A championship game
Head Coach: Leona Ho’ohuli
Top Returning Players: Megan Quesenberry (11.5 ppg), Kyla Johnson (8.7 ppg), Kaylee Muccio (7.6 ppg), Allison Schlimm (6.5 ppg), Samantha Hayes (5.3 ppg)
Key Newcomers: Isabella Caskey, Giorgia Baciga
Coach’s Keys to the Season: We need to utilize our athleticism and speed to force turnovers and finish at the rim. Ball pressure is key. We are looking for contributions from our bench on both offense and defense.

SHEFFIELD
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 2-20 overall, 0-10 AML North (4th place)/None
Head Coach: Tony Richards (1st season)
Top Returning Players: Marissa Grubbs (3.3 ppg), Lily Lauffenberger (2.9 ppg), Elyssa Dunham (2.3 ppg)
Key Newcomers: Ashley Fredericks, Lexi Goldthwaite, Abby Gregerson
Coach’s Keys to the Season: Anytime a program gets a new coach, it’s a process. It’s a new system. It takes time. These kids went an entire offseason without a head coach which puts them as a program behind the 8-ball. This group will be lead by senior Marissa Grubbs and junior Lily Lauffenberger. They will have to set the tone for everyone else and be the leaders out there on the court. We are young and inexperienced at the varsity level. We as coaches have preached to them to be better tomorrow than you were today. If we can do that as well as continue to grow within the system we want to use we will be successful. If we continue to buy-in and challenge ourselves, I think we’ll surprise some people out there. Our freshman class will get tested early Goldthwaite along with Alexa Whipple and Shelby Ordiway are definitely pushing for playing time. Junior Allison Schmader will add some much needed outside scoring ability, Junior Elyssa Dunhamis probably our best all-around player, she brings a versatile skill set to the table. We are excited about the potential senior Ashley Fredericks brings as well. Probably our biggest surprise this early in the season has been the growth of junior Abby Gregerson, she’s really bought into the new staff and her improvement since day one has been great for her confidence.

SMETHPORT
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 3-19 overall, 2-14 NTL (8th place)
Head Coach: Chad Goodman
Top Returning Players: MyKayla Deyarmin (3.5 ppg), Erin Herzog (6.2 ppg), Danielle Nelson (1.9 ppg)
Key Newcomers: Sabrina Tanner (Played in 9 games last year scoring 2.1 ppg before a knee injury cut her season short), Abby Lutz
Coach’s Keys to the Season: Play sound discipline defense to hopefully keep our starters on the floor and stay out of foul trouble as we are not going to be very deep off the bench. We will also need to get some quality minutes from our bench when they are called upon.

UNION
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: 8-14 overall, 3-7 KSAC South (5th place)/None
Head Coach: Ally Kepple
Top Returning Players: Dominika Logue (13.4 ppg; Was D9Sports.com District 9 Rookie of the Year), Hailey Kriebel (5.2 ppg), Maggie Minick (4.2 ppg)
Key Newcomers: Kennedy Vogle, Keira Croyle
Coach’s Keys to the Season: Playing a fast pace, running the floor, more scoring, limiting turnovers. We are so young, so we need to work on being patient.
Note: Union will play in the KSAC North this season

VENANGO CATHOLIC
2018-19 Record/Playoff Finish: Did not have a team
Head Coach: Kaity Wenner
Top Returning Players: Emmy Ekis and Alyson Stewart both played at Rocky Grove the few seasons as part of a co-op program
Key Newcomers: Hope Winger, Mariah Wessel
Coach’s Keys to the Season: Our keys for this season: Utilizing Hope and her height, being patient and waiting for the play to develop, and getting open looks on the outside for Mariah Wessel



More in Basketball