As we inch closer to the potential beginning of the 2021 basketball season, D9Sports.com took some time to catch up with area coaches to ask them some questions about the upcoming season. Last year, A-C Valley had two squads that had successful conference seasons, but could not break through to the top of D9. This season, both teams return most of their starters, providing the Falcons with the experience and firepower to challenge for a conference championship.
(Photo by: Jared Bakaysa)
A-C Valley Falcons
Coach: David Sherman
Last Season: 9-12 (8-2 in KSAC North, 2nd)
A-C Valley finished second in the KSAC North last season, and their squad returns all of their starters in 2021. The Falcons have seven returning letter winners: seniors Rachel Cullen, Andrea Meals and Mia Sherman, juniors Baylee Blauser, Paige Klingler, Meah Ielase, as well as sophomore Avah Burke. The large amount of experience should keep A-C Valley firmly atop the KSAC North again in 2021, making them one of the favorites to qualify for the PIAA Playoffs.
Coach Sherman believes that the Falcons’ strong defensive play is their greatest asset, and it was part of the reason why A-C Valley was one of the top teams in the conference last campaign. To get to the next level, Sherman knows that his team needs to improve offensively. “We have to be more efficient on the offensive end and execute our sets better,” said Sherman. His squad’s growth and added experience should help the Falcons boost their offensive output in 2021.
Returning a veteran squad, A-C Valley should be among the top teams in the conference this season, with their always consistent defense posing a threat to their rivals.
A-C Valley Falcons
Coach: Anthony McGarvey
Last Season: 16-10 (7-3 in KSAC North, 3rd)
4th in Class A D9 Playoffs, Lost in Round One of PIAA Playoffs
The A-C Valley Falcons are prime for a return to the PIAA playoffs in 2021, and a big crop of returning players will have the Falcons aiming high in 2021. Led by coach Anthony McGarvey, A-C Valley returns three of their four top scorers, including 1000 point scorer Levi Orton. Orton, who led the KSAC in points last season, will be supported by Eli Penny, Tanner Merwin, and Broc Weigle. McGarvey also pointed to Alex Preston, Ryan Cooper and Landon Chalmers as three young players who possess the potential to make an impact this season.
McGarvey believes that his squad’s positive work ethic is his team’s biggest strengths. “The [players] encourage one another, are supportive, and treat each other as family,” said McGarvey, who also praised his team’s offensive versatility. “[It’s great] having 3-4 guys who can score many points on any given night. These guys are very unselfish and always looking to make an extra pass for a better shot.”
The Falcons will hope that their athleticism and experience will result in a strong 2021 campaign.