NEW BETHLEHEM, Pa. (EYT/D9) — Caylen Rearick likes the view from the outside looking in.
Prolific from behind the arc — no Redbank Valley girls basketball player has hit more 3-pointers in a game than her seven last year on the way to 54 on the season — Rearick is as dangerous as they come from the perimeter.
The junior has always had a knack for shooting.
“That’s my thing,” Rearick said, chuckling. “Ever since I was little, I’ve always been the shooter of the team.”
But Rearick wants to branch out this season. She wants to be seen as more than just a sniper from long distance. She wants to go to the hoop more. Mix it up in the paint more. Show she’s not one-dimensional.
The word is definitely out on the guard. She received a lot of attention from opponents as last season wore on. Rearick became very acquainted with face guarding.
She expects more of the same in 2021-22.
“It’s definitely a compliment, but I’m going to have to work so much harder this year than I did last year,” Rearick said. “My coaches have pushed me to drive more, because everyone knows that I’m the shooter of the team. I’ve definitely been driving more in scrimmages and this summer.”
Rearick has worked hard this offseason on her craft, mainly slashing to the hoop and creating shots for herself. Redbank sets a good many screens for her on set plays to get her open shots from the outside, but Rearick would rather not have to rely so much on that.
That should make Rearick even more dangerous.
Last year, she averaged 12.9 points per game. She has a solid cast around her in senior center Madison Foringer, who averaged 11.7 points and 8.8 rebounds last season, and junior guard Alivia Huffman, who scored at an 11.6 ppg clip.
Rearick isn’t satisfied.
“I definitely want to succeed more than last year,” she said. “I know I accomplished a lot last year, but there’s more things that I think I can accomplish.”
Mainly, Rearick wants to win the District 9 Class 3A title.
Last year, the Bulldogs were denied by Moniteau, falling in the semifinals.
It has proven to be a huge motivation for Rearick and the team going into this season.
“We won it my freshman year and it’s a great feeling when that gold medal goes around your neck,” Rearick said. “You’re on top of the world. I want to feel that again.”
Rearick, who is also a standout libero on the volleyball team, is fearless — she got that from diving all over the floor making digs.
She also enjoys the up-tempo style the Bulldogs play on the basketball court. She thinks that could carry Redbank Valley a long way this season.
“It’s fun running up and down the court, making great plays and high-fiving your teammates,” Rearick said. “It’s hard for teams to keep up with our fast pace. It’s awesome.”
Following is a quick look at Clarion County area girls basketball teams:
COACH: Jess Quinn
KEY PLAYERS LOST: Erica Selfridge, Ava Cherico
POTENTIAL STARTERS: Jordan Best, Payton Simko, Noel Anthony, Rebekah Ketner
ALSO IN THE MIX: Taylor Alston, Gia Babington, Sophie Babington, Aryanna Girvan
OUTLOOK: The two losses are huge — both Selfridge and Cherico started every game and were a huge part of the Bobcats’ success. Clarion does have some experience back and athleticism, but a lack of height. “We want to be one of the teams in the hunt for the District 9 single-A championship.” — Quinn
COACH: Gus Simpson
KEY PLAYERS LOST: None
POTENTIAL STARTERS: Frances Milliron, Kendall Dunn, Lexi Coull, Alyssa Wiant, Kylie Mumford
ALSO IN THE MIX: Cara Runyan, Katera Sebastian-Sims, Alex Leadbetter, Grace Shick, Jenna Dunn, Casey Love, Samantha Simpson
OUTLOOK: Milliron averaged nearly 14 points per game last season and the Lions want to play fast to take advantage of their athleticism.
COACH: Terry Dreihaup
KEY PLAYERS LOST: Trinity Thompson, Addison Shaftic
POTENTIAL STARTERS: Gwen Siegel, Amya Green, Claire Kriebel, Emily Aites
ALSO IN THE MIX: Maddison McFarland, Maria Bauer, Lauren Lutz, Emma McFarland, Maddie Homan, Olivia Siegel
OUTLOOK: Siegel returns coming off a junior year in which she scored 11 points per game to go with eight rebounds per game. There will be four seniors in the starting lineup. — “Our outlook is to be competitive in the KSAC and D9. After a shortened 2020-2021 season, we hope to complete a full season and be competitive in the playoffs.” — Dreihaup.
COACH: Chris Edmonds
KEY PLAYERS LOST: Emma Huffman
POTENTIAL STARTERS: Madison Foringer, Claire Clouse, Ryleigh Smathers, Katie Davis, Alivia Huffman, Caylen Rearick
ALSO IN THE MIX: Mylee Harmon, Kira Bonanno
OUTLOOK: Huffman, Foringer and Rearick all averaged in double figures last season, which saw the Bulldogs’ season end in a loss to Moniteau in the district semifinals. Redbank Valley is poised to make another playoff run this season.
COACH: Andy Traister
KEY PLAYERS LOST: Emily Lauer, Madie Dunlap, Danae Hurrelbrink
POTENTIAL STARTERS: Jozee Weaver, Natalie Bowser
ALSO IN THE MIX: Kaylee Wolbert, Sydney Bell, Emma Gruber, Mia Traister, Jenna Pierce, Amanda Reyes, Jill Winters, Ava Patrick, Ashlee Albright, Jerzey Bell
OUTLOOK: Lauer was a 1,000-point scorer and helped the Panthers to to the D9 title and a state playoff berth. She will be tough to replace. But Keystone has Weaver and Bowser back and an interesting group of newcomers who are athletic and could help get the Panthers back in the mix.
COACH: Dee Arblaster
KEY PLAYERS LOST: Aslyn Pry, Abbey Rottman, Zoey Hillwig, Camryn Fallen
POTENTIAL STARTERS: Victoria Pry, Kendall Sankey, Allie Pry, Catherine Kelly, Abbey Jewart, Davina Pry
OUTLOOK: No team can replace a player like Aslyn Pry. Kelly, who made an impact as a freshman last season, will try — she’s the only returning starter. “We always expect to be competitive and anticipate having a winning record. (We want) to get better each game.” — Arblaster.
COACH: Steve Andeassi
KEY PLAYERS LOST: None
POTENTIAL STARTERS: Julia Andreassi, Abigail Callihan, Emma Johns, Brooke Manuel, Rossi McMillen, Rosie Carden, Emma Dailey, Jordan Macurak
ALSO IN THE MIX: Six freshmen
OUTLOOK: The Gremlins return everyone from a team that got better and better as the season went on last year. Some of the freshmen could make big impacts as well. “We are setting higher goals of success with the experience we now have and the depth.” — Andreassi
COACH: Mike Meals
KEY PLAYERS LOST: Andrea Meals, Rachel Cullen, Mia Sherman
POTENTIAL STARTERS: Baylee Blauser, Keira McVay, Grace Barlett, Sophia McGarvey, Mackenzie Parks
ALSO IN THE MIX: Brianna Schmidt, Gina Rhoades, Kyleigh Morrison, Meg Aughton, Colleen Verostek, Ava Snyder
OUTLOOK: The Falcons will be an inexperienced bunch with Blauser, the only senior on the roster, the leading returning scorer by a lot — she has 261 career points (and 164 career rebounds) and the rest of the team has eight career points combined. “To be competitive, we will have to produce some offense from our defense. We will have to play bigger than our physical stature and be able to rebound the ball on both sides of the floor.” — Meals
COACH: Ally Kepple
KEY PLAYERS LOST: None
POTENTIAL STARTERS: Keira Croyle, Hailey Kriebel, Dominika Logue, Kennedy Vogle
ALSO IN THE MIX: Abby Gruver, Katie Gezik, Hailey Theuret, Allie Conner, Cheyenne Dowling, Gracie Gallagher, Kya Wetzel
OUTLOOK: With everyone back, including 1,000-point scorer Logue, the Damsels are thinking big this season. “Our goals are to be a contender and win the KSAC championship. We also want to win the District 9 championship, and we also want to make a run in the state playoffs.” — Kepple
COACH: Carrie Melat
KEY PLAYERS LOST: Ava Ferringer, Kaia Dean
POTENTIAL STARTERS: Maddy Bunyak, Ayanna Ferringer, Rylee Coe
ALSO IN THE MIX: Sarah Schoch, Allison Rembold, Keele Schneider, Brooke Ley, Haylie Gregory
OUTLOOK: The Berries are very young — five freshman will see minutes and the leading returning scorer, Bunyak, averaged two points per game last season. “This will be a rebuilding season for our group. We have seven freshmen, three girls who have never played before, and the returning three were role players. We are going to have to find our identity throughout the course of the season.” — Melat
COACH: Mark Powell
KEY PLAYERS LOST: None
POTENTIAL STARTERS: Alayna Haight, Elizabeth Wonderling, Elisa Molnar, Kerstyn Davie, Eden Wonderling
ALSO IN THE MIX: Jordan Cook, Taylor Rafferty, Reagan Olson, Hannah Lundgren, Mara Bowser, Bentley Hughey
OUTLOOK: The five wins last season didn’t sit well with the Raiders, who are looking to take another step forward this season with some experience returning.