Connect with us


SHE’S BACK: After Disappointing Junior Campaign, Redbank Valley’s Caylen Rearick Has Been Sharp Shooting Again Leading Into Season

NEW BETHLEHEM, Pa. (EYT/D9) — Each shot that clanged off the front of the rim, or the side or the back of it and not through the net with a satisfying swish, added to the frustration Caylen Rearick felt last season.

As a tsunami of emotions — the doubt and the angst and the confusion — swept over her, the struggles mounted.

She was a sniper with bent sights.

(Pictured above, Caylen Rearick, No. 4, leads the Redbank Valley girls basketball team on the floor)

And the guard on the Redbank Valley girls basketball team, who had made a reputation for herself as a feared 3-point shooter, was mired in a season-long slump.

Heeter Lumber Logo 2 (1)
Redbank Valley, Keystone, and Union/A-C Valley sports coverage on Explore and is brought to you by Heeter Lumber.

“Last year, I went through a lot,” said Rearick, now a senior. “Coming back for myself and the team is my motivation. In the practices and open gyms I’ve had, I definitely have seen a big difference already this season.”

That’s certainly not good news for Bulldog opponents. Redbank Valley is already a big favorite to win the Keystone Shortway Athletic Conference again and repeat as District 9 champion, this time in Class 2A.

If Rearick can regain her form she had as a sophomore, look out.

“She’s back,” said Redbank Valley coach Chris Edmonds. “She’s definitely back to the same form she had a couple of yers ago.”

It was a relief for Rearick to see those outside shots hit again.

She was scorching hot again from the perimeter during summer league games.

“We played a couple of weeks ago down at Seneca Valley and she hit seven or eight 3s,” Edmonds said. “She’s put in the time. They all have.”

No one is more relieved to be her old self than Rearick.

“It was very frustrating,” Rearick said. “But I had talks with my mom and everyone really supported me. I think that’s what got me through everything.”

Redbank Valley was able to absorb Rearick’s slump last season because of the emergence of freshman guard Mylee Harmon.

It would be difficult to find a player who has had a better debut season in multiple sports.

Harmon made a huge impact for the Bulldog girls basketball team, averaging 12.6 points, 3.2 assists and 2.2 steals per game.

(From left, Mylee Harmon, Alivia Huffman and Caylen Rearick)

In the spring as a member of the Redbank track and field team, she shattered school records in three events — the 200-meter dash, the 400-meter run and the high jump — and turned in one of the most memorable individual efforts at the PIAA Track and Field Championships, racing from fifth to first over the final 110-meters to win the state title in the 400.

The question now for Harmon is simple.

How to top that?

“I mean, last year I had a pretty big year,” Harmon said, smiling. “Everyone was so welcoming. I felt like I was a part of the team from the first open gym. Everyone was so upbeat and it was a great atmosphere.”

Harmon isn’t necessarily trying to out-do herself. She doesn’t need to — not with the talent around her on the court for the Bulldogs.

Her objective is simple. Just play the way she knows how to play.

It helps that she plays AAU basketball. It gives her a different perspective on the game.

“You get more freedom to go with your gut and use your basketball IQ more rather than running a set offense,” Harmon said. “It gives you more confidence. There’s a lot going on, so you have to really focus. There’s other games going on and there’s a lot of whistles, so you have to focus on the game you’re playing.

“That helps me with school basketball because I already have that leadership because the coach in AAU doesn’t coach as much as in high school,” she added. “You have to take it upon yourself to control the game.”

With Harmon, Rearick and do-everything senior Alivia Huffman, Redbank has one of the best trios in the district.

Huffman played outside and inside for Redbank Valley last season and won the KSAC MVP.

After winning the D9 title, the Bulldogs were upset at home by Laurel in the first round of the PIAA playoffs.

They would like nothing more than to get that feeling out of their collective systems.

“I think we just have to stay focused and put that loss to Laurel behind us,” Harmon said. “I think we have a really good shot at making a run to states and winning the district as long as we stay focused.”

Heeter Lumber Logo 2 (1)
Redbank Valley, Keystone, and Union/A-C Valley sports coverage on Explore and is brought to you by Heeter Lumber.