Girls display talents in Grebb League
I don't know how many folks actually pay attention to the J. Budd Grebb Memorial Summer Basketball League. For the last five years, local boys have been going at it on the asphalt at the Mechanic Street Playground.
In most cases, the league has done wonders for the abilities of some players who were either close to cracking the starting lineup or just there to refine their game.
I highly recommend going to California on a Tuesday or Thursday to check it out. There's some special players participating in the league.
Now, local girls are taking their turn on the court. On Mondays and Wednesdays, the league's Girls' Division takes to the surface.
Having the opportunity to cover the league's opening night and two other game nights, I realize something special is going on.
Monessen great Charel Allen said it best when she said she wished the league were in existance when she was tearing up the WPIAL and Class A.
“I would have loved this,” she said.
It's something that has been needed around here. Some people knock it, but give it a shot. There's a lot of talent on the court when the girls are going at it.
Myself and others were cracking up on the inaugural night as team “jerseys” were handed out. The girls couldn't find scissors fast enough to slice and dice their shirts up to their comfort level.
There's just as much local talent on display on ladies' night as there is on the boys' night.
For example, watching the Tommy Thomas State Farm team play, there's no better floor leadership in the league right now than what Charleroi's Mia Woytovich displays every time she steps on the court.
There hasn't been a player more dominant in the early going than Fredericktown Butcher Shop's Kaitlyn Slagus, a 6-2 forward from Belle Vernon Area. Only entering her junior season, she shows improving footwork under the basket and shows a little bit of touch around the hoop. She can step out and bury a jump shot, too.
The division's top overall pick, Kylie Huffman, is only going to be a freshman at California Area. She's at the 6-foot level, too, and only going to get bigger, strong, and better. She had a breakout game Monday scoring 17 points and grabbing 19 rebounds.
There's no disputing calls, no players arguing with the referees, just girls playing hard.
There's a buzz throughout the court when State Farm's Taylor Kovatch takes the court. She can shake defenders with a crossover and is one of the most tenacious defenders in the league. Did I mention she's about to enter the eighth grade? Yes, she's still in middle school and she's out there playing with the big girls, doing her thing.
The future is bright for the California Area girls with Huffman, Bailey Vig and Ashley Holt (Lagerheads), and Marissa Bitonti (Bitonti's Barristers).
No local team's future may be as bright as Belle Vernon Area's, as the Lady Leps have an impressive 12 girls on Grebb League rosters. Meaghan Murphy, who plays for Bitonti's, could push some of the boys around under the hoop and Bria Rathway (FBS) is showing signs of being a great floor leader. The future is bright indeed for coach Lisa Fairman's program.
I'm shocked there are no Ringgold girls or Frazier girls on rosters. The Lady Rams are in coaching limbo, though, but the Commodores are coming off a playoff appearance and could be section favorites next year.
Oh well, I guess there's always next summer. The league is already successful and appears here to stay. I wouldn't be surprised to see an expansion team, or two, next season. Hats off to the league for making the girls' division happen.
Jeremy Sellew is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-684-2667.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Convocation center booze battle rages on for California and Cal U
- 2 charged in Charleroi drug, gun find case
- Trials ordered for 2 charged in Monongahela mugging case
- West Newton foster father faces child sex charges
- Trio arrested by Monessen police on drug charges
- Monessen OKs 2015 budget with no tax hike
- Rostraver seeks big bucks from gas service co.
- Trial ordered for Finleyville man accused of fondling himself near school bus
- Washington Township man faces trial in home invasion
- Craft brewery opens in West Newton fire hall
- News was plentiful in pre-holiday rush of December 1957