Share This Page

Apollo-Ridge girls basketball face big void to fill

| Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012, 10:34 p.m.
Apollo-Ridge's Ashley Emminger (left) and Briaunna Fairman battle for possession during practice on Monday. Erica Hilliard | Valley News Dispatch

The Apollo-Ridge girls basketball team has a big void to fill this season.

Four-year letter-winner Lexi Orlowski has graduated, taking with her an 18-point-per-game average.

Orlowski accounted for about 43 percent of the team's scoring last season. Even though four experienced players return, third-year coach Desiree Syster is looking for someone to step up during preseason camp.

“We're working on filling Lexi's offensive gap,” Syster said. “In a lot of games, it was Lexi, Lexi, Lexi. So we're looking at ways to fill that gap. I think that's our biggest hurdle right now.”

The Vikings finished 6-8 in Section 1-AA, a game out of the playoffs. Apollo-Ridge finished 8-14 overall.

Returning are senior guard Sarah Bonelli, junior forward Ashley Emminger, and sophomore guards Claire Bowman and Julia DeMeno.

Several players are in contention for the fifth starting spot, including freshman Megan Bonelli, Sarah's younger sister. Syster is considering alternating a fifth starter depending on the opposition.

“We have, more or less, a starting lineup for speed and a starting lineup for size,” Syster said.

Syster also is happy with player turnout. Apollo-Ridge could field a junior varsity team, which would enable freshmen to get experience.

“Our numbers are still low, but there's tons of experience we can get the players,” Syster said.

The Vikings' coach believes Burrell and Deer Lakes are the top teams in the section, with West Shamokin possibly stronger with the addition of players from the former Elderton High School, a team that made the WPIAL playoffs the past two seasons.

Kristen Shoe again will serve as an assistant coach.

The Vikings will get thrown into tough competition right away, starting the season against Deer Lakes in Springdale's Dynamo Tip-off Tournament. The game is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Dec. 7.

Apollo-Ridge opens section play Dec. 13 against Leechburg.

George Guido is a freelance writer.

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.