Valley boys basketball team is learning to Cope
TribLIVE Sports Videos
After being appointed Valley boys basketball head coach several weeks before the start of practice last season, Phil Cope had to cram a lot of teaching in a short time.
The Vikings went 5-9 in Section 1-AAA (5-14 overall), halting their three-year streak of making the WPIAL playoffs.
But Cope has a year of coaching under his belt, and is ready to go.
“It was what it was — a non-offseason with me,” Cope said. “This year, it's different. You had a chance for kids to get work in during the summer and, like anything else, that hard work is going to pay off.”
Cope will go into the new season without his top player from last year. Tom Weremeychik, one of the area's leading scorers at 13.7 points per game, including 21 3-pointers, has graduated.
“Thomas had the ability and the dynamic to be the type of shooter that, when he was on the court, you were never really out of a game,” Cope said. “When we have an offensive possession with a shooter on the court, you always have a chance to get back into a ball game.” Among the returning players are seniors Chaz Cheatham, Devin Whitman, Tyler Gardlock and Khaanan Briggs.
As for starters, Cope indicated the first five on the floor could vary from night to night.
“In the grand scheme of things, we're looking to play more than five people,” Cope said. “We want those people to average more than five points per game. We're looking to increase our record more than the five wins of last year.”
Valley will open the season Friday at Springdale's Dynamo Tip-off Tournament against Yough, coached by former Valley assistant Wayne Greiser, at 5 p.m.
The Vikings will be in a revamped Section 1-AAA this season. Perennial contender Hampton has moved to Class AAAA while 2011-12 playoff qualifiers Freeport and Indiana Area have moved back into the section. Mars, Knoch and Highlands also add to a deep section.
“You see this section loaded with playoff teams with playoff success, like Kittanning, who made the playoffs last year for the first time in a long time,” Cope said.
George Guido is a freelance writer.
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.
- Cager Classic notebook: Highlands, Mars players bury hatchet for the weekend
- PIAA committee wants to revive western final
- Tough seasons to end on high note for girls at Cager Classic
- Blackhawk girls beat Archbishop Wood, defend PIAA hoops title
- Vincentian girls headed back to PIAA finals
- Defending champs Blackhawk, Seton-La Salle, Vincentian to face familiar foes in PIAA title games
- Seton-La Salle girls basketball team peaks with 8-game playoff run
- Seton-La Salle coach’s system validated with back-to-back berths in WPIAL finals