Numbers are concern for Valley girls basketball
TribLIVE Sports Videos
The Valley girls basketball team will be getting quality this year — but it won't be because of quantity.
With only 10 girls on the team, fourth-year coach Jeff Cheatham won't have much depth and no junior varsity team.
But Cheatham believes the team can be a contender with barely enough bodies to hold an intrasquad scrimmage.
“I'm excited about the season,” Cheatham said. “We'll see what happens, if we can get them all rolling and playing together.”
Valley finished 1-9 in section play last season, 4-14 overall, to miss the playoffs for the eighth time in the past nine seasons.
Returning for the Vikings after a one-year absence is junior Lashay Madison, who averaged nearly 16 points per game as a freshman before attending McKeesport High School for part of last year.
She'll be joined by 6-foot sophomore Kaylyn Iacopino, who is poised to become one of the top frontcourt players in the Alle-Kiski Valley.
“Lashay will be playing a point guard and Kaylyn inside, that's really going to help us a lot,” Cheatham said. “I think both of them have the potential to play college ball, if they work at it.”
One key graduate Valley has to replace is Ryleesha Vining, who averaged a team-best 13 points last season.
“It's easy when you have a very good point guard,' Cheatham said. “I really enjoyed coaching her. We'll definitely miss her.”
A number of newcomers will populate the Valley roster.
“It's like Basketball 101,” Cheatham said, with a laugh. “We really don't have a youth program here at Valley. We have to try and form one. We don't have a summer program.“
The junior high program has returned to the school district after a one-year hiatus.
The Vikings will open the season with a Section 1-AAA game at Mars on Dec. 13, giving Cheatham an extra week to work with his team.
“The main thing is that we have to get these girls to learn how to win and we have to get parenting to push these girls in the right direction,” Cheatham added. “We have a lot of new people in our community who don't know anything about the history of Valley High School — the Marissa Smiths, the B.B. Flenorys, the Willie Throwers.”
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.
- Deep roster sparks Butler boys basketball team
- Butler girls basketball team earning narrow victories
- Defensive play fueling Mars boys basketball team
- West Mifflin edges late-charging Steel Valley in Section 4 contest
- Plum’s defense seals win over McKeesport
- Trib Cup: Winchester Thurston boys basketball motivated by playoff run
- High school roundup: No. 2 CW North Catholic cruises past No. 4 Riverview
- Greensburg high school roundup: Hempfield downs Penn-Trafford to stay unbeaten
- Despite youth, Serra girls basketball team remains optimistic for postseason
- Season of change on tap for South Allegheny boys basketball
- Shady Side Academy torments Apollo-Ridge, moves to 3-0