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GCC girls have championship aspirations under 1st-year coach

| Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012, 11:48 p.m.
Tribune-Review
New Greensburg Central Catholic girls basketball head coach Chris Kallock runs a practice session on November 29, 2012. Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Tribune-Review
Greensburg Central Catholic forward Devon Larkin (left) drives toward the hoop during a practice session on November 29, 2012. Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Tribune-Review
Greensburg Central Catholic guard Carolyn Appleby drives toward the hoop during a practice session on November 29, 2012. Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review

The Greensburg Central Catholic girls basketball team has lofty goals under first-year coach Chris Kallock.

After losing in the quarterfinals of the WPIAL Class AA playoffs last year, players said they won't be happy unless they reach the championship game.

“We want to make it to the Palumbo Center,” senior Devon Larkin said.

As usual, the Palumbo Center at Duquesne University will be the site of the WPIAL finals.

Greensburg Central Catholic lost its top scorer after Karly Mellinger transferred to Greensburg Salem in the offseason. But the rest of last year's lineup is mostly intact.

Sophomore Carolyn Appleby will be the point guard for the second consecutive year.

Kallock considers her one of his best players.

“She's very quick and very competitive,” he said.

Senior Heather Bosco and sophomore Nikki Adisey will fill the other guard position.

Larkin will start at forward.

Kallock likes his team's depth.

“We have nine or 10 other kids we can go with,” he said. “There are 13 girls on the varsity, and nine on the (junior varsity). Practices are competitive.”

“We have a deep bench,” Larkin agreed.

Greensburg Central Catholic will switch to man-to-man defense after playing mostly zone last season.

Bosco looks forward to the change.

“It's going to be a blast,” she said. “Things will be fast paced and aggressive.”

“Man-to-man is difficult to play against,” Kallock said. “It forces your opponent to think about one defender instead of taking advantage of another.”

Kallock, 44, took over for Don Favero, who resigned after last season. Before taking a break from coaching last season, Kallock was at Kiski Area, where he had an 85-56 record and led the team to the playoffs four times in six years.

“I really missed (coaching),” Kallock said. “It's good to be back, especially with this team.

“It's going to be fun.”

So far, the players are adjusting well.

“Coach Kallock is a good coach and a nice person,” Larkin said. “We like having him.”

Greensburg Central Catholic was second to Jeannette in Section 3-AA last year with a 10-2 record.

GCC has qualified for the WPIAL playoffs every year since 2001 and has been WPIAL champions five times. They won Class AA titles in 1997, 2003, '06 and '07.

In 1991, they were Class AAA champions.

They were Class AA runners-up in 2002 and '05.

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

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