Share This Page

Yough's girls basketball team hopes to rediscover success

| Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012, 10:04 p.m.
(Brian F. Henry | Tribune-Review)
Derry's Katerina Hamerski drives to the hoop against Yough's Natalie Peebles during a game at Derry on Monday, January 3, 2011. (Brian F. Henry | Tribune-Review) BFH GTRrdp0103 2.jpg (Lines Only)

Last season was not very kind to the Yough girls basketball team.

After a promising 2-1 start, things quickly spiraled out of control.

A rash of injuries kept many of its players on the sideline for much of the year, and the end result was a drastic lack of scoring and a struggling defense.

The Cougars finished 0-12 in Section 3-AAA and 5-16 overall.

With last season behind them, Coach Greg Melvin is optimistic this year's team will be better. While he's anticipating the scoring to increase some, his focus for the team is on defense, and in general, becoming a more well-balanced team.

The Cougars' attack will be led by 5-foot-11 junior forward Natalie Peebles, who is the lone returning starter and has the potential to be an all-conference-type player.

“She's a really strong player,” Melvin said. “Natalie is fundamentally sound and a very good, natural athlete. She's not real vocal, but the other players look up to her as a leader, which isn't always common for an underclassman. She works very hard every day.”

Peebles, who was named to the all-conference volleyball team, has the potential to lead the team in scoring and rebounding.

Melvin is also looking at guards Emily Campbell and Shailynn Copeland, part-time starters a year ago, to fill bigger roles this season. According to Melvin, both improved greatly in the offseason.

“They got some valuable playing time last year,” Melvin said. “With the situation we got in (injuries), several of our underclassmen played a lot of minutes.”

With four new starters on board and a very challenging conference slate ahead, Melvin realizes the team could see some growing pains.

He's confident, however, the Cougars can improve their win total from a year ago.

“Hopefully, we're going to be more competitive,” he said. “This is a really strong section — Uniontown, Mt. Pleasant, Greensburg Salem — those are all very strong programs. The girls are working hard, and I think we can snag a few games.”

Yough tips off its season Friday night in the Southmoreland Tournament against the host Scotties.

“We're looking to hang our hats on our defensive play,” Melvin said. “In this conference, you have to be able to score but also play at a high level on the defensive end.”

Brian Hunger 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.