BVA girls hoping for more than an encore season
TribLIVE Sports Videos
During her first season as Belle Vernon Area girls' basketball coach, all Lisa Fairman did was lead the team to only the third post-season win in the program's history and the first playoff win in 14 years.
So what is she looking for as an encore from her team that lost four guards from last year's rotation?
“The key for us is to play as a team,” she said. “That is most important.
“We may have lost several key players, but we want to build upon last season and the goal is to get back to the playoffs and go from there.”
BVA returns three starters – all key players – in the Slagus sisters, 6-1 senior Jessica and 6-2 sophomore Kaitlin, and senior guard Natalie Bashada.
The elder Slagus is entering her third season as a starter and averaged 18 points and 13 rebounds a game last season.
There is no doubt that she is the leader of the team and she is also garnering attention from some colleges. At 6-1, Jessica Slagus is a very versatile player, which makes her tough to defend.
“Jess is our hardest worker and the other girls notice and it is contagious,” Fairman said. “She can post up, hit the three, and she is relentless on the offensive and defensive boards.”
Right now, Fairman said several players are vying for the other two starting positions and several others could see more time as the season progresses.
The group includes senior guard Jillian Niro, junior guard Phaedra DeWitt, sophomore guard/forward Bria Rathway, sophomore guard Kaitlyn Thomas, sophomore forward Tiernie Singleton, and sophomore forward Meaghan Murphy.
With the team's size, Fairman said that the Lady Leps will have to be prepared to hit outside shots.
“Our inside game is our strength,” she said. “It will open things up from the outside for us.
“It is up to us to hit the shots.”
The Lady Leps are in Section 4 AAA with Brownsville, Ringgold, Thomas Jefferson, Waynesburg, West Mifflin and highly-touted Elizabeth Forward.
Fairman says she again feels her team can earn a playoff spot with hard work and dedication.
BVA opens up Friday night against Carmichaels in the Charleroi Tip-off Tournament.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.
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.