Greensburg Salem girls excel in Chemistry 101
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Entering the season, Greensburg Salem girls basketball coach Janine Vertacnik knew her team had good chemistry.
Several guards, she said, played like clockwork.
But an event off the court really convinced her how well the players got along.
“We had a pizza and movie night,” she said. “Everybody was talking and enjoying themselves and really getting along.
“It's a really tight-knit group.”
Senior Angela Balya was not surprised by the observation.
“We're not only a team but a family,” she said. “We read each others' minds on the court.”
All but one starter returns from last year, when the Lions qualified for the WPIAL playoffs for the first time in five seasons.
Junior Karly Mellinger joins the lineup after transferring from Greensburg Central Catholic, where she was leading scorer a year ago.
New to the team, Mellinger is no stranger to some teammates, who attended elementary and middle school with her.
“She fits right in,” Balya said.
Mellinger is part of a rotation of point guards that includes Balya and sophomore Claire Oberdorf.
Senior Jayne Oberdorf, Claire's sister, is a pure 3-point shooter, Vertacnik said.
Oberdorf, who averaged nearly 15 points last season, credits senior forward Taylor Mehan with setting up scoring opportunities for her.
“Taylor always seems to know where I am on the court,” Oberdorf said. “She's good in setting screens.”
“Taylor does the little things no one notices,” Vertacnik said. “She's a scrapper in getting loose balls.
“She's really athletic and quick, and will set screens and kick balls back to Jayne.”
While Oberdorf is deadly shooting from outside, Balya is good at penetrating.
“Angela will get layups and not too many jump shots,” Vertacnik said. “She can drive in with her left hand as well as her right. Not too many players can do that.”
Sophomores Sydney Ross and Vanessa Adams and junior Kellie Hutchinson are reserves expected to contribute heavily this season.
In her third year as coach, Vertacnik expects the Lions to do better than they did a year ago, when they tied for third place in Section 3-AAA and were eliminated early in the WPIAL playoffs.
“There are a lot of good teams, but we'd like to win our section and go farther at WPIALs so we can qualify for states,” she said.
Greensburg Salem last qualified for the PIAA playoffs in 2007, when it was eliminated by eventual champion Hopewell in the second round. The Lions finished fourth in the WPIAL after reaching the semifinals of the WPIAL championship that year.
Karen Kadilak 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.
- Riverview girls apply lessons learned
- High school notebook: Attendance up at WPIAL basketball title games
- Up and down season ends for Ligonier Valley girls
- HS highlight reel: PIAA spring sports season underway
- Burrell girls basketball team plans PIAA rebound
- Cal saw both sides of WPIAL’s ‘play-in bracket’
- Gorman: McConnells owned ‘The Pete’
- Monessen boys capture yet another WPIAL basketball title
- Oliver: It takes a lot to be a Greyhound
- Norwin clinches 1st WPIAL finals berth
- Gateway girls coach pleased with players’ effort