Redbank Valley girls on right track after winless season
TribLIVE Sports Videos
As coach Robin Martin encouraged an up-tempo style of play a year ago during her first season with Redbank Valley's girls basketball team, she watched the turnovers pile up and the Lady Bulldogs go winless.
When the offseason arrived, Martin chose to stand by the strategy. She believed her girls simply needed more time to learn the style, and she knew the team would soon have a confident, albeit primary young ball-handler.
Redbank Valley, which lost only four girls to graduation, began its second season under Martin well, as the Lady Bulldogs won both games at the Brockway tip-off tournament last weekend. More thrills might be on the way as long as Redbank Valley remains in possession of the ball when it runs the floor.
“We averaged over 30 turnovers a game (last season), and a lot of them happened at half court, so it was easy layups,” Martin said. “We couldn't stay with teams because we were turning the ball over so much, and then, we weren't always hitting our shots.”
Freshman guard Brooke Hinderliter solved many of Redbank Valley's problems. A self-assured dribbler and shooter, she scored 23 and 18 points, respectively, in wins over Brockway (42-34) and DuBois (37-33).
Just as important, Hinderliter helped keep the turnover total within reason: The Lady Bulldogs had 27 turnovers in the two games combined.
“The addition of Brooke is a great help,” Martin said. “Everybody knows about her already. I had to wait a whole year for her. … We understand that she's going to get doubled, so other people have to hit open shots. We can't always rely on her to score 20 points a night. … They're learning, and they're understanding that she definitely opens up other people because she attracts so much attention.”
Senior Alex Bell and junior Madison McClaine occupy the backcourt with Hinderliter. McClaine's 3-point shooting and height make her dangerous on the wing. Bell provides stifling defense.
Redbank Valley's frontcourt shouldered the scoring responsibilities a season ago. Erica Bowersox, now a senior, averaged 8.4 points. Emma Kennemuth, now a junior, scored 6.9 per contest.
“We definitely have to get them more touches,” Martin said. “We are probably one of the bigger teams in the KSAC this season, so we have to use that to our advantage. I think we have to get our guards a little more comfortable getting the ball inside, and once they do that, it opens up our outside shots.
Bowersox and Kennemuth are completely comfortable with a guard now scoring the bulk of the points. They understood early on in the offseason that Redbank Valley would prosper with Hinderliter serving as the playmaker.
“We started playing together in March, and right then, we saw it was going to be a big improvement,” Kennemuth said.
Said Bowersox: “It's like we've been with her forever. It's not like she's new.”
To finish with a .500 record overall and in Keystone Shortway Athletic Conference South Division play is the goal for the Lady Bulldogs.
“I think everyone came back disappointed in themselves and wanting to do better than what they did,” Kennemuth said. “We didn't get much summer work in last year, and this year, we got quite a few in.”
Bill West is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-543-1303.
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.
- Henry Kuzma, architect of 1965 Midland Leopards, dead at 86
- Steel Valley tabs Schifino as new boys basketball coach
- Gateway hires Freedman as boys basketball coach