Jeannette's Gregory opens court for rest of Jayhawks
TribLIVE Sports Videos
So far this season, Jeannette's Ciara Gregory has seen about every possible defense thrown at her.
She's even seen some that wouldn't qualify for any sportsmanship awards.
To this point, however, none have worked.
The 5-foot-7 senior guard, a Charlotte recruit, has been terrorizing opponents for more than 30 points per game in leading Jeannette to a 5-1 start, including a 3-0 conference mark.
Two of Gregory's biggest games came against larger schools — a 40-point performance in a win over Class AAAA Franklin Regional and 39 points in a loss to Class AAA power Mt. Pleasant.
“It's really just her determination,” coach Luann Mills said. “This is a player who just never quits and never stops playing hard. She is constantly practicing, and it's paying off. She deserves everything she's getting.”
While it's early, the Jayhawks appear to be a front-runner to capture the Section 3-AA crown — it would be Jeannette's third straight.
So far, Jeannette's offense has averaged 67 points.
Despite Gergory's numbers, the Jayhawks have other options. Mills has had to adapt to teams continuing to run made-to-order defenses against her star player.
Mills has seen several players step up to keep things balanced.
“We've seen lots of double teams and different strategies,” Mills said.
“Unfortunately, we've also seen some elbows and un-sportsmanlike plays. But we expected teams would try and take (Ciara) away. It's forced us to work around them and get more players involved. The advantage is it's getting more players confidence and will help us in the long run.”
Mills pointed to the play of junior forwards Sydney Peccoraro and Monique Redman as under-the-radar players who are filling key roles.
“(Peccoraro and Redman) are really strong players defensively,” Mills said. “They are very fast players and are getting us about 20 points a game. They are well-rounded and give us some balance on both ends of the floor.”
Redman has been a force under the basket. She is not only rebounding but also averaging 15 points. Mills attributes the players' familiarity with her system as having a large role in the team's success.
“It's started to flow better with each year,” she said.
“This is the third year running this offense now, and it's starting to really click.”
While scoring has not been an issue, Mills feels the team must continue to improve defensively if it's going to make a lengthy playoff run.
“We're doing some good things and slowly improving on defense,” she said. “I think our all-around execution still needs some work. You can run plays, but you have to be able to execute them. Overall, we are starting to come together. This is a quicker team than the last two, which helps us do some different things.”
The Jayhawks return to action against Class AAA Uniontown on Thursday in the Laurel Highlands Tournament. Jeannette faces Class AAAA Albert Gallatin on Friday.
Brian Hunger 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.
- Steelers’ fourth-round pick Grant relies on smarts to get job done
- Ligonier Township mourns K-9 officer killed in wrong-way crash
- Rossi: Not too early to go with Kang
- Pa. Gov. Wolf’s general counsel tied to $358M bond project winner
- Most welcome, but some question plans for Beaver County cracker plant
- Veteran detective dies of suspected ‘cardiac event’ during drug investigation in Fayette County
- Missing Indiana Township girl home safe
- Analysis: Chlorine to curb Legionnaires’ eating away at pipes at VA sites
- Report: Germanwings crash co-pilot tried descent previously
- Pirates’ offense still stuck in a rut during setback to Reds at PNC
- Penguins notebook: Team hires director for Lemieux Complex