Surging West Shamokin embraces winner's mentality
Perhaps no moment proved stranger yet sweeter for West Shamokin junior forward Tristan Cribbs this season than when she reviewed the three other teams in the Lady Wolves' holiday basketball tournament — Knoch, Highlands and Shady Side Academy — and regarded her own squad as the favorite.
That the Lady Wolves, who ultimately won their holiday event, considered themselves frontrunners marked a promising step forward for the program, which finished with one win a season ago (1-21) and just three in 2010-11.
This winter is one in which West Shamokin (6-6, 2-2) can match and possibly surpass the accomplishments of the 2009-10 team, the first and only in school history to finish with a winning record (12-9, 7-4). But, for now, the Lady Wolves are pleased they've parted ways with self doubt.
“I think the reality has sunk in that this is our redemption year,” Cribbs said. “I really want people to notice that we're starting to win, and we're a different team than we were last year, by far.”
A four-game losing streak to open the season sowed seeds of concern. But a 67-29 win over Section 1-AA foe Leechburg snapped the skid. And one game later, sophomore starting guard Lizzy Cornish returned from a preseason ankle injury to help edge Apollo-Ridge, 43-38.
West Shamokin toppled Highlands and then Shady Side Academy in its holiday tournament. Non-section wins over Freeport and Springdale followed.
The winning streak created an unprecedented sense of assurance among the Lady Wolves, who also overcame the challenge of absorbing Elderton players.
“I think it's still a process, but we've come a long way,” coach Judd McCullough said.
The halfway point of section play arrives Thursday, when the Lady Wolves host Burrell (7-1, 3-0). Even with a loss, West Shamokin will sit in no worse than fourth place — a playoff-qualifying position.
Senior forward Jill Glover continues to serve as West Shamokin's keystone, particularly on offense, where she scores almost half of the team's points. But Glover, the only player who started on the 2009-10 team, hopes she can help her younger teammates grow bold enough to embrace key roles in clutch moments.
“I just want to get everybody pumped,” Glover said. “But I don't want to push it over and be the person that everybody gets mad at for pushing us harder. I only do it because I know we can do better at some points.”
Glover, Cribbs, Cornish, junior guard Kelly Clowser, junior forward Kelsey Altman and the numerous contributors are determined to prove themselves the second time through the section.
“I think we have more motivation to show everyone we can do it this year,” Cribbs said. “It's an amazing feeling. I've never had this opportunity.”
Bill West is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter at @BWest_Trib.
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.
- Rossi: Liriano no ace, but he’s Bucs’ key
- Derry Township assault suspect arrested
- Moody’s downgrades Pa. rating; Corbett ponders pension reform session
- 1 intruder killed, another injured in Carrick home invasion
- Latrobe’s Ci Medical Technologies transforms to medical device business
- Squirrel Hill street that had been paved getting another pave job
- Ukrainian festival will go on in McKees Rocks despite crisis in homeland
- Clemson’s Stoudt is one of the unheralded ACC QBs trying to break out
- Pirates notebook: Polanco, Puig held out of series opener
- ACC notebook: Pitt predicted to finish 6th in Coastal Division
- Mercer restoration company turns junk into repurposed treasure