Senior leaders pacing Quaker Valley girls in Section 6-AAA
TribLIVE Sports Videos
While some teams might struggle in the first year moving up in classifications, the Quaker Valley girls basketball team has made a seamless transition, thanks to the play of two seniors.
In its first season in WPIAL Class AAA after getting bumped up from Class AA following last year, the Quakers entered the week in second place in Section 6 with a 10-6 overall record and a 6-3 mark in the section.
That success is due in large part to the play of seniors Sierra Perlik and Rachel Smith, who are among the Class AAA leaders in scoring with 18.9 and 13.4 points per game, respectively.
“It's no secret that Sierra's probably one of the premier point guards in the WPIAL,” coach Jim Dudas said. “She can score in many different ways. She can defend on and off the ball.”
Perlik is one of the few players Dudas said he has ever felt comfortable calling out plays on her own, while Smith has a tremendous knack for rebounding, despite standing 5-foot-6.
“Rachel is probably one of the most explosive players in the WPIAL in terms of taking the ball to the basket,” Dudas said. “She really has a nose for rebounding and is a real quality kid off the court. Rachel and Sierra are in a lot of respects kind of like having an extra two assistant coaches.”
It's that kind of impressive play that allowed the Quakers to go on a four-game winning streak in January — with key section wins over Moon, Montour and Trinity — despite having only a five-player rotation due to injuries.
“The game against Moon was probably one of our better overall execution games on both sides of the ball,” Dudas said. “I think Moon is a very talented team, one of the top teams in our section. I think they're very well coached. I was very pleased with the way we composed ourselves throughout the game with their defense and the way we moved the ball on offense.”
For Smith, she is simply trying to serve as a type of leader similar to those who helped her and Perlik so much when they were freshmen.
“I remember how when me and Sierra were younger we would always look up to the seniors on the team,” she said. “So we want to be the people who they can look up to for help.”
With three section games remaining, the Quakers control their own postseason destiny, an impressive feat for the Class AAA newcomers.
“Our goals are to win all of the games that are winnable for us,” Smith said, “and right now we think the rest of our section games are winnable.”
Alex Oltmanns 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.
- Teams set mark for 3-pointers as East boys nip West, 110-109, in Cager Classic
- Bordonaro boosts East girls to 79-72 victory in Cager Classic
- Kittanning senior Kunst shoots lights out at Cager Classic skills event
- High school basketball notebook: Aliquippa motivated by loss in PIAA title game
- PIAA committee wants to revive western final
- Slagus, Schmidt lead local Roundball contingent