Class AAAA girls basketball preview: Mt. Lebanon seniors hope to end careers the way they started, as champions
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Margie McCaffrey doesn't want to sound cocky or conceited.
The Mt. Lebanon girls basketball team's senior point guard also doesn't want to get complacent.
Despite finishing 24-4 last season, the Blue Devils did not win a WPIAL or PIAA title, the first time since 2007-08 that's happened.
No surprise, it doesn't sit well with McCaffrey or the other five members of this year's senior class.
“I know we're very fortunate, and maybe it sounds bad,” McCaffrey said. “But we want to get back there. I feel like we haven't been there in a while.
“I know I want to get back to Palumbo or back to states and take home a medal.”
Mt. Lebanon has as good of a shot as anybody this year in wide-open Class AAAA.
Bethel Park won its first WPIAL title last season, but two seniors graduated and three key returners are out for the season with torn ACLs. One of them — Drexel recruit Megan Marecic — was an all-state player in 2012-13.
Senior guard/forward Laura Page and sophomore forward Alexis Taylor are the others.
Hempfield, Plum, Shaler, North Allegheny and Baldwin all return a ton, though none of those programs can match Mt. Lebanon's recent track record.
The Blue Devils are 162-20 since the start of the 2007-08 season, with three WPIAL and three PIAA Class AAAA titles.
Christine Ehland, a 6-foot-1 forward, averaged 11.3 points per game last season to lead a group of returners that also includes 6-1 senior guard/forward Madeleine Collins and McCaffrey, who contributed 4.8 assists per game.
Top rebounder Jordan Holmes (11.2 rpg) graduated. Same for Alex Ventrone, Jess Frosztega and Hannah Sharpe.
Guards Anna Miller and Silvie Rudick and forward Kylie Cook are Mt. Lebanon's other three seniors. Miller is a great defender but will have to contribute more offensively. Cook is coming off an ACL tear.
“We're looking for the seniors to guide us,” Mt. Lebanon coach Dori Oldaker said. “They have the most experience.”
Like in 2010-11, when Mt. Lebanon won a third straight state title.
Ehland and McCaffrey were reserves on that team — subbing Madison Cable and Anna Kestler — and speak often to their younger teammates about the experience.
“As seniors, we realize this is our last chance,” Ehland said. “We want to give the underclassmen a chance to experience some of the things we've experienced in the past.”
Jason Mackey is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @Mackey_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.
- Steel Valley tabs Schifino as new boys basketball coach
- Facing criminal charges, Gateway boys basketball coach resigns