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Deep, talented Ford City girls pose viable threat

| Monday, Nov. 25, 2013, 12:11 a.m.
Louis B. Ruediger | Leader Times
Ford City Coach Al Davis works with his varsity squad during a recent practice.

As Ford City looks to extend its lengthy streak of girls basketball playoff appearances, there's no shortage of players to help the cause.

The Sabers boast an experienced, deep team for 2013-14. They look to improve on last year's 14-9 record (5-5 in section play) and first-round exit from the WPIAL playoffs.

Veteran coach Al Davis likes the talent he has on his roster, and said he thinks if the pieces come together they could be a threat this season.

“We're going to be competitive, and they're working hard,” Davis said. “We have 17 total with the JVs coming up through the system, but we'll see how it happens in the games. When we play, it will all come down to how much they play as a team.”

That team will have plenty of similarities to last year's, and that begins with the top scorers. Senior forward Ally Cujas led the Sabers with 12.3 points per game, and junior Christina Davis and her 9.5-point average also are back in the lineup.

“Ally is our post player, and she's worked hard, so I look for her to have a good year,” Al Davis said. “Christina Davis is also going to be playing some in the post for us, but she can play multiple positions, even point guard. Since we're not real tall we're going to have her inside, but she's real athletic and can be a real leader.”

Senior guard Bethany Meyer is the team's top backcourt player; she averaged 5.5 points and was second to Davis in assists. Andrea DiGregorio will partner with Meyer at a guard spot, and Ford City has three DiGregorios to choose from — senior Andrea, junior Stephanie and freshman Abbey.

Freshman guard Taylor Woods' steady shooting also is expected to earn her playing time, and Al Davis admitted that could just be the tip of the iceberg in his rotation.

“I could go the whole way through our roster, and out of the 17, there's not one that I'm afraid to throw into a varsity game,” Al Davis said. “There's no superstars, but they all can play, which is nice. It's going to come down to team play.”

With depth available, Ford City is likely to try and extend its defense and push the floor in a Section 1-AA that has a number of teams that favor zone defenses. With strong teams at Burrell and Deer Lakes to contend with, the Sabers will need to show skill and smarts on the court.

“I'm looking for us to play a little more up-tempo but also to know when to get into our offense,” Al Davis said. “Burrell's the top team and this should be their year, but we're going to try to beat them when we play. I think it's a fight with everyone else for 2-3-4 in the section, and we'd like to keep that (playoff) streak going.”

Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at mgrubba@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Grubba_Trib.

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