Yough girls seeking elusive return to playoffs
TribLIVE Sports Videos
The Yough girls basketball season was better in 2012-13 — it couldn't have gotten much worse than the Cougars' winless section record in the previous year — but the results remained far from satisfying.
Three seniors return to the team this year with the hope of moving Yough closer to a return to the WPIAL playoffs.
“We've just gotten our youth program started again,” coach Greg Melvin said, “and I can see down in the sixth, seventh and eighth grades that we're starting to get more of a turnout and involvement from those kids.
“We're hoping the interest eventually will translate into more success.”
Yough, which lost three players to graduation, hasn't qualified for the playoffs since making it in back-to-back seasons from 2008-10 under former coach Lou Zadecky, now the women's coach at Penn State-Greater Allegheny.
Natalie Peebles, a 5-foot-11 forward, enters her third year as a starter for Yough, which posted a 7-15 record last season, but was just 2-10 in Section 3-AAA after going 0-12 in the previous season.
She is joined on the current team by two other seniors — 5-4 guard Jojo Sterner and 5-7 forward Sam Miller, whom Melvin said appeared much improved as the Cougars prepared for their opener Friday night at the Southmoreland Tournament against the host Scotties.
“She's probably been the most dedicated person in the program for the last 5-6 years,” Melvin said. “Basketball is her primary sport. She puts a lot more time into it than others do.”
Peebles led Yough in scoring and rebounding a year ago, though, averaging about nine in both categories.
Melvin said that one potential starter this year, junior guard Leigh Appalonia, likely is lost for the season with a broken foot, sustained in the WPIAL soccer playoffs in November.
“She had shown some good potential, but she's probably done for the year,” he said.
That leaves Melvin, a former boys and girls coach at Charleroi and a past boys coach at California and at defunct Mon Valley Catholic, with other choices.
He said he's likely to fill the remaining two openings in the lineup with 5-7 sophomore forward Jada Roth, a part-time starter as a freshman, and 5-6 sophomore guard Sam Peebles, the younger sister of Natalie Peebles.
Sam Peebles is expected to get the first chance to play point guard for the Cougars.
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.