Jeannette girls under new leadership
Roster turnover occurs every year for nearly every high school basketball program, but this year's replacement of departing players for Jeannette girls basketball will be particularly challenging.
Jeannette graduated its all-time leading scorer in Ciara Gregory, who has taken her talents to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Replacing her 30-plus points per game will be a challenge for a young Jeannette team now guided by first-year head coach Adam Knaresborough.
Knaresborough replaces Luann Mills, who takes over at Latrobe after three years in Jeannette. Knaresborough comes to Jeannette, where he is also a high school social studies teacher and assistant principal, from Mountain View High School in Stafford County, Va., where he spent five years as an assistant for their boys basketball program.
Knaresborough is optimistic about what he has seen so far and knows this year's Lady Jayhawks will have to play differently than the Ciara Gregory teams.
“It will be more of a team effort this year,” said Knaresborough. “Jeannette girls basketball has always been tough, and that is our motto for this year, play tough.”
Jeannette will rely on senior Monique Redman to build on her 13.9 points per game last season to assume the role as the team's leading scorer. Junior Monica Carl will be looked to for secondary scoring as will a host of other Lady Jayhawks.
Despite a young roster, leadership has not been an issue for Jeannette in the first full week of practice.
“Our senior twins, Briana and Brittany Crawford, have been among our best in practice,” said Knaresborough. “They have shown great senior leadership and have been great role models for the younger players.”
He may be new to the scene in Jeannette, but Knaresborough knows exactly which games on the schedule to circle, and who will provide the stiffest competition for Jeannette in WPIAL Section 3-AA.
“I love the rivalry with Greensburg Central Catholic,” said Knaresborough. “They are always talented and have great teams.”
Knaresborough has set a reasonable goal for his team — make the playoffs — but knows his seniors want a section title.
For a group stepping out of the enormous shadow cast by its greatest individual player, such an achievement would make for quite a story indeed.
Dave Moio is a freelance writer.