Lady Greyhounds are short on star power
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Last year was an atypical season for the Monessen girls' basketball program.
Steeped in tradition that includes the 2004 PIAA Class A title and three WPIAL Class A crowns (1995, 2004, 2007), last season's squad went 9-13. although it went 6-4 in Section 4 A.
Monessen lost two graduated players to the collegiate level in Mariah Ward (WCCC) and Chelsea Szackal (Penn State DuBois), but that does not change the expectations for head coach Gina Naccarato.
“Our goal is to win the section and qualify for the WPIAL playoffs and PIAA playoffs,” she said before pointing out who she thinks are the favorites in Section 4 A. “I predict Serra Catholic, Winchester Thurtson and Clairton as the top three teams in the section (right now).”
Naccarato, entering her fifth season as head coach (72-25 record) after 10 years as an assistant under Major Corley, returns a pair of starters in senior forward Monet Wade (2.9 points per game and 5.0 rebounds per game) and junior guard Mariha Johnson (5.3 points per game and 3.2 rebounds per game).
The other three probable starters are junior guard Teraee Bradford, junior forward Tashyra Reid, and senior guard Sarah Mickey, who missed last season due to injury.
Three key reserves for Monessen will be senior Sha'Nia Windom, senior forward Jackie Wall, and freshman guard Andrea Kroll.
For more than 25 years, the Lady Greyhound program has churned out 1,000-point scorers and super talented squads that would see the teams reload, but this year's team does not return the star power Monessen fans have grown accustomed to.
Naccarato says the team can still have a positive season.
“We will have a successful season if the new players who haven't had a lot of playing time learn the system and progress through the season,” she said. “We have many players who haven't had a lot of varsity playing experience.
“How they react to the challenge of playing varsity basketball will determine how successful we will be this season.”
Monessen opens against Charleroi in the Lady Cougars' Tipoff Tournament Dec. 6.
Bill Hughes 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.