Jeannette girls begin season against tough opponents
Jeannette girls basketball head coach Adam Knaresborough was not shy about asking Jeannette athletic director Matt Lebe for a tough early season schedule, and Lebe delivered.
Following scrimmages against McKeesport and Burrell, two teams projected to make the playoffs, Jeannette opened their pre-section schedule with two games against two very good quad-A opponents in Franklin Regional and North Hills.
The on-court results — an 80-46 loss to Franklin Regional and a 55-24 loss to North Hills — do not necessarily correlate with Knaresborough's feelings about his team following their 0-2 start.
“I really appreciate Matt Lebe setting us up with a tough schedule to open the season,” said Knaresborough. “It will help us as the season goes on.”
Knaresborough wants his team to be battle-tested once it gets to Section 3-AA action which begins tonight at 7:30 when Jeannette hosts South Allegheny. While the losses looked, and were, lopsided, Knaresborough takes away a good feeling about the Lady Jayhawks.
“We are coming together as a team,” said Knaresborough. “We only have two girls who have played varsity basketball, so the better opponents were good learning experiences for the girls who are just starting to play varsity.”
One of Knaresborough's newcomers, freshman Olivia Sirnic, led the Lady Jayhawks in scoring with 15 against Franklin Regional and several other young players took strides forward as a young team begins to figure out how to play and win together.
Knaresborough singled out defense as an early season sore spot for Jeannette, but thinks that too is a product of Jeannette's inexperience. “We need to get better on the defensive side,” said Knaresborough. “I think we will begin gelling as we enter section play.”
Following tonight's section opener against South Allegheny, Jeannette travels to Riverview and Springdale for section games next Tuesday and Thursday respectively.
WPIAL Class-AA, Section 3
GCC (0-0) (1-1)
Riverview (0-0) (1-1)
Springdale (0-0) (1-1)
South Allegheny (0-0) (0-1)
East Allegheny (0-0) (0-2)
Jeannette (0-0) (0-2)
Shady Side (0-0) (0-2)
Dave Moio is a freelance writer.