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Mt. Pleasant girls coach confident his team can compete

| Monday, Dec. 9, 2013, 11:15 p.m.
Evan R. Sanders | Daily Courier
Mt. Pleasant players (from left) Alexa Szelong, Elaina Fearer and Jordan Toohey hope to lead the Vikings to a successful 2013-14 season.

In his ninth season as head coach of the Mt. Pleasant girls basketball team, Scott Giacobbi is pleased with what he sees.

“I like the way our classes are layered,” Giacobbi said. “We have a nice senior class who will contribute in a bunch of ways and in a lot of different roles. Our junior class has a lot of experience, and our sophomores are really coming on.”

Giacobbi has three returning starters from last season's 10-13 squad in seniors Elaina Fearer and Jordan Toohey and junior Alexa Szelong. All are guards.

“Elaina is a great perimeter shooter and a super hustler,” Giacobbi said. “She's on the floor all the time. She's always trying to make something happen.”

Szelong has been Mt. Pleasant's leading scorer the past two seasons.

“Alexa's just a very well-rounded player,” Giacobbi said. “She's a leader on the floor, and she makes all the players around her better.”

Toohey's season will get off to a slow start after she suffered an ankle injury playing soccer.

“Jordan is really quick and gives us a strong dimension in transition,” Giacobbi said. “She also has a nose for the hoop.”

Sophomore Morgan Barlock will be asked to step up and play key minutes. Barlock missed a majority of last season after dislocating a kneecap.

Junior Brooke Kalp and sophomore Katie Biller are expected to round out the starting lineup.

Mt. Pleasant again will compete in Section 3-AAA, along with Derry, Greensburg Salem, Indiana, Southmoreland, Uniontown and Yough.

“I think the section will play out very much the same as it typically does,” Giacobbi said. “Indiana is always very strong, very deep and consistently well-run. We've developed a nice rivalry with Greensburg Salem. They're always tough when we play them. The conventional thought is that Uniontown will be down this season because they lost a bunch of seniors, but they had a really athletic junior varsity team, and I look for them to be a good team.”

Mt. Pleasant plays its home opener against Greensburg Central Catholic on Tuesday.

“We have a really, really good team chemistry coming into the season,” Giacobbi said. “The girls work well together and are very selfless.”

Dave Stofcheck is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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