TribLIVE

| Sports


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Cheswick Christian girls learn chemistry lesson

TribLIVE Sports Videos

Top high school sports
By D.j. Vasil
Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012, 12:11 a.m.
 

Cheswick Christian Academy's girls basketball team is young, but coach Deric Johnson feels it has the best chemistry in recent years.

“The coaches feel good about how the team is coming together,” Johnson said. “Sometimes with a young team, you learn to work hard and compete, and we are reaching the point where the girls are understanding that.”

Cheswick finished 5-16 last season and 5-10 in the Southwest Christian Athletic Conference, losing in the first round of the playoffs.

Johnson feels this year could be much better.

“I just sense chemistry and an understanding that the girls are learning what they have to do to get better,” Johnson said. “I don't know where it's going to take us, but I know we are going to be more competitive than last year.”

Cheswick returns three starters, including top scorer and rebounder Natalie Merola, a senior center. Merola, who averaged 7 points per game, will be counted on to lead a team that has only two seniors.

“She's been our leader the last couple of years,” Johnson said. “We are counting on her to increase her scoring and work with the other girls in teaching.”

Joining Merola will be sophomore point guard Jacque Willis and junior guard Ariel Festa. Willis will be looked upon to direct the offense. Festa, the best defensive player on the team, according to Johnson, is becoming a more well-rounded offensive player.

The other two starting spots, power forward and wing, are up for grabs.

Battling at the No. 4 spot will be junior Sarah Evans and freshman Cydney Francis. Competing at the wing will be sophomore Alyssa Slancauskas and eighth-grader Alexia Voelker.

SWCAC rules allow eighth-grade players to compete at the varsity level.

Similar to some of the starting lineup, there remains some uncertainty with the bench players.

“There will be an eight- to nine-girl rotation,” Johnson said. “They will get the majority of the minutes and they will keep fighting to finish it.”

D.J. Vasil is a freelance writer.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Clues to Chief Justice John Roberts’ thinking on new ObamaCare case
  2. 5 arrested on firearm, drug charges in Spring Hill
  3. Pirates enter Plan B with Martin off market
  4. Derry water outage may be resolved by 5 p.m. Sunday, authority says
  5. For Steelers, a fight to finish for playoff berth
  6. Governor signs death warrant for convicted Fayette killer
  7. Allegheny County adoption event joins 40 children with families
  8. Leak of grand jury information could cost Attorney General Kane
  9. Mears savors success, credits legendary Lange for guidance, inspiration
  10. Boy with fake gun dies after being shot by Cleveland cop
  11. Small retailers at intersection of social networks, foot traffic
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.