Lady Mustangs get fresh start
First-year Plum girls basketball coach Rich Galie isn't sure who started last season, and he doesn't want to know.
Galie encourages each of his players to battle for a varsity role, without preconceived notions hanging over them.
Plum's girls could use a fresh start. The Lady Mustangs went 5-9 in Section 2-AAAA and 11-13 overall last season and haven't been to the WPIAL playoffs since 2002.
"We're looking for girls who are giving a strong effort and want to go the extra mile," Galie said. "They're responding well so far. In the early going, we'll try to play as many people as possible and see what results we get from that."
Galie's resume includes stints as coach of the Deer Lakes boys, assistant coach of the Burrell and Pine-Richland boys, and most recently as assistant head coach of the Kiski Area girls. He took off last season, and replaces Rich Mull, who resigned.
Plum returns three starters. They are senior guard/forward Erica Gray, senior guard Kara Marshall and junior point guard Emily Anderson. Marshall is Plum's leading returning scorer after averaging 12.1 points per game last season.
Plum doesn't have much height for a Class AAAA team, but Galie believes the Lady Mustangs can overcome that disadvantage.
"We're going to have to hustle and box teams out," Galie said. "We're going to have to use a lot of good technique. Proper technique can overcome a lot of things."
Plum competes in Section 2-AAAA along with Oakland Catholic, which has claimed the past two WPIAL titles. Oakland Catholic senior guard Amanda Sedlack, a Plum resident, recently signed a letter of intent to play at Division I Akron.
Gateway, Penn Hills and Woodland Hills also made the playoffs last season.
"It's a formidable schedule," Galie said. "There's a lot of quality."
Coach, years: Rich Galie, first season
Last year's record, finish: 11-13, 5th place Section 2-AAAA
Returning starters: Emily Anderson (Jr., 5-8, G), Erica Gray (Sr., 5-8, G/F), Kara Marshall (Sr., 5-8, G)
Fast facts: Plum last appeared in the WPIAL Class AAAA playoffs in 2002. The Lady Mustangs edged Ambridge, 50-49, in the first round before being stopped in the quarterfinals. ... Plum's only trip to the PIAA playoffs was in 2002.