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State College High School Girls' Basketball Preview: Lady Little Lions have High Hopes

by on December 08, 2012 8:00 AM

A closer look the 2012-13 State College Area High School girls' basketball team:

Coach — Bethany Irwin

2011 Record — 12-12

Returning Letter Winners — Jenna Altomare, Allie Baney, Taylor Allison, Morgan Kaluza, Meghan Karstetter, Anna Stevenson, Franki Treglia, Bridget King, Carrie Mahon.

Strengths — In her 20th year as head coach of the State College girls’ basketball team, Coach Irwin said she believes a huge strength for this year will be the number of returning players that will help to lead the team. “Last year we didn’t have any seniors, so our record was 12-12 but we made it further in the state playoffs than we did the previous year, so all of that game experience is going to help us out,” she said. “I think the kids are ahead of the game right now. I think we are going to have some speed outside, inside play. And I hope, although we are going into the Mid-Penn this year so I really don’t know what to expect, we are going to keep our fingers crossed and just play hard.”

Concerns — Irwin said her biggest concern lies with getting each of her players enough time on the court. “I think that this year we are pretty balanced and we have a lot of depth, so I want to try to be able to rotate kids in as best I can and keep the intensity of the game at that level, so that is going to be a challenge for them,” she said. “They need to understand that, but at the same aspect, I want to get them in and give them a chance. But it’s what they do with that opportunity.”

Season Outlook — Though she feels the move into Mid-Penn Conference will create challenges for the team, Irwin said throughout the season she expects to see great leadership and skill, especially from senior captains Taylor Allison and Jenna Altomare. “I think that they [Allison and Altomare] are going to do a good job. I think all of our seniors this year have a lot of leadership qualities, a lot of game experience. We have some kids coming up, the freshman and sophomore class who are going to contribute as well. Jalyn Shelton-Burleigh, Ali Treglia and Kyla Irwin I think are going to really make an impact for us, added to that senior class,” she said. “This year it will be interesting, but I’m excited for it.

Early Season — After a scrimmage in Gettysburg on Nov. 26, Irwin feels her team is headed down the right path to start off the season well. But because the team will play seven games in just 11 days, Irwin said her goal is to simply to survive the beginning of the season. “I start out Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Monday, Wednesday, so it’s going to be crazy, so we have to stay healthy. I’m looking forward to it because practices get hard, it’s just making sure everybody’s on top of things and conditioning and stuff. We really want to see what they’ve remembered and what they’ve done in the practice to show off,” she said.

Circle these Dates — at Mifflin County (12/21), at Hollidaysburg (1/5), vs. Altoona (1/9).

Sam is a correspondent for the Gazette.
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