Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Submit News | Home RSS

Valley HS Lumberjills: Palmer Set to Lead

November 22, 2017
Wetzel Chronicle

The Lumberjills' Sophie Palmer has scored more than 1,000 points in three full seasons at Valley and was named third-team all-state, as well as first team Mason-Dixon each year, while being named co-player of the year last season.

Palmer had an 18.9 scoring average, with five assists and four steals a game average in the 15-8 season, and broke the Valley Lumberjills' single-game three-point shot record. She was also picked as the MVP in the H.I.T.

With three starters (Rachel Baker, Cassidy West and Melanie Thomas) gone from graduation, and only four other 'Jills (Caitlyn Underwood, Emma Ueltschy, Jenna Dallison and Tessa Dungeon) besides Palmer with much varsity experience. Palmer will be the focal point this season until the others catch up.

Article Photos

Valley High School Girls Basketball

Along with Underwood, Dallison and Dungeon, Valley returns Brittany Kennedy and Jamey West, who have also seen some varsity playing time. It might not take as long for VHS Head Coach Jeff Derby and assistant coach Logan Miller to have the Lumberjills ready to compete at a high level once more.

With Thomas and Baker gone from graduation, Derby will lean on Dudgeon, Dallison and Ueltschy to carry the load around the basket for the rebounding and defensive presence to keep Valley in ball games.

With Underwood and Palmer running the show with their basketball skills, Valley should be in prime condition to keep their "up-in-your-face" defensive presence. The 'Jills might be a team ready to make some noise once again in both the Mason-Dixon and OVAC Class 1A.

Underwood is a key player. She can shoot the ball from beyond the arc, as well as inside. She can also help with bringing up the ball, and like always from a Derby-led team, play hard for 32 minutes. Kennedy looks to give the 'Jills another nice looking player who can help come off the bench to keep the flow going without slowing down.

The loss of Thomas and Baker will hurt, but the loss of Cassidy West will be hard to replace. West is a player who gives everything she had game-in-and-game-out, defensively. Thomas was a force in the paint, while Baker's shot blocking defense and her soft touch to the basket, as well as her leadership is something that few other big girls have, will also be hard to replace.

Other players like Mckensie Mellott, Madison Greathouse, Kaeleen Utt and Christine Williams will need to step it up if the one of the starters go down, to keep the team primed and ready to keep step up.

It looks like the Lumberjills might go small, and use a four guard or a five guard start, and use their speed an aggressive defense to get off to a quick start.

All 14 players will dress varsity, but they hope to still have a junior varsity unit to give the girls some added playing time and get them prepared for the long haul.

Being an in-your-face defense and run-and-shoot offense, you would imagine that Derby will have his girls in tip-top shape once the season gets underway.

However, playing an expeditious bunch of girls could get them in foul trouble when faced with referees that calls a tight game, and will need to keep Palmer on the court as much as possible for the 'Jills to be successful.

The Lady 'Jills' McKinley Yoho is a nice freshmen, ready for prime time, and may have one or more a chance to start depending if the go small. Other freshmen seeking playing time includes Madison Greathouse and Americus Ueltschy.

Helping Derby is Miller, who is also the head coach of the football team and a former basketball standout at Valley will give the 'Jills a nice pair of coaches who work together, as Derby was one of Miller's grid assistants.

The 'Jills will open the season against Paden City Dec. 1 inside the PCHS Bob Burton Gymnasium, and will host Madonna Dec. 7 and Tyler Consolidated Dec. 11 with each game tipping off at 6 p.m.



I am looking for:
News, Blogs & Events Web