Lady ‘Cats Looking For More Wins
Looking to get more than the two wins they had last year, the Paden City Lady Wildcats are gearing up for a competitive 2010-11 season. Second-year Head Coach Rick Bertozzi said he and his team are looking forward to the challenge the year is sure to bring.
“We lost four strong seniors in Ali Bertozzi, Amanda Tallman, Courtney Conaway, and Erica Sapp from last year’s team, but we have several kids back with experience who are strong in different ways,” he said. “They have some good skills and are willing to work together for the team.”
Returning to the lineup for the Lady ‘Cats is senior Joni Myers (5’6″); juniors Amanda Heasley (5’7″) and Dominique Craft (5’7″); sophomores Megan Cutlip (5’8″), Logan Cosper (5’3″), Lynnsie Parsons (5’4″), and Samantha Shreves (5’8″).
Cutlip returns as the go-to point guard for the team, with Myers and Craft in forward positions, Cosper and Parsons in off-guard slots and Shreves and Myers sharing time at the center position.
Also looking to break into the line up are senior Ashley Efaw (5’5″); sophomore Tiffany Palmer (5’4″); and freshmen Beth Yaron (5’5″) and Katie Shreves (5’5″).
With none of the positions set in stone, Bertozzi said he has plans to change the lineup around as needed. “Depending on the team we’re up against and how they play will be how we decide who needs to be in the game. We need to be quicker on offense and score when we can.”
“We have to not be afraid to take the shot when we have it,” he said. “We’re looking for everybody to take a chance at scoring. I want them all putting points on the scoreboard, not expecting someone else to do it.”
Bertozzi and assistant coach Velisha Shepherd are counting the intuitiveness of their players as a basic strength of the team. “They’ve picked up a more fundamental knowledge of the game and are gaining a better understanding of what to do in game situations,” Bertozzi said.
“We’re very young this year, but this understanding is going to play a larger role than they think it will.”
The girls are also very coachable and willing to give the extra effort needed. That’s a plus. They’re all out there, giving their best. They’re still looking for their confidence, though.”
In the weakness department, youth, of course, will be the main monkey-on-the-back of the Lady ‘Cats. “We’re young, so inexperience goes hand in hand with that,” Bertozzi said. “The same goes for our tendency to panic in certain situations. But these things can only be fixed with playing time.
“A few of the girls have played in leagues in the off season, giving them better fundamental skills, and that’s a plus for us. And of course, just like everybody else, we have kids that just finished volleyball so they’re still in shape, just trying to wrap their heads around basketball instead of volleyball.”
But it’ll come,” continued Bertozzi. “They’ve been working really hard and are willing to do what is asked of them,” he said.”We’re optimistically looking forward to the season.”
The Lady Wildcats played their first game of the season on Tuesday at Jefferson Christian and will host their own holiday tournament on Dec. 3 and 4 in the annual Lady Wildcat Invitational. Fans of the game will find good competition on tap with teams from Valley, Bridgeport, Ohio, and Clay-Battelle participating.