Archive

ShareThis Page
Kittanning girls basketball team return its core | TribLIVE.com
News

Kittanning girls basketball team return its core

Tribune-Review
| Thursday, November 27, 2014 10:51 p.m
VNDKittGirls3112814
Louis B. Ruediger | Trib Total Media
Kittanning's Alaina Thomas, drives past Sophomore Liz Delp, during a recent practice. Tuesday November 25, 2014.

There’s been a changing of the guard for Kittanning girls basketball.

The Wildcats must replace 1,000-point scorer and four-year point guard starter Emily Knepshield, but with four of their top six players returning and a deep backcourt, Kittanning again has high hopes for their season.

Kittanning brings back experienced senior guards Alaina Thomas and Tiffany Montgomery, senior forward Emily Klingensmith and junior guard Taylar Wolfe.

That group will be in the center of the action if the Wildcats are to match last year’s 15-8 record that included a preliminary-round playoff win.

“We only lost two seniors (forward Sydney Cloak was the other) and basically have four returning starters, so we bring back a lot of experience as a group,” Kittanning coach Janelle Kotyk said. “We’re going to play hard each game and try to improve each day.”

Point guard is the obvious hole in the lineup for Kittanning, but with Thomas and Wolfe having experience at that position, Kotyk expects her veterans to share the job capably. Adding in the outside shooting of Montgomery, the Wildcats appear to have a solid returning backcourt.

“Both Alaina and Taylar have played point guard at the middle school and JV level, and we’re essentially running a two point guard set,” Kotyk said. “I’m comfortable with both of them handling the ball, and we’re pretty blessed at that position to have two girls I can trust with that job.”

Under the basket is where Kittanning will need to turn to some new faces.

Only Klingensmith has much varsity experience among post players.

The Wildcats hope to get good minutes from sophomore Elise Hulings and freshman Katelyn Crispen, both of whom stand about 5-foot-8 or 5-9, but Klingensmith will be the team’s top inside presence.

“Emily’s going to have to be a leader for them and help with the learning curve for the other girls,” Kotyk said. “Elise is very offensively skilled, and Katelyn has a more aggressive personality going after rebounds, so they both bring something different.”

Figuring out what each of her players does best is the top challenge facing Kotyk, especially against a Section 1-AAA schedule that got tougher with the addition of Ford City and Deer Lakes to perennial powers Mars and Hampton.

But once the Wildcats settle into their new roles, the expectation is they again will challenge for a playoff berth.

“Each of our girls has different strengths, and the key is to try to identify those and let them do what they do best,” Kotyk said. “When we get into trouble is when we do things outside of our comfort zone, but we’re taking it one day at a time and getting girls comfortable in their roles.”

Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at mgrubba@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Grubba_Trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.