Archive

ShareThis Page
Leechburg girls basketball must move on from historic era | TribLIVE.com
News

Leechburg girls basketball must move on from historic era

479856VNDLeechGirls2112918
Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review
Leechburg’s Kat Yurjevich practices Tuesday Nov. 27, 2018.
479856VNDLeechGirls3112918
Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review
Leechburg’s Rina Foley practices Tuesday Nov. 27, 2018.
479856VNDLeechGirls1112918
Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review
Leechburg girls basketball coach Andre Carter practices Tuesday Nov. 27, 2018.
479856VNDLeechGirls4112918
Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review
Leechburg’s Maddie Ancosky practices Tuesday Nov 27, 2018.

The greatest girls basketball era has ended at Leechburg, and it’s time to move on.

Graduated are the six key players who accumulated 58 victories over the past four seasons and won the program’s first WPIAL playoff games and made two PIAA appearances.

The coach, Joel Ceraso, also has moved on, replaced by Valley graduate Andre Carter.

“I love it here,” Carter said. “I think everything is going great here. We only have nine girls. They’re here, and I think we’re going to surprise some people this year. I really do.”

Waiting in the wings the past several seasons is junior Maddie Ancosky, who is anxious to show what she can do after limited roles the last two seasons.

“I think we’ll work well together as a team,” Ancosky said. “Some of us are still developing our skills. But if we communicate and play our game, we’ll be fine.”

“Maddie got some experience here last year,” Carter said. “Aubry Skeel and Claudia Henry and Kat Yurjevich, who didn’t come out for two years, is back, so we have a nice core.”

Junior Rina Foley is expected to round out an inexperienced starting five.

While other teams are practicing their sets, Carter has Leechburg working on fundamentals and situational basketball.

“We really haven’t gone over too many plays,” Carter said. “I want to teach the girls how to play, different concepts. If this happens, this is what we can do. Just different things to let them know to start learning a basketball I.Q. is what we’re really teaching them now.”

Carter will make his coaching debut Dec. 7 as the Blue Devils host Saltsburg at 7 p.m. as part of their annual tipoff tournament.

Said Ancosky: “I think the teams we play won’t be prepared because they know our whole starting lineup is gone. We’re all new. We’re all fresh. Nobody knows how we’ll play together.”

Leechburg has dropped to Class A this season and will have a six-team section that includes St. Joseph, Aquinas Academy, Clairton, Propel Andrew Street and perennial power Greensburg Central Catholic, which has made the playoffs 37 of the past 38 seasons.

Carter feels the best way to get back into contention is via defense.

“They love to play defense, and we’re doing very well there,” Carter said. “One of goals is deflections. If we get 20 deflections, I think we’ll be good. We have little goals, but they’re buying into it.”

The reserves also are seeing defense as a route toward playing time.

Carter is hoping the numbers situation is temporary. He coached the seventh and eighth grade teams during the fall. The turnout was much better, and the two grades combined for 11 victories.

Raevaan Mottley, who played at Greensburg Salem, will be Carter’s assistant.

George Guido is a freelance writer.

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.