The Steel Valley girls basketball team returns most of its players, but Steel Valley coach Brittany Youngblood still considers it a rebuilding year.
“We’ve very young,” said Youngblood, noting many returnees lack abundant experience.
Steel Valley kicks off the season Dec. 5-6 in a tournament at Montour. Its Section 3-AA opener is scheduled the following week against visiting Chartiers-Houston.
Cayley Labishak, who led the team with 10 points per game last year, is Steel Valley’s lone senior.
Deja Bray, a 5-foot-8 junior forward, impressed her coach by pulling down 19 rebounds against a taller player in a recent scrimmage against California.
“Deja is very aggressive and (left-handed), which helps,” Youngblood said. “She went to summer (basketball) camp and has been working really hard.”
“I’m looking forward to working with teammates and winning more games,” said Bray, 16.
While only a freshman, Morgan Farrah has plenty of basketball experience, having played in middle school and the summer, Youngblood said.
“Morgan is versatile,” said Youngblood, who plans to use her at point and shooting guard.
Becky Harhai, a 5-9 freshman, will play center.
Junior guard Milan Harris is strong defensively, Youngblood said.
Sophomores Rayon Williams and Tamorrow Thomas and freshman Jordan Butko are reserves.
“I’d like to see us be in the top three (or four) in the section,” said Youngblood, 29.
Steel Valley was sixth of seven teams in Section 4-AA last year.
“We may win a lot or we may not win a lot,” said Balishak, who will be 18 on Dec. 3. “I just want to help (my teammates) be good basketball players.”
Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.