Archive

ShareThis Page
Gateway girls basketball team hopes to take next step under Curtis Williams | TribLIVE.com
News

Gateway girls basketball team hopes to take next step under Curtis Williams

Tribune-Review
| Sunday, December 3, 2017 11:00 p.m
TEGatewaygbb7120717
Louis Raggiunti | For the Tribune-Review
Gateway senior point guard Jordan Edwards competes during practice Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017, at Gateway.
TEGatewaygbb2120717
Louis Raggiunti | For the Tribune-Review
Gateway girls basketball coach Curtis Williams conducts practice Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017, at Gateway.
TEGatewaygbb6120717
Louis Raggiunti | For the Tribune-Review
Gateway junior guard Mary Kromka competes during practice Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017, at Gateway.
TEGatewaygbb5120717
Louis Raggiunti | For the Tribune-Review
Gateway junior guard Jenna Guido competes during practice Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017, at Gateway.
TEGatewaygbb8120717
Louis Raggiunti | For the Tribune-Review
Gateway sophomore center Lexi Jackson competes during practice Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017, at Gateway.
TEGatewaygbb4120717
Louis Raggiunti | For the Tribune-Review
Gateway junior forward Annie Garness competes during practice Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017, at Gateway.
TEGatewaygbb3120717
Louis Raggiunti | For the Tribune-Review
Gateway girls basketball coach Curtis Williams talks with Jordan Edwards during practice Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017, at Gateway.
TEGatewaygbb1120717
Louis Raggiunti | For the Tribune-Review
Gateway freshman forward Maya Paquet (right) plays defense during practice Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017, at Gateway.

Curtis Williams will be entering his third season as Gateway girls basketball coach and will be looking to continue an upward trend.

When he took over in 2015, he led the Gators to a 9-13 record. Last season, they went 17-7 and reached the WPIAL quarterfinals. In Year 3, he hopes to make a jump into championship contention.

He attributed much of the success to an attitude adjustment.

“We have girls who really want to be here,” Williams said. “We had girls in the past who didn’t want to be here. We have about nine freshmen. It will be challenging, but we are heading in the right direction.”

Williams expects two or three freshmen to impact the varsity team but will rely primarily on returners, particularly senior Jordan Edwards. She committed to Division I Niagara before the season.

“She is the unquestioned leader of this team,” Williams said. “The team is buying into her. She has been a captain three years now and is a two-year, first-team all-section. She sets the tone on how we need to play, and these young girls follow. She is going to lead us to where we need to go.”

Complementing Edwards will be junior Mary Kromka. She has started since her freshmen year and is starting to trust her game, Williams said.

“Mary is looking really good,” Williams said. “She is finally comfortable with her body and what she is able to do. I think she is going to have a really big year.”

A player the Gators must replace is Cierra Christian, who transferred to Oakland Catholic after her freshman year at Gateway. Although Christian was a solid player last year, Williams said his team can be more well-rounded.

“We don’t want it to be easy to defend us,” Williams said. “It is easy to defend a team that looks to just one player for a shot. I think our key will be diversity and ball movement. Ultimately, we need to play as a team. I think we will play much better as a team.”

The Gators’ primary goal is to make the playoffs, but after a third-place finish in Section 2-5A last season, they know a section title is within reach.

“Our first goal is to make the playoffs,” Williams said. “Our biggest challenge is to win the section. Coming to battle with Oakland Catholic will be a challenge, but we welcome the opportunity.

“There are a lot of teams we can’t look past. McKeesport will be a hurdle to jump over. Same with Thomas Jefferson and Woodland Hills. We will take it one game at a time, and the ultimate goal is to win a WPIAL championship.”

Gateway’s quest will begin Friday against Connellsville in the Fayette County Coaches Association Tip-Off Tournament. The Gators opened last season with a 58-30 win against the Falcons.

Drew Karpen 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.