PRC girls basketball searching for new scorers

Published 7:00 am Saturday, July 6, 2019

There’s a void that needs to be filled in the PRC girls varsity basketball team with the squad losing five seniors, three of whom were starters.

However, Head Coach Tony Labella and his staff are using the summer months to see who will step up and occupy those positions.

Labella said he has two key returning starters in Payton Lee and Breyanna Bernard, but he and the staff are looking for the players that will flesh out the rest of the starting five.

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Those two seniors have been important in the development of younger athletes, and Labella said that their patience with the new talent has been helpful.

“They’re unselfish and want to help others,” Labella said.

“If they want to get far this season, they have to make the others around them better.”

Getting the younger players to adapt, and do so quickly, is a tall task, especially for athletes going straight from junior high to the varsity squad.

“It’s a totally different ball game, and the first thing is the speed of the game over the summer is just crazy,” Labella said.

“The younger ones have to understand it’s a lot more unforgiving.”

Still, Labella said he can’t fault the younger athletes when it comes to energy and tenacity on the court.

“You don’t want to accept that it’s okay to mess up, but the other girls are working hard,” Labella said.

“Any mistakes made won’t be because of lack of effort.”

That effort has led to improvements amongst the squad; Labella said Elana Hawthorne, Anna Carroll, Brennyn Dossett, and Eden Henley are just a few of the up and coming athletes participating in the summer games.

“They’ve really improved and that figures to be part of our rotation of about eight,” Labella said.

“You also see a lot of improvements from practice when every day they’re playing basketball.”

Labella said that improvement will be paramount if the team wants to get back to where it was a few seasons ago. The team had the opportunity to make it to the playoffs last year.

However, in order to get to that point the team first has to win at least one game during the district tournament.

Unfortunately for Labella and his squad, they were unable to pull out a win against either opponent, and because of that they missed out on the opportunity to be in the playoffs. Both Labella and his players hope to remedy that.

Their goals for the upcoming season are tough, but achievable. The squad wants to continue its dominant run of winning district while also making a decent run into the playoffs.