CURWENSVILLE – Curwensville Area High School girls basketball coach Rusty McCracken enters his fourth season at the helm of the Lady Tide with seven returning letter winners and realistic optimism.
After posting eight wins last season the Lady Tide appear poised to go over double digits in victories for the 2012-13 season and likely to come away with a winning record, which would be a first for a McCracken-led Lady Tide squad.
And that is exactly what McCracken is aiming for - a winning season with a trip to the playoffs to top things off after losing just one senior, Savannah Strickland, to graduation while posting an 8-14 mark a year ago.
“I‘m excited about this season”, said McCracken. Then he added, “Many of the girls have worked hard in the off-season to improve their game. We look to be competitive in every game we play this season. We want to contend for the Moshannon Valley League Title and get to a playoff game for the first time in my tenure.”
The seven returning letter winners include three seniors in Tiffany Carter, Rebecca Johnson and Katrina Seaburn. Seaburn has won three letters during her high school career while Johnson has two.
Other returning letter winners are juniors Tierra Shope and Kealy Wassil and sophomores Ciara Strickland and Heather Thorp.
Strickland is the leading returning offensive threat for Curwensville after scoring a total of 248 points and averaging 11.3 points per game over the 2011-12 campaign. Seaburn added 155 points last season with classmate Johnson dumping in 101. Seaburn was also the leading rebounder with 214 boards.
At this point the starting five for the Lady Tide should feature Strickland, Johnson and Thorp at guards with Seaburn and Carter as forwards.
McCracken spoke about his first five recently, saying, “Ciara Strickalnd will likely have a target on her back as our leading returning scorer, but I look for our senior trio of Katrina Seaburn, Becca Johnson and Tiffany Carter to add solid scoring efforts in the early going.”
The Tide coach then commented some more about the offensive potential of the Lady Tide, “We should be able to score more points this season and have better team speed to limit opponent’s offensive efforts. Teams won’t be able to key on any one player to stop us. Ciara (Strickland) is a threat anytime she has the ball; Katrina (Seaburn) and Tiffany (Carter) will be a force to reckon with inside, and Becca (Johnson) has improved her outside shooting. And, if you leave Heather Thorp open, she can drop a shot from anywhere on the court.”
McCracken appears to be upbeat about his bench also, as he mentioned those that could help immediately, “Kealy Wassil also has had a good pre-season, and I look for her to pick up her offensive output as well. Kealy is an excellent shot blocker who will make shooters change their shots.”
In closing the Lady Tide mentor added, “We do have a solid core of eight players with Tierra Shope and Abby Dugo also set to see a lot action. And, Bailey Dale is trying to shake off the rust after missing the last two seasons with injuries.”
Curwensville has nine freshmen on the roster and once they mature at the junior varsity level team depth will be a true advantage.
The Lady Tide open up the 2012-13 season at home against Moshannon Valley on Monday December 10 in a game that can be heard on WOKW-FM, 102.9, with the pre-game starting at approximately 7:15 pm.
SENIORS – *Tiffany Carter, Bailey Dale, *Rebecca Johnson, Emily McGarry, *Katrina Seaburn
JUNIORS – Abby Dugo, *Tierra Shope, *Kealy Wassil
SOPHOMORES – *Ciara Strickland, *Heather Thorp
FRESHMEN – Morgan Bloom, Katie Evans, Shawna Guy, Kristina McCracken , Haley McGarry,
Amanda Ruffner, Kayli Sedgwick, Brianne Shearer, Alexis Sopic
* DENOTES LETTER WINNER
DECEMBER – 10 MOSHANNON VALLEY, 11 BROCKWAY, 14 at Ridgway, 19 HARMONY,
21 at Kane, 27 at Clearfield
JANUARY – 4 DUBOIS CENTRAL CATHOLIC, 8 at Johnsonburg, 10 at Harmony, 15 at Elk County Catholic, 18 WEST BRANCH, 21 at Glendale, 22 RIDGWAY, 25 at Brockway, 28 at DuBois Central Catholic
FEBRUARY – 1 JOHNSONBURG, 4 GLENDALE, 5 at Sheffield, 8 KANE, 11 at Moshannon Valley,
13 at West Branch, 14 CLEARFIELD
JUNIOR VARSITY GAMES START AT 6 PM WITH THE VARSITY TO IMMEDIATELY FOLLOW AT APPROXIMATELY 7:30PM.