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NTL GIRLS' BASKETBALL: INCOMING CLASS GIVES TROY HIGH HOPES FOR THIS SEASON (2021-12-08)

BY CHRIS MANNING
Northern Tier Sports Report
Last season was the dawning of a new era for Troy girls’ basketball with a new coaching staff taking over. They made some small steps, but with several returnees, and a big group of freshmen coming in, they’ll have higher expectations for this season.

“We’re excited about the combination between the older kids and the youth,” coach Marshall McNeal remarked.


The veterans include seniors Sydney Taylor and Bailey Johnson, both of whom had key roles on last year’s team that qualified for districts.


“We have a lot of dedicated girls this year, and we’ve been training all summer to finally get into it,” Taylor said.


Taylor was a Swiss Army knife for the Trojans a year ago, filling whatever role they needed her to fill - ball handler, defender, scorer.


Down low Rachel Kingsley returns after having a breakout season in the paint for the Trojans. She’s hoping to take her game to the next level this year.


“I want to be stronger, work harder,” the junior remarked.


Fellow junior MaKenna Mathews also returns. She developed into the team’s sharp shooter, having several games with multiple 3-pointers made.


“I’m definitely working on my shot and keeping it consistent,” Mathews said. “I want it to be the same, if not better this year. I’m definitely working on growing that, and taking even more harder shots.”


Another key returnee will be Katie Lackey, who, as a freshman last year, developed into another threat down low.


Then come the freshmen - all eight of them - who are coming off an undefeated junior high season. 


“It’s been really fun,” Taylor said about integrating the newer girls. “I really like working with them, they’re really talented. And they also like to work hard, just like we do, so it’s really nice.”


They’re also focusing on building one cohesive unit - they see that as a key to getting the most out of their talent.


“We’re definitely pushing each other,” Mathews said. “The freshmen are a really strong group of girls, and they push us, too. We create a really strong bond, and we push each other, and we kind of amp each other up, and be there for each other.”


The team grew by leaps and bounds a year ago to finish 7-12, but could have easily been .500 had a few bounces go their way later in the season after they showed some improvement. 


“We’re reminding them that we did build, we did improve, and we’ve got to continue,” McNeal said. “We’ve worked all summer in Lewisburg, in open gyms, and the weight room. The girls are excited and looking forward to it.”


That work in the summer has them with higher expectations, despite the fact that they play in the NTL Division-I with defending champions Towanda, plus Athens, Wyalusing, Wellsboro, and NP-Mansfield.


“I think it’s going to be a challenge, but it’ll be a good challenge,” said Kingsley. “We’re improved a lot, so to speak. It’ll be fun and exciting to play them, and to look better than we have the past few years.”


After nearly a half decade of being in the wilderness the Trojans feel they can finally see the light.


“I definitely think this is a turning point, especially from what I’ve seen this summer, and experienced this summer,” Mathews said. “We’ve really come out of our shells, and really built a good program.”


ROSTER

Sydney Taylor (12)

Bailey Johnson (12)

Emma Colton (12)

Rachel Kingsley (11)

MaKenna Mathews (11)

Sarah Chamberlain (11)

Lydia Lewis (11)

Chloe Swain (10)

Katie Lackey (10)

Maddie Seeley (9)

Ella VanNoy (9)

Gloria Andrews (9)

Alyssa Parks (9)

Kailyn Sterlin (9)

Josie Kerrick (9)

Lindsey Alexander (9)

Kendall Allen (9)


SCHEDULE

Dec. 11 vs Jersey Shore, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 13 vs Elk Lake, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 15 at NPL, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 17 vs Williamson, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 20 vs CV, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 3 vs St. John Neumann, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 5 at Wellsboro, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 7 vs Wyalusing, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 11 vs NPM, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 13 vs Athens, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 18 vs Towanda, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 20 vs Canton, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 26 at Sayre, 6 p.m.

Jan. 28 vs NEB, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 2 vs Wellsboro, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 3 at Wyalusing, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 8 at NPM, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 10 at Athens, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 12 at Montgomery, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 14 at Towanda, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 16 at South Williamsport, 7:30 p.m.




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