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NTL GIRLS' BASKETBALL: NEB HAS HIGH HOPES FOR UPCOMING SEASON (2021-12-08)

BY CHRIS MANNING
Northern Tier Sports Report
The Northeast Bradford girls’ basketball team is on a mission. After winning division titles the last two seasons the Panthers have their sights set a little higher this year.

“We want to win every game in the league,” said NEB coach Ben Beebe. “We’re going to have some tough battles here and there, and districts is still our goal. The southern part of the district is very tough. And, I know, to win a district title, we’re going to have to go through them again.”


Last year’s group lost a hard fought semifinal to Southern Columbia, and defending state champions Mt. Carmel looms over everybody.


But the Panthers are undeterred.


“The girls are fired up,” said coach Beebe. “They’re ready, they want to contend for a district title, so that’s the excitement there. They’re here to work hard, and they’re really good at it.”


Offensively, it starts with forward Maisie Neuber, who averaged over 15 points per game last year. The 6-footer took her game to the next level a year ago, adding a 3-point shot to her slashing abilities.


And right now she’s trying to get even better.


“I definitely want to work on my outside shooting more, and finishing under the hoop,” said Neuber.


On the other side of the court guard Kayleigh Thoman is the tip of their spear, hounding opposing guards as part of their pressure defense. She’s looking to keep it up this year.


“Definitely movement in our defense, and our pace for the ball,” Thoman said about their focus early this season. “Talk to everyone, and tell them what they need to focus on more. That’s one of our key things, because, defense, really, it’s half the game.”


They lose one starter from a year ago, sharpshooter Lauryn Jones, but return everybody else from a team that went 14-5. They were 7-0 in the division, but were swept by Towanda, and split with Athens during inter-league play.


Towanda returns their starting backcourt, while the rest of the NTL should be improved, too, making things a little bit tougher during the regular season, especially since NEB now has a bulls-eye on their back due to their success the last two years.


“We’re just going to keep playing them competitively,” said point guard Alena Beebe, who is one of the top shooters in the league. “Just take nobody for granted.”


Besides Neuber, Thoman, and Beebe, they also return starter Julia Brown, along with Kate O’Connor, who will step in as the starting center.


Brown is a solid role player who rebounds, knows her place on offense, and can keep teams honest of her jumper. At 6-feet, 2-inches O’Connor is one of the tallest players in the league, and came on strong last season as a force inside with put backs and blocked shots.


They have some sophomores who should fill in the bench roles, along with five incoming freshmen. Many of them will be new to varsity hoops, but nearly everybody on the roster has something to give to the team.


Beebe sees it as her job to get everybody on the same page.


“I’m just going to keep working on my team,” she said.


They've had a singular focus this offseason has been building team chemistry with the newcomers.


"Personally, I just want to see other players succeed as well," remarked Neuber. "I'm just really excited."


The key to their success may lie in the younger players. Across all of their fall sports - soccer, volleyball, cross-country - freshmen and sophomores have been giving the girls’ teams a bit of jolt. All three teams did well this year, so it stands to reason the girls’ basketball team could get some of that energy, too.


“They’ve been coming to open gyms, and showing up, so they’re coming along good,” said Thoman.


ROSTER

Maisie Neuber (12) - 13

Julia Brown (12) - 10

Kayleigh Thoman (11) - 3

Alena Beebe (11) - 4

Kate O’Connor (11) - 2

Emma Neuber (10) - 11

Lani Thomas (10) - 1

Anna Towner (10) - 24

Becca VandeMark (9) - 40

Lillie Maynard (9) - 12

Lilah Hughes (9) - 23

Kelsea Moore (9) - 32

Cora Franklin (9) - 33


SCHEDULE

Dec. 10 vs Danville at Millville Tournament, 6 p.m.

Dec. 11 at Millville Tournament

Dec. 13 vs Susquehanna, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 15 vs Wyalusing, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 17 at Towanda, 7:30 p.m.

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

Dec. 22 at Elk Lake, 7 p.m.

Dec. 29 vs Tunkhannock, 7 p.m.

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

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

Jan. 11 at Sayre, 7:30 p.m.

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

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

Jan. 20 at NPM, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 26 vs Wellsboro, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 28 at Troy, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 29 at Bloomsburg, 2:30 p.m.

Feb. 1 vs CV, 7:30 p.m.

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

Feb. 8 vs Sayre, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 20 at Williamson, 7:30 p.m.

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



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