Port Allegany Lady Gators
Head coach: Jamie Evens
2019-20 Record: 16-7
Playoffs: Lost to Clarion, 56-50, in the District 9 Class 2A quarterfinals
Top returning players: Bree Garzel (Sr., G, 5-7, 12.7 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 4.5 apg, 3.2 spg, 658 career points), Evin Stauffer (So., G, 5-6, 5.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.7 spg), Gracie Archer (Sr, G, 4.3 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 1.5 spg), Jade Evens (Sr., F, 5-9, 2.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.2 bpg)
Top players lost: Cailey Barnett (18.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 5.8 spg, 3.0 apg, 13,12 career points), Maleah Daniels (2.5 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.2 spg)
Key newcomers: Brielle Budd (So. F, 5-8, Played in 18 games last year with 6 points; Offers needed post play, very coachable player who seems to grow as a player by the day), Kayleigha Dowell (Fr., F, 5-6, Very athletic and brings aggressiveness to the team, has a nice shooting touch)
Keys to the season: Obviously we need to replace the scoring of Barnett, but her defensive aggressiveness really drove our playing style – it will be difficult to replace that on both ends of the court, but I think we have the talent to do that. It won’t be one player, but our returners need to continue to grow and show improvement and we’ll need to get the younger players to buy in to our style of play. Hopefully the sting of being upset in the 1st round of D9 playoffs for the second year in a row – and last year’s loss coming after an eight-point lead in the 4th quarter – has provided the needed experience to get over the hump this year. I believe with the current environment, every team is going to need to rely on depth more than they are used to – with players missing games or with multiple delays in the season and players trying to stay in game shape.
Things your team is doing during the COVID-19 pause of winter sports: We were one of the few schools lucky enough to get in all of our practices before the Governor’s mandate to shut down until Jan 4. With four returning starters and 12 of the 14 Varsity players having been in our system previously, we haven’t had to spend a great deal of time teaching as much as we’ve been able to spend time on fundamentals. We didn’t schedule anything at first during the shutdown, but once school let out for the holidays we tried to get a couple of things set up before we return after break.