University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
Pitt-Johnstown Seal

2010-11 Season Preview

ATH10_236_PalmerS_T2010-11 Women's Basketball Season Preview
     After battling through an up-and-down 15-13 season and suffering a loss in the opening round of the 2009-10 West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament (WVIAC), fourth-year Head Coach Sasha Palmer has reason to feel optimistic about the 2010-11 campaign.  The main reason is returning talent.  For the first time in her tenure at the helm of the Lady Cat basketball program, Coach Palmer returns a large group of experienced players.  Ten players are back, including senior All-WVIAC performers and leading scorers Sheena Aden (Sandy Lake, Pa./Lakeview H.S.) and Andrea Dalton (Washington, Pa./Trinity H.S.).
     Coach Palmer and first-year Assistant Coach Meredith Alexis will rely on senior three-year starters Aden and Dalton to carry the load this season.  Aden, a First-Team All-WVIAC guard a year ago, led Pitt-Johnstown in scoring at 14.3 points per game last year, while Dalton, a small forward and second-team all-conference choice, was just behind Aden at 14.2 points per game.  Dalton also led the team in rebounding at 6.5 rebounds per game.
     “We’re expecting even bigger things out of her this year,” Coach Palmer said about Aden. “She has the ability to lead the way in the conference. Aden is one of the best finishers around the basket that I have seen, and she has also worked really hard on her outside shot over the summer.”
     Dalton is also a major key to the team’s success.  “Dalton has come a long way since her freshman year”, Coach Palmer said.  “She keeps improving everyday. Andrea had a great junior year.  If she continues to put her entire game together, she will be unstoppable.”
     The talent doesn’t stop there.  The Lady Cats also return three other guards with point guard and starting experience in Sara Trimarco (Hollidaysburg, Pa./Hollidaysburg Area H.S.) and twin sisters Kelly and Stacy Goode (Cincinnati, OH/Little Miami H.S.).  The trio combined to dish out 197 assists in 2009-10.
     “Kelly Goode has such a quick first step that nobody should be able to stay with her.  She gained confidence late last year and over the summer.  “Her shot has improved tremendously and we expect her to receive a lot of playing time at the guard position,” Coach Palmer said.
     “Sara Trimarco has improved tremendously over the past two years, and I fully trust her at the point guard position. She has become a vocal leader and out works her opponents every game.”
     “Stacy Goode was a spark off the bench last year for us.  Her work ethic and heart is what every coach wishes for in a player. She gives you everything she has.”
     In addition, guards Maria Montini (Irwin, Pa./Hempfield Area H.S.) and Elisa Schober (Washington, Pa./McGuffey H.S) return for their sophomore seasons.  Montini finished second on the team in three-pointers as a freshman, while Schober provides quickness and added depth at the guard position.
     “Montini has the best looking outside shot we have, and we expect her to be a huge threat from the outside,” Coach Palmer said.  “However, she also has to prove she can be a threat by penetrating and scoring off the dribble.”
     “Elisa Schober has a great sense of the game and is probably our best student of the game.  She has great work ethic and passion for the game.  That’s makes her the much-improved player she is,” Coach Palmer said.
     In the paint, Coach Palmer will need juniors Kayla Loughner (Brinklow, MD/Good Counsel H.S.) and Katie
 McBroom (Derry, Pa./Derry Area H.S.) to make a major impact.  Loughner, who transferred to Pitt-Johnstown from Division I Longwood (VA) University prior to the 2009-10 season, averaged 3.4 points and 1.8 rebounds per game after returning to the line-up following a preseason injury.  McBroom, who began her career at Mansfield University, played in 22 games and averaged nearly two points and three rebounds off the bench.
     “Loughner had a rough start last year with sustaining an injury that I don’t think she ever bounced back from. She has great guard skills with good post moves. With her size, we expect her to be a mismatch at the guard/small forward position this year.”
     “McBroom has also improved greatly over the past year. Her skill work has come a long way and we are looking for her to earn some minutes this year and be a huge presence at the post position.”
     The Lady Cats also added four talented newcomers to the roster, including Tamara Blankenship (Saltsburg, Pa./Saltsburg H.S.), a transfer from California University (PA).  Blankenship will sit out the first semester due to NCAA transfer rules.  “We expect her to earn some minutes at the post position when she is eligible to play in January.  She has good skill set and a big body for opponents to go against,” Coach Palmer said.
     Along with Blankenship, three true-freshmen will make their Lady Cat debuts in forwards Inaya Stephenson (Pittsburgh, Pa./Winchester Thurston H.S.) and Rachel Johnson (Palmyra, Pa./Palmyra Area H.S.) and guard Grace Hyland (Pittsburgh, Pa./Upper St. Clair H.S.)Stephenson and Johnson will give Pitt-Johnstown skill and solid rebounding and scoring in the paint, and Hyland will continue to develop her skills at the point and give the team an added threat with her good outside shooting.
     The Lady Cats will tip-off 2010-11 at home against WVIAC rival Concord (WV) University, to open a schedule that features 13 home games.  Pitt-Johnstown will also travel to Denver, CO to participate in the Regis University Tournament over the Thanksgiving break.
     With 10 returning players that include a pair of All-WVIAC performers and an experienced backcourt, the Lady Cats look for the 2010-11 season to a good one with the team battling to make a run at its first WVIAC title and a 17th trip to the NCAA Division II National Tournament.