Lady Mohawk Season In Review
The Lady Mohawk basketball program got off to a slow start but showed improvement this past year, as the squad was eliminated in the first round of the district tournament by Harrisburg. For third year head coach Alan Rabjohn, and assistant Mandy Dodd, the future looks bright as the team will return a wealth of experience.
Earlier this week Rabjohn looked back on the just completed campaign. "As the season progressed I felt the girls started playing a little harder. We were still having trouble scoring, but I hope we can fix that going forward," he noted.
Rabjohn added that the team also benefited from several newcomers in the past season, "we had a few girls this year who came up and helped us out a lot--but they were new to the system and are just now starting to learn it. And, we did have sophomores who came in and contributed a lot. And, I think as the season progressed they became more comfortable with their role in playing with the juniors and seniors."
But, the Tribe also loses three seniors to graduation, Mallory Wright, Kayla Morgan and Joelle Gordon and the roles they played were important. "Losing those three seniors is big, we'll be losing a lot of scoring with those three girls, Rabjohn explained. "But, hopefully the time the juniors and sophomores got to spend on the floor will help us going forward in the next few years."
For Rabjohn the biggest chore will be replacing Wright, "losing Mallory is huge, she was a four year starter and accounted for about a third of our scoring," he added. "It's going to be a big loss, she was a leader on the floor and a great defender. Always, if we were in a tight spot and needed a basket or two we'd put the ball in her hands. So that's going to be a big loss."
He noted the two seniors, although they seldom started, were important parts of the squad. "Kayla Morgan played a vital role for us this year, she came in at times when we needed somebody smart out on the floor to help take care of the ball and to help us get up and down the floor," he observed. "And, she's a pretty good shooter too." Of his third senior he added, "Joelle Gordon, she was just a great team player. We're going to miss them all. They've put in a lot of time here and hopefully what they've left behind we can build on."
But, as the Tribe looks to re-load for the coming campaign Rabjohn has a good nucleus to work with. "We're looking at four returning starters from this year coming back next year in Jessica Scheffler, Bailey Pollard, Sydney Tarno and Breanna Chandler and they all saw a lot of playing time," he added. "Several sophomores and juniors also saw a lot of playing time and that will be a big benefit to us next year."
Rabjohn will also look to get contributions from several members of his talented junior squad. "We'll get some size help next year from MaKalia Beck, moving up from ninth grade and Madison Chandler moving up. Hopefully they can both step into roles for us," he explained. "And we'll be looking to Devyn Staples to maybe do some scoring for us next year."
But, the hardest part of the off-season planning will be how to replace Wright, and the numbers she generated each night. "You know we'll be looking for that primary scorer since Mallory is gone, I've got a few girls who can do it, we'll just see who steps up and takes that role," he surmised.
Junior Lady Mohawks
The junior girls beat Manila in the first round of their district tournament, and then fell to Rivercrest in the second round of play. But, all in all the squad had a good year under Rabjohn and Dodd.
"My junior high team played hard, and night in and night out they came out ready to play," Rabjohn said of his young squad. "We were a get-up-in-your-face kind of defense and we made a lot of things happen that way."
He added that although the junior squad wasn't deep, they made a big impact. "You know, we had big bodies on you, but there weren't very many of them--only six or seven saw playing time but they sure showed a lot of heart throughout the season."
For the second generation coach, the junior team was a joy to lead into battle. "We had pretty good guard play, and a good inside presence, quickness and speed...just a team you love to coach. They'd get after it night-in and night-out," he added with a smile.