After making a run in the district playoffs last season before falling short against eventual champion Tamaqua, the Palmerton girls basketball team set sights on the 2010-2011 season.

Head coach Don Delich returns his entire team from last season and expectations haven't been higher among the Lady Bombers' program in quite some time.

"All of the girls were here all spring, summer and fall and put in the time to make sure they're ready to put forth their best effort," said Delich. "We're in a senior-laden league where there are a lot of teams who return quality players. Northern Lehigh and Southern Lehigh are too good examples.

"We knew we'd have to work very hard in the off-season to be able to compete and hopefully continue to prepare now and we should be fine."

Delich is blessed with a "starting six" when he looks at his roster and who will be on the floor for the opening tap will depend on the matchups and who is playing well. He also feels he can go 10 or 11 deep, something that he hasn't been able to do since he began coaching the team.

He's looking at 6-2 sophomore center Kelsey Hay and 5-6 senior guard Casey Rinfret as his inside and outside threats.

Gina Farquhar (5-7 senior), Kristen Romano (5-8 senior), Jen Snyder (5-10 junior) and Katie Reimer (5-8 senior) to round out his top six.

"All of them will be in the mix and all have starting experience so none of thyem should be nervous and should be ready to go," said Delich. "

Samantha Smith (5-11) is the other senior on the roster and will see playing time underneath.

The other returning juniors are Michelle Rickert (5-6), Sarah Graver (5-7) and Kelsey Eaton (5-9).

Sophomores who could also see some playing time are Morgan Hadinger (5-7), Lauryn Solt (6-1), Morgan Mummey (5-10), Emelie Meinhart (5-10) and Joelle Reinhart (5-10).

With experience as the strength and the Lady Bombers hoping to put some points on the board, Delich said the focus right now is on defense.

"We're going to play up tempo, take care of the basketball and maintain our defensive discipline," he said. "Hopefully we'll be able to create some havoc and score off of some turnovers.

"For years, we were very disciplined. This year we're looking two to three passes and the shot is going up."

Every year they always expect to do well in the Christmas tournament, point to the league tournament and then anything else can happen from there.

This season, the Lady Bombers move up to 3A for districts, but they still think a state berth is within reach.

"We know everything goes through Central Catholic on this level, but we had some quality wins this summer so we're as ready as we'll ever be," Delich said.