Lady Bulldogs after titles this season
The Northern Lehigh girls' basketball team made history last year by becoming the second team in school history to have an undefeated regular season.
The postseason was a different story as the Bulldogs walked away from the Colonial League, District 11 Class 2A and PIAA playoffs empty-handed.
After falling short of a banner year, Northern Lehigh girls' coach Dave Oertner said his players are driven more this season.
The drive started back on March 13, when the Lady Bulldogs dropped a 50-46 heartbreaker to Shikellamy in the First Round of the PIAA State playoffs.
"That's the past," said Oertner, who enters his fifth year with the program. "We're not even thinking about it anymore. We know we had a great year. We accomplished something great, but this is a new year.
"We're thinking about playoffs now. We want to go undefeated in the playoffs. That's more important this year."
After compiling an impressive 24-3 overall season last year, the Lady Bulldogs return 80 percent of their starting lineup with their sights set on winning some kind of title this year.
"Our goal is to be there at the end of the season and get the job done at the end of the season," Oertner said.
"We felt we had unfinished business last year, so we're looking forward to this year to work toward a banner."
Seniors Sonya Josephson and Lauren Oertner, and juniors Tina Bastardi and Aimee Oertner return after playing in all 27 games last season. All four have been starters ever since joining the varsity team.
Senior Kristi Seiler, who saw action in 18 of those games, looks to fill the void left behind by last year's fifth starter Maggie LeVan, who also played in all 27 games. Senior Courtney Werley, sophomores Emily Moore and Autumn Stauffer return after seeing limited action last season.
"They have been through it all," said Oertner. "We have four people who have started since they were freshman. They have the experience. They're solid athletes. They're solid players. They fully understand the game of basketball.
"Kristi Seiler is probably going to be our fifth starter, and she's a very intelligent girl. She will step in immediately."
While LeVan handled the leadership role on the court last year, Oertner isn't concerned about a void in that area.
"All five of those girls are leaders," Oertner said. "Four of them are in student council. They're all ranked in the upper part of their class. They're all leaders, so that's one thing I'm not worried about.
"They know what they're doing. I could put any one of them out there in that position. They're five captains period.
"This is going to be a nice year if we can stay healthy and if we can avoid some of the issues with our lack of depth."