Lady Bombers will rely on their quickness
ED HEDES/TIMES NEWS The Palmerton girls basketball team members for the 2013-14 season will include: Front, from left, Cassie Keiser (manager), Kaitlyn Muffley, Susan Missel, Julia Paulinho, Janelle Tracy, Erika Beers and Trisha Sterling. Back row, same order, Madison Mummey, Jade Farquhar, Mikayla Krupa, Abby Reimer, Lindsay Nemeth, Makayla Smale and head coach Rodney Strohl.
Even though the Palmerton girls basketball team has a new head coach entering this season, he is far from new to either the game or the Lady Bombers program.
Rodney Strohl, who spent six successful season as head coach in the late 1990's in which he compiled a record of 130-41, returns to the bench with a small, talented team to put on the floor.
Strohl takes over for Don Delich, who stepped down at the end of last season after 10 years at the helm.
"I feel good and I'm really anxious for the girls," Strohl said about coming back after almost 15 years.
He greets a young team that has one senior, forward Mikayla Krupa, seven solid juniors which includes guard Jade Farquhar, who has been starting since she was a freshman.
Losing three of the five starters from last year in Emelie Meinhart, Morgan Mummey and Lauren Solt inside, Strohl will look to use the team's speed and quickness to try and overcome not having a true center on the team.
"Our style is going to be really fast because we are small and we want to get the ball up and down the court," Strohl noted. "One of our keys will be our pressure defensively. We are going to have to rely heavily on our press. Obviously, from there rebounding is a key if we want to run because of our size.
"We have to try and beat the other team up the court and not let them set up a defense. If we can do that at all possible. It may look like playground style at times, but if that's what the effect of it is going to be, that's what we're going to go with."
Many of the girls that are back did see some playing time last year, but now they're going to see a lot more time than they have in the past.
"The pace of the game will be a little bit quicker, but they seem to have adjusted well to it," Strohl said.
Besides Farquhar and Krupa, Strohl is looking at quick guard Janelle Tracy to push the tempo, with the likes of juniors Madison Mummey, Abby Reimer, Julia Paulinho, Lyndsey Nemeth, Susan Missal and Kaitlyn Muffley. Other varsity members in sophomores Trisha Sterling and Erika Beers and freshman Mikayla Smale will also see action.
"Jade (Farquhar) is really tough," said Strohl. She's shown everything I've expected of her and even more of that.
"The others girls like Madison Mummey and Mikayla Krupa are handling themselves inside well after being basically perimeter players in the past and so is Abby Reimer.
"Where we're struggling right now is getting our half-court offense going, but out in the open court, we're doing pretty well."
Strohl's style is not to have just one girl shoot the ball. He's been preaching in the pre-season that if you have an open shot, you better take it.
"One of the problems we're having is that we're passing up the shot when we have it inside the paint when we should be shooting the ball," Strohl said. "We want to get anywhere from 60 to 80 shots a game. My goal is to take 15 to 20 shots a quarter. We want to run because that's what makes us effective."
Entering Colonial League competition, Strohl feels like he's on the negative end of the ledger because it's his first year back.
"All of the other coaches have had the girls and the coaches that have been around know what the other teams do," Strohl noted. "Now I have to do a lot of scouting and check these teams and players out.
"We are shooting to be one of the four team's in the league playoffs, we'll take it one game at a time and we'll see what we can do."