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Tamaqua girls looking to take the next step

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    Members of the 2018-19 Tamaqua girls basketball team consist of, front from left, Makenna Kane, Sophia Boyle, Jamie Zuber, Jen Frederickson, Ally Frederick; back row, Emma Kuczynski, Serena Jones, Emma Hope, Emily Titus, Rebekah Hromyak and Baylee Reinhardt. RON GOWER/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

Published December 06. 2018 12:15PM

Taking the next step.

Over the past two seasons, the Tamaqua Raiders girls’ basketball squad has been on the cusp of becoming something special.

A young, talented team with back-to-back postseason appearances and a combined 23-23 record since 2016, the team has shown flashes of breaking through.

This season, it’s that the Raiders will take that next step.

“The league is always tough, our division is always tough, but our goal is to get to Martz Hall this season and compete for a league championship,” said Davis. “We have a solid nucleus returning, good balance on the floor and we have six juniors that will anchor our team that can provide leadership.”

Tamaqua is a junior-laden group without a senior on the roster, and it will count heavily on that group this season. Three juniors who have made an impact for the Raiders since their freshman season will be tasked with much of the scoring load once again. Emma Kuczynski (18.38 points per game) was one of the top scorers in the Times News area and Schuylkill League a season ago, along with being one of the most physically gifted players in all of District 11. Emily Titus was second on the team in scoring last season (just under 11 ppg.) while point guard Jamie Zuber (4.13 ppg) led the team with 25 three-pointers.

Juniors Rebekah Hromyak (2.59 ppg), Jen Frederickson (2.71 ppg) and Baylee Reinhardt are all expected to see quality time, along with Sophia Boyle (So.), Emma Hope (So.), Makenna Kane (So.) and Ally Frederick (So.).

“You look at our roster and you don’t see a senior, but we have girls that have been starting for two years now and other girls who have been seeing significant playing time for the past two years, so I’m comfortable where we’re at from a leadership and experience standpoint,” said Davis. “This group has been playing together for a long time, and you can see that every day at practice.”

Taking the next step also involves maturity, and the experience gained and earned from this group in the past has helped speed up that process. Coach Davis is adamant that this will be a much more mature team – both physically and mentally – than people have seen over the past two seasons.

“You can see how much they’ve grown in the way they play and the way they pick things up much quicker. We’ve built a good foundation with this group, and the little fundamental things are just happening automatically now,” said Davis. “We can cover much more material, they’re really starting to learn the game and then execute on the court. It’s fun to see, and that comes from the work that they’ve put in.”

The Raiders got their first postseason victory under Davis last season with an upset win over Northwestern Lehigh, and nearly knocked off perennial power Allentown Central Catholic in the district semis, losing by just two points. Tamaqua plans to push the envelope to get back to where it left off last season.

“We have big goals and I think we can achieve them as long as we take care of business,” said Davis. “We’re going to go out there every night and push the tempo, look to run every chance we get, and compete as hard as we possibly can.”


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