Lady Falcons go 2-2
Even without its top player, the Salisbury girls' basketball team put together an impressive run in last week's Stellar "Catch A Rising Star" Basketball Showcase at Cedar Beach.
The Lady Falcons, who were without leading scorer and rebounder Meagan Eripret, earned two victories and advanced to play late on Saturday before their run ended in a close loss to Nazareth, 39-33.
"Obviously the goal is always to get to Sunday," head coach Joe Mladosich said. "As long as we come out and compete. Hopefully we get three or four games in, maybe more."
A win on the tournament's second day-a 37-16 romp over Pen Argyl on Thursday-guaranteed the Lady Falcons at least one game over the weekend.
They got more than that.
After defeating Parkland's B team 40-35, the Lady Falcons were paired up against one of the East Penn Conference's better teams. Despite falling in an early double-digit drought against Nazareth, the Lady Falcons managed to make it a one-point game before bowing out of the tournament.
Lindsay Bauer (19 points against Parkland B) Kelly Gonoude and Holly Szita took on a bigger role without their all-conference center down low. All three rose to the occasion at different points throughout the tournament.
"I think she'll be an outstanding point guard," Mladosich said of Bauer. "Obviously here we have her playing out of position as well. She's very athletic. She can run the floor. She can handle the ball and she can rebound the ball. We're going to put her in a spot where she's most effective for us."
"Kelly and I work together really well," Bauer said. "We really enjoy playing with each other. I think we kind of know what each other are thinking sometimes. It's also nice to have Holly because she is really tall, and she is in tune with us as well. The three of us work really well together."
Gonoude, who will be a senior this year, led the Lady Falcons with 14 in their opening round win on Thursday.
Above collecting wins and hoping to play a game or two on Sunday, Mladosich wanted to get some of his younger players varsity experience in preparation for the winter campaign. All in all, those JV players from a year ago experienced an atmosphere that will be similar to high school.
"We want to see some kids that are borderline JV or varsity, and let them compete and see how it goes," Mladosich said. "It's going to help us and it's going to help them."
After not taking part in last year's Stellar tournament, a two-win trip certainly is impressive for the Lady Falcons.
"We all wanted to keep playing," Bauer said. "We didn't just want to play the minimum amount of games and go out. Having two wins already is really exciting. I think it's going to pump us up for the next game."
The Lady Falcons suffered their first loss against Boyertown, a team that would go on to the girls' championship with a 23-22 overtime win over Parkland.
Sydney Utesch, Caylin Meikrantz, Kyra Bruns and Jenna Keet were a few of the additional Lady Falcons who provided solid minutes in the tournament.
In addition to playing in Stellar and the upcoming SportsFest "American Arch" Girls Basketball Tournament, the Lady Falcons' season in the Catty Summer League recently came to an end in the playoffs.