Wallenpaupack Area's girls varsity squad eyes another trip to states

HAWLEY — All indications are good for a stellar season of Lady Buckhorns basketball.

Hoping to return again to the District Finals once more, Paupack will do so largely with the same players as last season, however this will be a new venture for Coach Adam Holtzer.

The former boys' JV coach is very confident about his team's ability to succeed. He's also excited to keep up the family tradition of coaching, as his father and brother are basketball coaches for Delaware Valley.

"We want to play with a lot of intensity and keep the game moving," he said.

Holtzer is very involved with the practice sessions, taking the court frequently during drills and scrimmage time rather than giving directions from the sidelines.

"We had a 16-11 record last year," he continued.

"We certainly feel we can improve on that. While we lost a total of five seniors, we're returning some key players from last year and they'll definitely be a big part of the plan."

Along with the seniors, junior Nikki Mann and sophomore Bridgette Mann are also players to watch on the varsity squad.

The JV team also looks pretty good with freshmen Skylar Wirth and Lauren Goetz and sophomore Irene Dispenza set to put up some points.

Looking around the court, it appears as though most of the team simply hung up their cleats or stashed their racquets, picked up a roundball, and hit the hardwood. Autumn athletes make up the bulk of the Pady Bucks squad.

Given the fact that most of the ladies have been busy running or chasing a ball of one sort or another for the past few months, hard conditioning hasn't been something the team has focused on much in pre-season.

More attention has been placed on running plays and scrimmaging, a botched play during practice tends to result in more time spent reviewing the play rather than sprinting up and down the court as a penalty.

Key Roles

Senior Alexix Roman added some insight to the squad's level of preparedness.

"In the off-season we played a lot of basketball in the AAU Travel League," Roman said.

"We knew Coach Holtzer was going to be taking over this year and he helped us get involved with that league."

Fellow seniors Kaelyn Ragonese, Danielle Palazzi and Paige Hiller also took part in the AAU league and stayed busy over the summer playing as well.

"Defense is key," Hiller noted. "We were strong there last season and have built on that."

Ragonese added: "We've definitely been working on fast breaks and rebounds." Palazzi also chimed in, saying: "We've spent a lot of time developing our offensive skills so we're feeling pretty confident."

Mutually, the seniors agree they face some tough competition.

When asked who they thought would give them the biggest run for their money they chimed in unison, "Honesdale."

However, they then started to develop a short list of teams they were gunning for as well, with Scranton Prep and Abington Heights topping the page.

The Lady Bucks are looking forward to hosting the 15th annual Rotary Tournament. This year's edition of the event will be held this coming Friday and Saturday on the shores of The Big Lake.

Paupack then tips-off the campaign against the Lady Timberwolves of East Stroudsburg North at home, on December 11, in what will hopefully be the start of another winning season.