by Malik Vincent
The Westinghouse Girls basketball team has been a perennial threat to win the City League crown for some time now. However, coach Phyllis Jones said her team is “under construction” right now and believes Allderdice is the favorite to win it all this year.
Dragons’ coach, Dave Walchesky, disagrees.
“(Coach) Jones is tremendous,” Walchesky said. “Westinghouse always brings a seasoned team to the table every year. They should never be counted out of the equation.”
But with Allderdice losing only one starter from last season, Jones’ point could be valid.
“Every team will be pretty competitive,” Jones added. “I don’t have a great deal of knowledge of every team’s (makeup) but I can (differentiate) Allderdice as being the top team this year.”
Perry won the league title last year, but they are missing their best player from last year, 2009-10 New Pittsburgh Courier Player of the Year DaShawna Carey. Perry will return 6-foot-2 post player Marritta Gilcrease, who Walchesky said can “dominate a game single-handedly if she can stay out of foul trouble.”
Perry’s coach Ed Allison, who garnered the Girls’ basketball Coach of the Year honor last season, was unreachable for comment for this preview.
“Perry shouldn’t be counted out by any strectch,” Walchesky said. “They won it all last year, and that in itself should prove that they shouldn’t be overlooked.”
Allderdice’s senior point guard Janay Bottoms will lead a roster of experienced players this year. She earned first-team honors as a junior and is expected to come up big for the Dragons in many situations.
Westinghouse lost three of their most important players last year; first-teamer and Player of the Year contender Tatayanna Cox-Taylor, Mickita White, an All-City performer, and Adaeze Ogbanna. But last year’s team also featured four sophomores who now come into their junior seasons with at least one year of varsity experience.
“We hope to make some noise in the league this year,” Jones said. “But it will be difficult because of the type of competition that we’ll face this season.”
Schenley, which was competitive in the past, lost five seniors last season, including All-City player, London McCoy. Their coach, Dr. Debbie Lewis, also was unreachable for comment.
(Follow our continuing coverage of the City League and add your comments to our website at www.newpittsburghcourieronline.com. Malik Vincent can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)