NEW BETHLEHEM — Coming off a 6-16 season, the Redbank Valley Lady Bulldogs basketball team has a new head coach.
Chris Edmonds replaces Amy Twigg, who resigned in the spring. The 1992 RVS graduate and former four-sport athlete has been involved in the youth basketball and softball feeder systems the past eight years and he’s anxious to get going in his first varsity gig.
“It’s been great,” Edmonds said. “We did a lot of summer league ball and played a lot together, having the kids learn the system we want to run.”
The Lady Bulldogs lost about half of their scoring last year, but return their leading scorer in senior Lexi Holt. She was a third-team KSAC all-conference selection last year at 14.1 points and 2.8 steals per game.
However, Holt’s recovering from an injury and won’t start the season until later this month at the earliest. It’s an early blow to a team that will rely on her playmaking ability.
Junior center Maddy Marshall (3.1 ppg, 4.4 rpg), sophomore guard Tara Hinderliter (2.8 ppg.) and senior guard Aubrie Copenhaver are the other players back for Edmonds who saw varsity rotation minutes.
“I’m excited to see how Tara leads the team in Lexi’s absence and I’m looking forward to seeing how Aubrie and Maddy step up their game,” Edmonds said. “I’m looking for big things from Maddy as a scorer as well. She played AAU ball last spring and I think she improved a lot and carried into the summer and it will into the season.”
Junior forward Adrianna Shilling, junior newcomer Kelsie Elmer, first-year junior Josie Rupp, sophomore forward Lauren Smith and a pair of freshmen Karlee Shoemaker and Emma Huffman along with sophomore Kennedy Heeter looking to fill out the playing rotation.
“I look for Kelsie to step in and help Maddy in the inside with backside rebounding,” Edmonds said. “She can fill in when needed and Lauren Smith off the bench inside, she picked up type of style with being aggressive.
“With the freshmen, a few will have to come off the bench and contribute. They’ll have a chance to take advantage of their opportunity to be ready to play.”
And be aggressive defensively as Edmonds hopes the style can take advantage of opponents’ turnovers.
“We’re going to be an aggressive, up-tempo team pushing the ball,” Edmonds said. “It fits the group and the groups coming up and that’s the style we and coaches want to play.”
Edmonds hopes that his team can withstand the loss of Holt early on and build up a playoff resume.
“Our goal is to make the playoffs,” Edmonds said. “So we’re looking for .500 or better record to get there. We’ve been talking about treading water until Lexi gets back and once she gets back to get better as a team until February and try to find those 11 magic wins.”
Edmonds will be assisted by Mike Dawson, and Jason and Kristen Huffman.
Seniors: Lexi Holt, Maddy Marshall, Aubrie Copenhaver.
Juniors: Kelsie Elmer, Adrianna Shilling, Josie Rupp.
Sophomores: Lauren Smith, Tara Hinderliter, Kennedy Heeter.
Freshmen: Karlee Shoemaker, Megan Himes, Emma Huffman, Gabby Dinger, Makenna Bish, Logan Hicks, Eryn Bailey, Kia Sage.
8-9-at Brockway Tip-Off Tournament
15-at Union, 4 JV, 6 varsity
27-28-Host Christmas Tournament
5-at C-L, 6:30 p.m.
10-at Forest Area (Tionesta), 4:30 JV, 6 varsity
17-at Clarion, 4:30 JV, 6 varsity
26-at Karns City
31-Union, 6 varsity, 7:30 JV
2-at A-C Valley, 4:30 JV, 6 varsity
— Varsity begins after junior varsity, which begins at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted. Varsity doubleheaders have boys and girls varsity going in some order. JV and Varsity starting times listed. Home doubleheaders will use auxiliary gym for JV games.