Deer Lakes’ Hasley strives to lead improving team

Wednesday, January 13, 2021 | 5:57 PM

In a high school basketball season like no other, leaders are needed to help guide teams through the uncertainties that remain as schedules continue to evolve.

Junior point guard Reese Hasley, a third-year starter and all-star performer, strives to be that leader for her Deer Lakes teammates.

“Her freshman year, there were some seniors on the team who overpowered the whole aspect of team leadership, so she just led by doing instead of being more vocal,” Deer Lakes coach Dave Petruska said.

“Last year, and even more so this year so far, she has been a fantastic vocal leader for the team, especially our younger players, mixed with that presence and effort on the court. While she does so much for us, she recognizes that she doesn’t have to do too much and knows she is playing with some talented teammates. That takes a lot of pressure off her.”

Hasley has picked up where she left off last year when she was named all-section and selected to the Valley News Dispatch first team.

In Saturday’s season-opening 47-40 loss to perennial Class 5A playoff qualifier Mars, Hasley scored 24 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. The Lancers led by a point at halftime before the Fighting Planets regained the advantage with a 14-4 run in the third quarter.

“Moving up to (Class) 4A this year and playing right with a 5A school was great motivation for the team,” Hasley said. “It gave us the confidence to know we can play with these bigger teams.”

Deer Lakes came back Monday with a dominant 66-33 victory over Derry to start Section 1-4A play. Hasley scored 19 points, and Jessica Sullivan added 10.

“We had a lot of momentum coming off of Saturday’s game,” said Hasley, who averaged 14 points last season for the Lancers, who earned a trip to the playoffs for the sixth year in a row.

“We just executed.”

Deer Lakes is gearing up for Thursday’s Section 1 clash at Knoch. The Knights, No. 5 in the Triblive HSSN Class 4A rankings, kicked off their season Monday with a 72-29 home win over Highlands.

Petruska said he is impressed with Hasley’s ability to create shots and how she follows every shot put up on the offensive end.

“A lot of her points in both games have come from putbacks and second-chance opportunities because she got the offensive rebound,” he said. “She just doesn’t give up on a play. That is one thing in her game that has improved drastically from last year when she would do similar things, but it wasn’t as consistent as it is now. She has an eye for knowing where the basketball will be.”

Delays kept the Lancers from having their first practice until Dec. 8.

Gov. Tom Wolf’s shutdown of high school sports came two days later, and momentum gained from the first couple of workouts was in limbo.

“We were excited to start the season, and then it was pretty tough to have to stop,” Hasley said. “But when we came back last week, all of our heads were in the right spot. It was great to be back in the gym with everybody, from the coaches all the way down to the freshmen. We were ready to get to work and get ready to play. It was good energy.”

Hasley said the Lancers only are scratching the surface of what they can do.

“I think we’re all still working to get back into prime basketball shape and are ready to reach our full potential,” Hasley said. “The section is going to be really fun this year with local games almost every night. That’s the best part about basketball, having that great competition and wanting to play your hardest every game.”

Hasley said she has seen improvement in her explosiveness her shooting but knows there are several aspects that still can use work.

“I guess you could say I am still a work in progress,” she said. “That is the same for every player. I am never satisfied with where I am at. Practice time now is especially important.”

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at or via Twitter .


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