Girls basketball preview: Coaching hire coming soon for improving Ligonier Valley

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Tuesday, December 1, 2020 | 6:28 PM


When Tim Gustin became the Ligonier Valley boys basketball coach a month ago, he hoped the district’s school board picked the right person to replace him as girls coach.

The Ligonier Valley School Board is scheduled to meet Wednesday and on the agenda is hiring a new girls coach. Athletic director Wes Siko is currently the interim coach.

Emily Daugherty, the girls volleyball coach, is on the agenda to be voted on as the new coach, with Amber Tutino as her assistant coach.

Daugherty, 28, is a graduate of Lock Haven University and a 2010 grad of Ligonier Valley, where she played basketball and soccer. She was a Tribune-Review Terrific 10 player in 2010.

Gustin said the girls team, which voluntarily moved up to Class 4A because of travel, will be on the rise.

“Haley (Boyd) was the team’s leading scorer as a freshman, and she’ll be asked to take her game up a notch,” Gustin said. “Carol (Woods) also is back. She’s a good defender, and she’ll be one of the leaders on the team.”

Boyd averaged 11.7 points per game.

Gustin said he’s also high on a couple freshmen — Madison Marinchak, Lyla Barr and Amanda Woods. Madison Marinchak is the sister of Michael and Matthew Marinchak.

Junior Haley Stormer, one of the top volleyball players for the Rams, has returned to basketball after missing her sophomore season. Others vying for playing time include Lizzy Crissman, Abby Painter, Madison Griffin, Mara Myers, Ella Sheedy and Katie Lawson.

Ligonier Valley is in Section 3 with Belle Vernon, Elizabeth Forward, Mt. Pleasant, Southmoreland, West Mifflin and Yough. Southmoreland was a WPIAL finalist in 2020, and Elizabeth Forward, West Mifflin and Belle Vernon are perennial contenders.

Mt. Pleasant was the opponent for one of Ligonier Valley’s wins in 2019-20. The other two came against Northern Cambria.

“We were in a rebuilding mode the past two years,” Gustin said. “I really feel this group will be building something special.”

With the right coach, he said, Ligonier Valley should be improved.

Ligonier Valley girls at a glance

Coach: Wesley Siko (interim)

Last year’s record: 3-18 (2-12 District 6 Heritage Conference)

Returning starters: Haley Boyd (So., G), Carol Woods (Sr., F).

Top newcomers: Haley Stormer (Jr., F), Madison Marinchak (Fr., G), Lyla Barr (Fr., G), Amanda Woods (Fr., G), Abby Painter (Jr., G), Madison Griffin (Jr., F), Lizzy Crissman (So., F), Mara Myers (So., G), Ella Sheedy (Jr., PG), Katie Lawson (So., F).

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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