Hempfield girls basketball heats up during summer months

Sunday, July 17, 2022 | 4:46 PM

Success in the summer months doesn’t quite compare to success during the winter high school basketball season, but Hempfield can attest there still is plenty of value to it.

And the trophies are just as shiny.

Winning as a cohesive unit in July can be a building block for the high school season in November.

The Lady Spartans won the Greensburg YMCA Girls Basketball Summer League, holding back a number of local teams and some talented players.

“It’s been a really good summer thus far for our team,” Hempfield coach Tom Brush said. “We have a really strong core coming back. … We also have a very strong incoming freshman class. They really stepped up during the summer league.”

Hempfield defeated Franklin Regional, which returns everyone from last season, in the championship, 45-28, at Seton Hill.

“The championship was the first time we were at pretty much full strength all summer league,” Brush said.

Rising senior Brooke McCoy, Brush said, shot “lights out” in the second half of the championship as Hempfield finished 9-2.

The Spartans topped Greensburg Salem in the semifinals.

Other teams included Southmoreland, Greensburg Central Catholic, Mt. Pleasant and Connellsville.

Most of the teams were at full strength. Greensburg Central Catholic had standout guards Mya Morgan and Erica Gribble, Kaitlyn Mankins played for Greensburg Salem, and Tiffany Zelmore, one of the top returning scorers in the county, played for Mt. Pleasant.

“I think this year our team had a lot of positive energy and enthusiasm that transitioned into our games,” said McCoy, the team’s top scorer last season. “We have a lot of young ones coming up that are all excited to play, and it’s been great to see them help the team be successful. I thought we had a pretty good chance of doing well in this summer league. I thought GCC and Franklin Regional were going to be our biggest competition and cause us trouble, but we pulled through and I’m super excited for the upcoming season.”

Hempfield also got key contributions from juniors Sarah Podkul and Ashley Hosni, sophomore Mia Shipman and freshman Ava Shipman.

Podkul and Hosni also play for Brush’s AAU team in the spring.

“Podkul and Hosni had really strong all-around games,” Brush said. “Mia and Ava Shipman played fantastic defense.”

McCoy hopes the momentum will stick around.

“I learned that everyone is willing to step up to the challenge, and everyone has each other’s back,” she said. “There’s a lot of good energy on our team this year that excites me.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .


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