Girls basketball preview: Jeannette ready to make WPIAL playoff push

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Sunday, November 29, 2020 | 5:53 PM


When Jonathan Bass took over the Jeannette girls basketball program in 2018, he was hoping to have things turned around in three years.

This is the start of his third season at Jeannette, and Bass feels things are on the right track.

Even though Jeannette is coming off a 4-18 season and returns just one starter, senior Hannah Nichols, Bass said he is excited about what he is seeing from his players.

“I’ve been grooming these young girls since junior high,” Bass said. “They’re all capable playing up-tempo style of basketball. We’re quick, and we’re going to put pressure on our opponents. These girls have come a long way.”

Nichols was the Jayhawks’ leading scorer last season, averaging about 14 points.

Bass wants Nichols to average 20 points this season.

“Hannah is capable of that,” Bass said. “I need her to become a leader on the court. If I can get Zoey (Vincent) to take over the point guard spot, that will free up Hannah.”

Vincent is part of a talented sophomore group Bass has high hopes for. The others are his daughter, Jordan Bass, guard Franke Crosby and guard Oceana Felipe-Sirnic.

“Jordan was trying too hard to be Jada (Bass, her older sister),” Bass said about his daughter. “She’s worked hard, and now she’s playing within herself. She goes hard all the time.

“Franke is going to be good defensively for us, and Zoey is a good ball hander. Oceana is another player that continues to get better.”

Junior guard Mac Rigney is another player Bass expects to contribute.

“She’s a good shooter, but she needs to expand her game,” Bass said. “They’re all coachable kids. I really feel we’ll be a solid team that is fighting for one of the playoff spots. I’d like to finish in the top three.”

Bass said Greensburg Central Catholic and Apollo-Ridge are the top teams in the section. The others are Winchester Thurston and Springdale. The Ellis School opted not to compete this season.

“This group has really improved over the summer,” Bass said. “They’ve improved so much that I could talk all day about them. They just have to continue to keep working.”

If the players can execute Bass’ plan, Jeannette might surprise some teams.

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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