Ligonier Valley girls basketball looks to take a step forward

Tuesday, November 22, 2022 | 5:32 PM

When Emily Daugherty was hired as the Ligonier Valley girls basketball coach, she inherited a program that was a mess.

It barely had enough players to field a team, and the district thought it would be good to play in Class 4A instead of Class 2A.

The Rams went 0-24 in Section 3-4A and 2-33 overall. Both wins came last season.

But while things may not turn around this season, the Rams return three starters and have 10 players on the roster. Daugherty is excited about the future.

“We really have a talented group of eighth graders,” Daugherty said.

“I can’t wait to see how they adjust to playing on the varsity level.”

The returning starters Daugherty is counting on to lead the team are junior forward Lyla Barr, junior guard Maddy Marinchak and senior guard Misty Miller.

“We might not have of a lot players on the roster, and we lack height, but the group here wants to be here and learn,” Daugherty said. “We just want to continue to improve throughout the season.”

Ligonier Valley is now in Section 3-3A with Apollo-Ridge, Burrell, Deer Lakes, Mt. Pleasant and Shady Side Academy.

Daugherty said she hopes her team can compete better with those teams.

“I haven’t seen many of the teams,” Daugherty said. “It will be a learning experience for me. Everyone is different.”

Other players vying for starting jobs are freshmen guards Abby Springer and Lindsey Gaskey and senior forward Maura Myers.

Daugherty expects Myers and Miller will provide leadership.

“Both are good players and should keep us together,” Daugherty said. “Our goal is to keep it together until next season when the eighth graders get here.

“The key for this season will be how well we play defense. That’s my goal. I want to see us compete in every game.”

Daugherty likes the players and the attitude.

“They want to work hard,” Daugherty said. “They all have different roles. We have girls who can score, so we don’t have count on one or two players to provide us with scoring.”

At a glance

Coach: Emily Daugherty

Last season’s record: 0-12 (Section 3, 4A), 2-19 overall

Returning starters: Lyla Barr (Jr., F), Maddy Marinchak (Jr., G), Misty Miller (Sr., G).

Newcomers: Abby Springer (Fr., G), Mara Myers (Sr., G), Lindsey Gaskey (Fr., G).

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at


More High School Basketball

Shaler poised to hire boys basketball coach Brandon Sensor
WPIAL reveals updated section alignments for winter sports including basketball, wrestling
Former Norwin star Jenna Lusby hired as Jeannette girls basketball coach
Passion for WPIAL basketball leads North Allegheny grad Hailey Zeise to Pine-Richland job
4th Tre Cunningham Memorial Basketball Tournament is biggest yet