Pine-Richland girls basketball pushing through adversity

Saturday, January 18, 2020 | 12:18 AM

There’s good luck. There’s bad luck. And then there’s the luck the Pine-Richland girls basketball team has had to suffer through during its 2019-20 season.

Nearly half of the players have been hit with injuries.

The team has six players who are missing time with injuries. Of those six, five have knee injuries. Understandably, the repeated hardship of seeing a teammate succumb to injury has taken its toll on Pine-Richland (2-10, 0-7 Section 1-6A). Despite that, the team isn’t far off from toppling some of its formidable section foes.

“There are points at practice where we only have eight girls to practice with,” coach Tom Reighard said. “But we’re pushing through.

“We’re really in all of our games. It’s just a bad quarter here and there that ends up derailing us. We have kids that play the entire game. They’re not quitting.”

For some of the players, the short-handed roster has meant stepping into new roles, playing extended minutes or even assuming a leadership position.

Senior Meghan Luellen has picked up plenty of responsibilities, and junior Ekaterini Balouris has ascended into a starting position and a leadership role.

As is the case with many of the Pine-Richland players, sophomore Sophie Catalano has remained undeterred by her team’s streak of bad luck as she continues to log major minutes.

Freshmen Sarah Pifer and Kaili Doctor have absorbed plenty of playing time, too. Doctor has rounded into a productive contributor, averaging about 12 points and eight rebounds.

“These girls are just pushing and pushing and pushing. They’re giving it their best effort. It’s just adversity,” Reighard said. “You have to push through it and continue to do what you want to do out there. The effort it is certainly there. They’re giving it their all.”


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