Rebuilding Ligonier Valley girls hope to ‘learn how to compete’

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Monday, December 2, 2019 | 8:44 PM


There was a reason that Ligonier Valley girls basketball coach Tim Gustin scheduled Punxsutawney for his team’s first preseason scrimmage.

He wanted to show his young team what he’d like them to become.

Punxsutawney romped through District 9 last season by going 21-0. The Chucks’ only loss was to Blackhawk in the opening round of the PIAA Class 4A playoffs.

Many of those players return. Many of Ligonier Valley’s have graduated, including leading scorers Destiny Sheriff (11.7 points per game), Alexa Boyd (9.4) and Mia Lynn (5.7).

Ligonier Valley, as Gustin explained, is starting over and rebuilding with talented group of underclassmen.

The Rams finished 4-16 and 4-10 in the conference.

“We were in a lot of games. We just didn’t finish,” Gustin said. “Our goal this better is to just get better — day to day or game to game. I want to be a better team by the end of the season.”

The three players Gustin is counting on are freshman guard Haley Boyd, sophomore Kaelyn Adams and junior Carol Woods.

“I just want these girls to gain experience and learn how to compete,” Gustin said. “The game against Punxsutawney showed us a lot of what we need to work on.

“We have a young group and we have a nice group of eighth graders coming up. We’re definitely looking down the road.”

Gustin expects big things from Boyd. He feels she’ll be the team’s leading scorer. He also has high expectations for Adams and Woods.

This is probably Ligonier Valley’s final season in District 6 and the Heritage Conference. All that stands between the Rams and a move west to the WPIAL in a yes vote from the PIAA this week.

District 6 has already approved Ligonier Valley’s move out and the WPIAL has already accepted the Rams in.

Ligonier Valley will get a taste of the WPIAL when it opens the season in the Greensburg Salem tournament Friday. The Rams will face the Golden Lions in the first game and Mt. Pleasant on Saturday.

The Rams open the Heritage Conference season Wednesday against Purchase Line.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

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