Shaler girls bring exciting mix of young prospects, proven talent

Sunday, December 4, 2022 | 11:01 AM

The Shaler girls basketball program is excited to have an influx of sophomores ready to contribute at the varsity level. Coach Cornelious Nesbit is also excited he doesn’t have to rush their development, either.

Shaler will feature 5-foot-9 senior guard Haley Kostorick, a Clarion commit, and 5-11 senior forward Mackenzie Barr to take the pressure off the younger players.

What Nesbit hopes is when the respective talents mesh together, they will find a mix that could make the playoffs.

“The big thing is we have older players, so we don’t have to rush anyone back,” Nesbit said. “We can let people develop at their own pace.”

One of those players is 6-2 sophomore forward Jorja Bernesser, who missed all of last season with a torn ACL. Fellow sophomores Bayleigh Perez and Noelle Roth will look to help Shaler challenge to get back in the playoffs after being realigned into Class 5A this season after spending the last two years in 6A.

What all of the Titans share this season is a desire to return to the postseason.

“I believe our strengths include our experience and determination,” Kostorick said. “We have older players leading this team and younger players who are going to add to our game this year. Our team is looking forward to a successful season, and you can see how that determination has reflected during practices.”

Shaler finished last season 7-15 overall, including a 3-11 mark in section.

Last season, Shaler needed to keep games in the 40s to keep up in a section stacked with perennial powers. The Titans only allowed opponents to score 44.3 points per game, but they only scored 43.8 points per game themselves.

Nesbit believes if this team is doing well, Shaler’s defense could have the same effectiveness as last year.

“I think we can do well this season because we have a good basketball team, not because we are dropping down,” Nesbit said. “I’m looking forward to having a team with strong leadership that also has a good mix of sophomores and juniors.”

Kostorick is excited to make a run through a season with some fresh faces on the schedule. Shaler has been placed in Section 2-5A, which will feature Armstrong, Fox Chapel, Hampton, Mars, New Castle and North Hills.

“I am looking forward to playing some different teams and getting after it this year,” Kostorick said. “We’re looking forward to a really good season.”


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