Valley girls have much to figure out with major turnover

Monday, November 27, 2023 | 8:29 PM

As the Valley girls basketball team focuses on the start of another season in rugged Section 1-4A, the Vikings will be doing it with a minimal roster.

For the first time in Marta Regus’ tenure with the Valley program, the Vikings will be without a junior varsity team and will roster just 11 players.

Valley boasts two seniors this season on their roster in Ryleigh Kasten and Leah Miller as the Vikings will usher in some younger talent.

The program will depend on girls who have only played at the junior varsity level after the depletion of the Valley roster thanks to the graduation of four seniors and Janelle Norman and Gabby Chambers transferring out of the school district.

“Most of the girls are incoming people that didn’t play before,” Regus said. “We are going to do the best we can do as we try to accomplish some goals.”

Like any other program that experiences a turnover in players, Valley will lean on the leadership of the seniors, along with junior forward Neveah Lyle, who will be featured in the starting lineup.

“They keep the group motivated during practices by being knowledgeable about the plays and helping the young ones during practice,” Regus said.

It won’t be easy once again this year for the Vikings, a team that has not won a section game in 107 tries across nine seasons, but Regus is putting an extra emphasis on working towards a positive atmosphere in practices.

“We try to keep them motivated as we teach them that we are learning and that we will get better throughout the season,” she said.

Similar to last year, Regus wants her group to dial in on the little victories through persevering and resiliency.

“Giving them smaller goals, trying to up the score or following through with your plays,” Regus said.

Kasten is the lone returning starter to the lineup and will be the Vikings’ main scoring threat for a team that is seeking to increase its average of 34.6 points per game.

“She shoots the ball very well, and she’s a very good defensive player,” Regus said.

Along with Kasten, Miller will start at the shooting guard position and sophomore Ameria Simmons will serve as the point guard for the Vikings.

“She’s knowledgeable about basketball and should do pretty well leading us off for the season,” Regus said about Simmons.

With Regus attempting to patch together their best lineup, the Vikings will prepare for another demanding schedule that features a section with the defending WPIAL Class 4A champions in North Catholic, along with Highlands, Knoch and Greensburg Salem, all of which are coming off of trips to the postseason.

Valley girls at a glance

Coach: Marta Regus

Last year’s record: 2-16, 0-11 Section 1-4A

Returning starters: Ryleigh Kasten (Sr., G)

Top newcomer: Leah Miller (Sr., G)


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