WPIAL Girls Basketball Player of the Week — Week ending Dec. 14

Sunday, December 15, 2019 | 4:52 PM

The last three seasons have been a bit of a grind for the Plum girls basketball team.

The Mustangs scratch and claw their way into the WPIAL postseason only to be eliminated in their first playoff game.

Now, Plum turns to a player who asks not what the team can do for her but what she can do for the team.

Kennedie Montue is only a junior, but Mustangs coach Steve Elsier believes she has great leadership qualities.

“She’s talking more in practice and communicating to our team in timeout situations,” he said. “Her leadership will continue to improve as the season goes on, and we will need that to achieve our goals as a program this year.”

Last season, Montue averaged more than 17 points per game. This past week, however, she averaged 31.5 points in two games.

“Kennedie is very talented, so we are going to get her the ball on offense,” Elsier said. “We have talked as a team about our other girls stepping up offensively, and that will come as the season develops.”

On Tuesday, Montue scored 29 points in a 60-40 victory over Steel Valley.

“In (that) game, she really showed her improvement with transition offense,” Elsier said. “Even last year, she might keep the ball a bit too long in transition, but this year, she is making the right passes and keeping the ball when it’s the better decision.”

The next night, Montue scored 34 of her team’s 50 points in the Mustangs’ loss to Allderdice.

“Allderdice is the best, deepest and most talented team we’ll play this year,” Elsier said. “What that game showed me was that Kennedie was the most talented player on the court.”

Elsier feels Montue’s flexibility and versatility are what make the 5-foot-11 forward really shine on the court.

“Her ability to score off of our plays is very good. She also has the unique ability to be able to score inside and outside, which makes her hard to guard.”

Plum is 2-2 as it prepares to open Section 2-5A play on Tuesday when it hosts Franklin Regional. Elsier believes there is reason to be optimistic in the land of purple.

“I think the most important part of her game in terms of improvement must continue to be her leadership in taking our program to new heights.”

Honorable mention:

Reilly Sunday, Moon

It was a tough week for Moon, but just another day at the office for their star sophomore Reilly Sunday. Sunday scored 20 in a tough nonsection loss to Quaker Valley, then came back and scored 24 in the Tigers’ section-opening loss to No. 3-ranked Thomas Jefferson.

Mya Murray, Uniontown

To say Mya Murray is a big part of the Uniontown offense is an understatement. Murray scored 16 of the Red Raiders’ 30 points in a loss to Southmoreland, then, three days later, scored 40 of her teams 60 points as Uniontown knocked off rival Laurel Highlands its first win of the season.

Nyla Rozier, Shady Side Academy

Shady Side Academy enjoyed a 3-0 week led by junior guard Nyla Rozier. Rozier began the week by scoring 24 points in the Indians- eight-point victory over Brashear, then capped the week with 25 points in a win over Valley that improved SSA to 4-1.

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