PV girls off to strong start

Nov. 30—ANDOVER TOWNSHIP — The Pymatuning Valley girls basketball team is off to fast start, beating three county teams and losing to perennial power Berkshire.

"I think we have transitioned really well," Lakers coach Geena Gabriel said after a 46-37 home loss to Berkshire on Monday evening.

PV lost three seniors from the 2021-22 squad that made a Division III sectional final appearance with Kirtland.

Cassie Clute, who was not able to finish the season due to injury, Annie Siembor and Ellie Struna have graduated and the team is working out new roles, Gabriel said.

Gabriel said the younger players are starting to get used to their roles, but it will take some time. She said the process started in the summer.

"Summer is a big thing for us," Gabriel said of the team building process that included participation in the Ashtabula County Summer League.

Alaina Neczeporenko is the only senior on the squad.

"We need that one person that says 'Give me the ball and I will score'," Gabriel said.

After early season wins over Lakeside, Jefferson and Grand Valley, the Lakers took on Berkshire, which always has a strong program.

Gabriel said the game became a reality because Cardinal, which was on PV's schedule, did not have enough girls to field a team.

"It is nice to have a very good team [on the early season schedule]," Gabirel said.

The Lakers lost 46-37 to Berkshire after committing 20 turnovers during the game. She said the defense has to improve as well as the offense.

"We are too passive on offense," Gabriel said.

Neczeporenko paced PV with 10 points, including two, 3-pointers.

Through four games, Leah DeMoss is averaging a team-leading 12.8 points per game. She's also pulling down 5.3 rebounds per contest.

Neczeporenko checks in at 9.8 points per outing.

Jolene Sharpe is averaging 8.8 rebounds per game.

The Lakers ran a full court press for much of the night and caused a lot of turnovers.

PV is scheduled to play Maplewood on Thursday to start Northeastern Athletic Conference action.