By Jordan J. Michael
VOORHEESVILLE –– After losing a core of fortified seniors to graduation, the Voorheesville girls’ basketball team is building from the ground up.
The Blackbirds followed up a 2010 state semifinal bid with a playoff run to the Class C finals in 2011. But, with seven new players this season, Voorheesville has to adjust.
“We have a huge learning curve,” said Head Coach Bob Baron this week. “The adjustments aren’t so easy now.”
The Birds started the season with losses to Watervliet (63 to 46) and Fonda (72 to 61). However, the team has followed up with two wins –– over Schalmont (43 to 41) and Ichabod Crane (34 to 32).
“We’re starting to play better defense,” Baron said. “We’re adapting to the speed of the game.”
Senior Anna Feller is leading the Blackbirds in scoring with 13.5 points per game. She’s a returning starter and has been on the team for three years. Seniors Anna Norris and Carla Planz played last season, but didn’t start.
New to Voorheesville are juniors Rebecca Bogart, Katina Wallace, Rachel Treiber, Alexis Pelletier, and Anita Salisbury, and ninth-graders Victoria Coluccio and Stephany Keenan.
“The seniors are very vocal,” said Baron. “They know how hard the team has to work to be successful.”
Voorheesville is making only 53 percent (27 of 51) of its free throws, but Wallace and Norris have each made seven three-pointers. Baron told The Enterprise that the team needs to cut down on turning the ball over, too.
“I expect a high level of play from the girls who make varsity,” he said. “It’s not a question of effort, but a question of execution and decision making.”
The Blackbirds’ recent past has been quite successful. The team will be taking this season game by game with steady steps forward.
“We have to play fast,” Baron said. “The goal is to improve, but there is no easy way of getting there.”