Western Wayne's fifth & sixth grade girls basketball teams are paving the way to a bright future at the Varden Garden. Under the direction of Coach Bill Carmody, the young Lady 'Cats are mastering the fundamentals of their sport.

Bill Carmody has been at the helm of Western Wayne’s fifth & sixth grade girls basketball program for a little more than two years now.

In that short space of time, Coach Carmody is already seeing vast improvement...the kind of improvement that makes him smile when contemplating the future of Lady ‘Cat hoops.

“When we first started, we had quite a few girls who hadn’t ever played organized basketball,” he told TWI Sports. “Our biggest goal right from the beginning was to teach fundamentals. Up until now, we really haven’t measured our success by wins and losses. Now, though, the girls are starting to get it...and we’re starting to be competitive.”

Western Wayne plays in the Endless Mountains League against schools from all over the region. The circuit is divided into two brackets consisting of six teams each. The Lady ‘Cats are part of the Eastern Division which also features Wayne Highlands, Wallenpaupack Area, Delaware Valley,

North Pocono and Forest City. Mountain View, Elk Lake, Montrose, Lackawanna Trail, Tunkhannock and Abington Heights play in the Western Division.
The Lady ‘Cats currently sport a respectable 6-11 record. Western Wayne plays its home games at both RD Wilson and the middle school.

“The competition is very good,” said Coach Carmody. “We didn’t do too well last year, but we’re much better this season. It’s been a challenge, but it’s also been a lot of fun. We work pretty hard and we laugh a lot, too.”

Western Wayne’s fifth & sixth grade girls basketball team is back in action this coming weekend. The Lady ‘Cats will travel to Honesdale for the annual Endless Mountains League tournament.

Next week, Coach Carmody’s girls close out their 2007-’08 season with an appearance at Paupack’s “Take it to the Lake” Invitational. That event will conclude Saturday, March 15th at Wallenpaupack Area.

Up & Down Season
Western Wayne’s fifth & sixth grade hoops season has consisted of giddy highs and disappointing lows. For example, the Lady ‘Cats rallied to post an electrifying overtime win against Forest City, but then suffered a 22-point loss to Paupack.

Coach Carmody calls the victory at Forest City “one of our best games of the year.”
It was a contest in which the Lady ‘Cats opened up an early advantage, then let that lead slip away. Western Wayne led by five after one period, then trailed by a bucket at intermission.

The local lasses staged a furious second half comeback, tying the game at the end of regulation and forcing overtime. Carley Thorpe played the hero’s role, scoring all three of her team’s points in the extra session to lock up a 23-21 win.

Thorpe led the way offensively with a game-high six points. She was aided & abetted by teammates Rebecca Carmody and Caleigh Wildenstein, each of whom tallied five. Rachel Carmody contributed three points, while Madison Pike and Jordyn Jacques chipped in with two apiece.

Maddie Carey and Kelsey Russo also played key roles in the win.

“I think the most important thing about this game is that we finally closed one out,” Coach Carmody said. “The girls were really excited...and so were the coaches! We showed good patience and executed well. They kept their focus and played consistently well.”

Western Wayne’s most recent game was against Paupack and resulted in a 33-11 loss. However, this contest was much closer than the final score might indicate. The Lady ‘Cats dug themselves a big early hole, but closed to within six points to start the fourth quarter.

Lauren Soentgen led the way in this one with four points. Kourtney Jones, Rebecca Carmody and Thorpe netted two points each, while Jacques added a key free throw.
The Endless Mountains League season began on December 1st, but Western Wayne had been practicing informally since late October.

Bill Carmody is quick to point out that he’s far from a one-man show insofar as coaching goes. He considers himself lucky to have a pair of dedicated assistants in Rose Merritt and Cliff Jones.

“They’re just great,” Coach Carmody said of Merritt and Jones. “I couldn’t do it without them. They give up a lot of their free time to help out and I really appreciate it.”

Coach Merritt is in her first year with the travel team. She is head coach of the ‘B’ Team, a group that features mostly fifth graders. Jones is also a Western Wayne alumnus and is the ‘A’ Team assistant.

Western Wayne’s ‘B’ Team roster is as follows: Tori Aughe, Kylea Clark, Alexis Dunn, Samantha Franklin, Bethany Giombetti, Carly Gronowski, Taylor Haggerty, Callie Jones, Katlyn Kelleher, Kellyn Kemmerer, Courtney Kizer, Rachel Merritt, Brooke Petrilak and Katie Shepps.

“I’m already getting excited for next year,” said Coach Car-mody. “I think the future looks bright for Western Wayne girls basketball. We’ve been trying to build a feeder program here for a long time and I think we’re moving in the right direction.”

Coach Carmody went on to say that he appreciates all the cooperation he’s received from the players, their parents, the community and the school district.