Western Wayne girls laid the foundation for a successful future in the Lackawanna League
Western Wayne's girls varsity hoops team has been a paragon of consistency over the past few seasons.
Under the direction of veteran head coach Colleen Kloss, the Lady 'Cats have posted back-to-back 5-8 records in Lackawanna League competition.
While those numbers aren't exactly overwhelming there's no doubt that the program has made positive strides on and off the floor.
“We knew coming in that this was going to be a very tough division,” said Coach Kloss. “I'm pretty pleased with how we did the league, but I'm a little disappointed that we didn't win at least one playoff game.”
The Lady 'Cats went 10-12 overall, qualifying for the District Two Class AAA tournament where they fell to North Pocono in the opening round.
“This is a really good group of girls and I was so sorry to see the season end,” Coach Kloss said.
“I think we were pretty competitive night-in and night-out and that was one of our biggest goals.”
When asked to point out her team's biggest strength this winter, Coach Kloss did not hesitate.
“We played very well on defense,” she said. “We knew that to be competitive we had to keep scores down in the 40s. And, for the most part, we did that.”
A perfect example of the Lady 'Cats defensive focus is how they played against North Pocono.
The Trojans led Division II for most of the regular season and featured one of the region's top scorers in junior Kaitlyn Lewis.
However, thanks to their relentless pressure, the Lady 'Cats held North Pocono to 40 points on one occasion and 45 on another ... the former more than 15 points below their season average.
“Their coach came up after the game and told me how impressed he was with our defense,” Coach Kloss said. “We gave them all they could handle and that was a nice compliment.”
Any discussion about the Western Wayne offensive attack must begin with “The Twins.”
Rebecca and Rachel Carmody combined to form one of the area's top scoring tandems on a nightly basis.
Becca led the team in total points, field goals and free throws. She closed out the campaign averaging just under 12 points per game.
“Becca fuels our fire,” said Coach Kloss. “She's one of the best all-round players in the league.
“Becca is one of the most competitive players I've ever known. She hates to lose and will do everything in her power to help the team win.”
While Rebecca terrorized teams in the backcourt, Rachel ruled the frontcourt with an iron hand.
The junior forward rattled the rims for a team best 13.6 points per game. She also led the way in rebounds and blocked shots.
“Rachel is very physical inside,” Coach Kloss said.
“She reads the ball well off the shot and off the rim. From about midway through the season, Rachel became one of the league's best rebounders.”
Four seniors carried the mantle of leadership for Western Wayne this year.
Kelsey Russo, Caleigh Wildenstein, Kourtnie Jones and Jordyn Jacques set solid examples for the younger Lady 'Cats both on and off the court.
“Wins and losses don't always reflect what kind of seniors you have,” Coach Kloss said. “These four girls were incredibly dedicated and hard-working. We're definitely going to miss them.”
Western Wayne will see its senior class double in size next winter as eight Lady 'Cats suit up for their final varsity season.
In addition to The Twins, Bethany Giombetti, Kylea Clark, Maddie Carey, Maddi Pike, Sabrina DiTucci and Tori Aughe will all play major roles on the hardwood.
Over & Out
The local lasses got off to a blistering start this season, winning four straight right out of the blocks.
However, the Lady 'Cats were derailed by three losses to longtime rival Wallenpaupack Area within a span of 10 days.
Paupack went on to win the division and eventually captured the District Two Class AAAA crown as well.
To their undying credit, though, the Lady 'Cats roared right back. They climbed all the way back to .500 at one point and gave North Pocono fits at the district tourney.
“Overall, I think this was a pretty good year,” Coach Kloss said.
“The girls we have coming back have already made a commitment to next season and I'm excited to see what they can do.”