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Edison, Union Local vie for 4A title

• Last two conference 3A champions set to meet for third time this season

February 10, 2012
By RICH GIBSON - Times Leader Sports Writer (rgibson@timesleaderonline.com) , Times Leader

Looking for a little incentive? Look no further than Saturday's Wheeling Hospital/OVAC 4A Girls Championship Game matching Edison and Union Local.

The top-seeded Lady Wildcats of Tony Kovalesky are seeking their second OVAC crown in three seasons. UL, meanwhile, is a defending Conference champion and Drew Greenwood's Lady Jets are intent on repeating the feat.

EDISON was a 2010 champ before suffering an upset semifinal loss to Oak Glen a season ago.

At his disposal, Kovalesky has retained three mainstays from the Cats' last OVAC title-winning achievement.

Two, of course, are the sisters Prokopakis who have made life miserable for Edison opponents four years running.

Point guard Kristin and versatile swing player Kayla are multi-talented athletes excelling both on and off the court.

The Lady Cats' sister act have enjoyed marvelous careers - not only on the hardwood - but on the softball diamond where both are exceptional performers.

"Kayla and Kristin are true students of the game," Kovalesky observed. "Their total value to our program can't be measured. It's been a great pleasure working with them the past four years. Obviously, we hope to play a few more games this season."

The 5-9 Kayla is a natural scorer as her current 1,445 career point total would indicate. She is a 75 percent foul shooter. Kayla also works boards with aggressiveness and is averaging nine rebounds per outing.

Operating the point, Kristin is a savvy decision maker and capable scorer. Like her sister, Kristin is a three-point threat in addition to collecting her share of key rebounds.

Third member of the senior class is no less productive in 5-8 Savannah Snyder who's netting 13 points per start.

"Savannah may be the 'X' factor in our success," Kovalesky noted. "She does so many things well and is a take-charge type player. Her contributions have been immense."

Junior Molly McCoy has enjoyed a breakout season and is a more than capable backcourt presence.

"Molly rarely comes off the floor and for good reason," Kovalesky commented. "She's a good ball-handler and above-average defender."

Edison boasts a solid sophomore class with at least two members contributing major minutes. They are 5-9 forward Abby Fonow and 5-8 guard Katelyn Pollock.

"Abby recognizes her role and it is a valuable one," Kovalesky noted. "She really made her presence felt in our semifinal win over Oak Glen with some huge rebounds."

Pollock has also come on strong, scoring five ppg. and performing well at both ends of the floor.

Kovalesky also lists sophomores Meghan Scott (5-9) and MarryAnne Reed (6-0) as inside aids.

"We were able to defeat Union Local twice during the regular season but realize they are more than a capable team," the Lady Cats' coach noted.

"We expect (this) to be a highly competitive game and will need another solid defensive effort."

Kovalesky, who has announced this season will be his last following a 35-year coaching career, is assisted by Jason Ensinger and Tim Elson.

UNION LOCAL brings a 15-3 record into Saturday afternoon's (5:45) tipoff with two losses vs. Edison and a third against Indian Creek.

"We didn't shoot well at all in either two games against Edison," Greenwood disclosed. "Obviously, we must improve in that area. I think another big key will be how we perform in transition defense."

Only one senior dots the Lady Jets' roster - 5-9 senior Alexus Davis whose true value to team success is immeasurable.

"Alexus is an athletic presence who has really come into her own," Greenwood advised. "She's become a better ball-handler and is a solid defender." Davis donates a nine-point scoring average.

The junior class features 5-6 guard Dallas Montag, an intelligent player with both above average shooting and passing skills.

Montag is a reliable three-point threat and netting some 11.5 points per start. "Dallas does so many things which don't appear in the box score," Greenwood points out.

Kayla Doty, at 5-9, has continually come up big in big-game situations. "She's an aggressive offensive player who normally finishes once she catches the ball," Greenwood said. Doty is delivering 10.5 (points) and eight (rebounds) per outing.

Carlee Stiles (5-7) brings various skills to the floor in her role. "Carlee understands the game as well as anyone on our roster," Greenwood offered. "She does many of the intangibles necessary for success."

UL's fifth starter is savvy sophomore Cori Medley, easily one of the valley's most talented young players. The 5-8 guard was an impact player as a freshman and a standout on UL's OVAC championship squad a year ago.

"Cori's the ultimate team player. She may even be a little too unselfish," her coach reported. "She's a consistent scorer but also an adept passer at finding an open teammate."

Medley is working on her second consecutive varsity season as a double figure scorer (14.4 ppg.) She's regarded as an accurate three-point shooter but can also be effective driving to the hoop.

Greenwood is bringing an already-seasoned freshman talent off the bench in 5-5 Amanda Swallie, a two-time twin digit contributor in recent outings.

"Amanda injects instant energy when she takes the floor," Greenwood stressed. "We're impressed with the aggressive approach she takes.

"She has a very nice future in our program."

Another ninth grader of note is 5-10 post Mikayla Patton, a still work-in-progress with good potential on the varsity level.

"If our practices are an indication, the girls are definitely looking forward to another shot at Edison," Greenwood declared.

Serving as assistants on the Lady Jets' bench are Dustin Roe, Amy Delaney and Dave Chambers, Jr.

 
 
 

 

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