Coach has high ex­pec­ta­tions for vet­eran Pan­thers team

Cecil Whig - - & - By SEAN GROGAN

sgro­gan@ce­cil­whig.com

Mike Bliz­zard is ex­cited about the ex­pe­ri­ence on his Per­ryville girls’ bas­ket­ball team.

“What I like about this team is that we do have a lot of up­per­class­men,” he said. “Even com­ing off the bench, we will have peo­ple who, I think, at the end of the game, will be able to han­dle a two or three point game and not be ner­vous. We’ve won some game last year at the end be­cause I was able to hang on to some time­outs and we were able to man­age the game.”

He called “bas­ket­ball IQ” the area where the Pan­thers need the most im­prove­ment, which has not been an easy area to fix be­cause of small num­bers at prac­tice. Five play­ers missed a prac­tice last week to at­tend Na­tional Honor So­ci­ety.

“Our big­gest chal­lenge right now is get­ting 10 healthy peo­ple to prac­tice,” Bliz­zard said.

Per­ryville re­turns se­nior Teri Wen­ner­sten and sopho­more Bri­anna Yad­losky down low to an­chor the front court.

“This year, you just see a dif­fer­ent con­fi­dence about her,” Bliz­zard said of Yad­lowksy. “Teri will con­tinue to get bet­ter. We ex­pect a few more points from her each game.”

Bliz­zard men­tioned two more play­ers that he has high ex­pec­ta­tions for.

“Bea Mus­cella, off of JV, is prob­a­bly go­ing to end up start­ing for us. She’s been very, very im­pres­sive. Phys­i­cally and men­tally, she picks up things very quick. She’s got great hands de­fen­sively,” he said. “Nikki Hill, she re­ally came from ob­scu­rity last year and then started two of our last three games be­cause she was so good de­fen­sively. This year, she’s go­ing to of­fer us a lit­tle bit more of­fen­sively, but she’s al­ways go­ing to play the other team’s best player.”

Bliz­zard called win­ning the Susque­hanna Di­vi­sion a “rea­son­able goal” for the Pan­thers. Their tough­est com­pe­ti­tion to do so could come from their fiercest ri­vals: Bo­hemia Manor.

The two teams split the reg­u­lar-sea­son se­ries, but Per­ryville edged the Ea­gles, 46-42, in a 1A play­off clas­sic back in March.

“Those games are like Ravens-Steel­ers games,” Bliz­zard said of the ri­valry. “It doesn’t mat­ter what you have, any team can win that game.”

Fol­low Sean Grogan on Twit­ter: @Sean_Ce­cilWhig

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY SEAN GROGAN

Se­nior for­ward Teri Wen­ner­sten re­turns to lead a vet­eran Per­ryville girls’ bas­ket­ball team.

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