The Oley Valley High School girls' basketball team has won the Berks County Division five straight division titles, and are looking to make it six in a row this year. The team went 9-1 (league) and 18-8 under first year coach Jeff Cardinal last year, averaging 50.5 points per game. At the press deadline the Lady Lynx are off to a 2-0 start after winning the Oley Valley Tip-Off Tournament with little problem. With a year of experience with Coach Cardinal's system, the team is much more comfortable playing in his system.
The Lynx will have to replace point guard Courtney Dunn and her 9.4 points a game, but they have added senior Tori Moll, a transfer in from High Point Baptist Academy. The team is also returning is senior Brandi Vallely, their leading scorer at 19.3 points per game.
"Team is shaping up well, but it's still a work in progress,' said Cardinal. "We are slowly getting that important team chemistry together.'
The expectations are very high for the Lady Lynx, and Cardinal is one of those expecting big things. The goals for this season are to compete for a division title, make the county, districts, and advance to the state tournament. Coach Cardinal feels that these are very reach able goals, however he knows that the team has to stay healthy and avoid injuries to accomplish this.
"Again, we only have 12 players on our entire roster, the same as last year, but our lack of numbers is difficult because we fully intend to compete both on the JV and varsity level,' said Cardinal. This is a very experienced team. Besides Vallely, returning are juniors Amanda Rizzutti, Kayla Matuszak and Carly Kauffman. Sophomore Amanda Aulenbach and Emily Moyer are also returning.
"Brandi (Vallely) leads by example and is a leader. She makes her teammates that much better,' said Cardinal.
"Amanda (Rizzutti) is a very good three-point shooter, a smart player who was our second leading scorer last year (9.6 points a game).'Amanda (Aulenbach), a center, is great athlete who was third leading scorer last year (9.4 points a game) and a good rebounder.
Kayla (Matuszak) is a forward that came off the bench last year. "We're looking for her to step up has scoring and rebounding potential,' said Cardinal.Moll will be counted on to can fill that huge loss at point guard.
"Carly (Kauffman) is a very gifted athletically counting on her for rebounding and her defensive prowess,' said Cardinal. "Emily (Moyer) is a guard with high energy at either end of the floor.'
Sonon will be expected to help with the rebounding.
Cardinal is looking for freshman six foot center Taylor Renninger to contribute this year on the hardwood for the Lady Lynx. He feels that she needs work, but has a big upside. There is reason to be very optimistic. They Lynx have the pieces to win their sixth straight division title. Now they've got to go out there and do it.
Phil Haddad is a free lance writer for the Times. You can follow him on Twitter at WritersprtsBT