The Waynesboro girls basketball team is off to its best start since 2007 - but the rebuild is far from over.
When you take a look at the Maidens' roster, you’ll notice something very important missing.
A junior class.
With seven seniors and four sophomores on the varsity roster, Waynesboro may be in good shape this year with an experienced group of seniors at the helm, but moving forward, the Maidens may experience some deja vu from former years.
When this year’s seniors were sophomores in 2014, there were no juniors above them either - and just one senior, proving to be the catalyst for the talent of this year’s senior class.
“This particular core group of seniors have been playing together probably since before middle school, and they’ve been the bulk of the varsity team since they were 10th graders,” Waynesboro coach Allison Steiger said. “They have the experience and talent to try and compete and are probably one of the reasons we are finding success so far.”
Steiger defined success in two parts - winning, which the Maidens are doing so far this season - and competing in some of those games that were formerly out of reach - like the championship game of the Franklin County Tip-Off Tournament against Greencastle-Antrim, which remains the Maidens’ only loss of the season.
“Knowing how close we were to getting that trophy really focused us and has helped us,” Waynesboro senior Cat Weber said. “Greencastle is always tough and we had that game early. That allowed us to assess how we can use that to build on and be a better team. We are building off that loss.”
As for building for the future, Steiger hopes this is the last round of “gap years” for the program.
“We are still trying to build this program, and trying to fill the gaps in the next year,” Steiger said. “It’s going to be hard next year, but the goals is to try to get (the sophomores) as much experience as I can. It is a part of the seniors' goals to help grow the game of the sophomores.”
NON-CONFERENCE CONFIDENCE: Shippensburg's non-conference schedule is anything but a walk in the park. But that's on purpose.
The Lady Hounds face top-tier non-conference competition like Harrisburg, Mifflin County and Susquehannock in preparation for both Mid Penn Colonial Division play, but also what coach Andrew Markel hopes to be a road to the postseason.
"When we are playing teams in our division that don’t quite have the athletes that these bigger schools have, it’s a lot easier to run our offense and it's a lot easier to put pressure on teams," Markel said. "Harrisburg was a great team for us. We let it slip away and let it get out of control, but we needed to see a team like that.
"It prepares you because each team is a lot quicker, taller and stronger in every position, so when you come into a game like (Big Spring) you are a lot more ready for the speed. We are able to play faster and more efficient."
Shippensburg (4-3, 3-0 MPC) remains undefeated in the Mid Penn Colonial Division, and is already halfway toward meeting its win total from last season. The Lady Hounds' next test is Jan. 3 vs. Waynesboro, a local and division rival which is also undefeated in the Colonial.
RECORD WATCH: Southern Fulton’s Olivia Mottern is just 65 points away from becoming the school's second all-time leading scorer, and is inching closer to the Southern Fulton girls record - she is 254 points from Macey Hollenshead’s record set in 2014.
Jenay Faulkner has already broken one record this year, and stands as the Greencastle girls all-time leading scorer, but she’s not done yet. Faulkner is 152 points from breaking the school’s all-time points record.
Waynesboro’s Cat Weber is 88 points away from hitting the 1,000-point mark, and, by averaging more than 13 points per game, she will likely hit the mark in January.