BY KEVIN WOODRUFF
Montrose’s girls’ varsity basketball team has been on a hot-streak, in Lackawanna Division III, and coach Al Smith attributes the success to a committed group of players.
“We’ve got a good group of girls,” Smith said on Thursday. “They are committed to playing the game, and they are a close-knit bunch.”
The Lady Meteors are currently 17-1 on the year, having gone 11-1 in their division so far this season and won the first-half championship.
The girls on Monday however had a 17-game winning streak stopped by Forest City in a 42-39 loss.
“These girls made a commitment to winning,” Smith said. “This is my third year as coach, and I’ve had them the whole time.”
Smith said the team started to fire on all cylinders this year.
“They’ve been pushed quite a bit this season, and they continue to stay positive and focused,” Smith said. “They’re always willing to help each other out.”
Smith said the Montrose team focuses heavily on defense, and believes it’s a big piece of the puzzle.
“They only way we’re going to get anywhere is by playing solid defense,” Smith said.
Although the Montrose girls are on a strong path, the remainder of the regular season will not be without its tests, as the Meteors still have to face the likes of North Pocono and Scranton Prep.
Looking ahead towards the conclusion of the regular season, the Meteors are working toward winning the league.
“We’d love to try and win our league,” Smith said. “Even
though some people say that the competition isn’t that strong, we believe there are some good teams.
“We have to take care of business in our league before we can think about anything else.”
And Smith is optimistic about what this group of girls can accomplish.
“The girls have worked hard throughout the whole season, and our seniors really want to make it to the final four of Districts,” Smith said. “We were close last year.”
With seniors Mimi DiPhillips, Sam Abbott and Katelyn Spellman along with juniors Dallas Ely, who scored her 1,000th career point this season, and Sarah Krupinski, the Meteors expect to make a run at states.
A year ago, the Meteors lost in the second round of the District II Class AA playoffs, 50-46, to Mid Valley, after
defeating GAR 67-38 in the first round.
Thinking ahead to the playoffs, Smith said that the team may try a few things differently to throw off some teams, but will focus on what it’s doing right.
“We look to get better at what we’re already doing,” Smith said, “and try to make teams play at our pace.”
When it comes down to it, Smith is just proud of what the team has accomplished.
“They are a good group of girls and I’m very proud of them,” Smith said, cautioning that “We’ll take things one game at a time.”
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