“It’s a feel good atmosphere,” said head coach Janine Vertacnik. “I have the best guard in Westmoreland County.”
Vertacnik was referring good-naturedly to sophomore guard Claire Oberdorf. Vertacnik added that although it’s still early in the season, Oberdorf has already had at least one game in which she made six 3-pointers. Last week, Vertacnik had been optimistic prior to the Lions’ 50-40 win over Uniontown.
“We think they’re overrated,” Vertacnick had said. Surely enough, Oberdorf shot for 15 points, followed up by Karly Mellinger with 14. Despite the fact that the Red Raiders had had four players scoring in the double digits, they still could not outscore Greensburg Salem. This tells us that the Golden Lions are getting points from all over the court.
The Lions’ hot shooting is the result of competitive motivation in the Greensburg Salem gym. Occasionally (and particularly in conjunction with holidays), the team will hold different shooting contests to win fun gift cards (for ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery, for example.) In a recent foul shot/layup alternating contest, Karly Mellinger was the winner.
Other big achievements for Greensburg Salem so far include a 63-53 win over Belle Vernon. Vertacnik noted that the Leopards are a good team this year and that they have a pair of weapons in the Slagus sisters, who are both over six feet tall. “It was a big win for us … our team did a great job,” Vertacnik said.
This past week, Greensburg Salem took to the court at Hempfield, where they played in Hempfield’s three-day tournament. They’ll play next on Thursday at home against Southmoreland. Current records for the team (section and overall) can be found on the 2012-2013 WPIAL girls' varsity basketball page at Post-Gazette NOW .
“They got a taste of winning [last season]” said Vertacnik. “I have a group of three seniors who play varsity and they see the postseason as, ‘This is it - last hurrah.’ They come in with the mindset that they want to win the section. The chemistry is better [than last year], the players, know they’re roles, and we’ll be disappointed if we don’t finish in the top two in the section.”