Lady Vikings seek to defend Class AA title
Valley Central’s girls basketball team won the Section IX, Class AA crown last season when they beat Pine Bush for the title at SUNY New Paltz nearly nine months ago.
The Lady Vikings open the 2012/13 season Friday when they host the 13th annual Corinne Feller Memorial Basketball Tournament with Pine Bush, Newburgh and Wallkill this weekend.
They won the tournament last year when they beat Wallkill before going on the road to beat M-W and Kingston in the postseason in the quarter and semifinals before their meeting in the final against Pine Bush with the help of Maggie Cocks, Caitlin Weiner, Alyssa Leahy and Hailey Anthony.
“They won it as a team,” said Tim Faulkner, Valley Central’s coach.
Haliann Fitzgerald, a senior guard, returns to help the Lady Vikings to defend their sectional title after averaging about 12 points a game last year when she led the team in scoring.
“She’s a senior,” said Faulkner. “It’s sad to say because I hate to see her go.”
Helping Fitzgerald will be Dorothy Tighe, whose rebounding helped the Lady Vikings in the postseason last year. Paige Van Pelt, a senior forward, returns to help the team’s inside game with Chelsea Crawford.
The tall Crawford had a blossoming career with Valley Central as a freshman, but a knee injury sidelined her during her sophomore and junior seasons. Now Faulkner is finally glad she can help the team.
“This has been the plan since her freshman year,” he said. “We’re excited to have her back.”
By Bond Brungard