Girls aiming to get better
Summer is a usually a break from school for most students, but for Dwight Repsher and the Whitehall girls basketball team, the summer gives the players an opportunity to gain some experience while they look to carve out their own space as they head into the new school year.
Repsher is now a seasoned vet as the leader of their summer program. He’s guided them the last four summers as the girls have competed in about 25 games through the four different leagues and tournaments since his arrival. He’s realized that the summer offers everyone some valuable playing time that can improve their skills.
“Everybody gets good chances to play and get better,” said Repsher. “It sets the stage for going into the season.”
Since he’ll be entering his fifth season, all the players know what to expect. Senior-to-be Alix Buskirk has been in the offense since her freshman season. Repsher has tailored his offense to reflect the talent he has, preferring to run a more perimeter-dominated game to take advantage of his outside shooters like Buskirk.
Even though they struggled at times last season, he felt they were in almost every game and ran the offense well.
He said that was reflected in their February 6 loss to Easton who went on to defeat Nazareth for the district title. They were leading by four points in the second half, but couldn’t hold on, eventually losing by six to the Red Rovers. They were running their perimeter offense and making shots, something that they continued to do during the summer.
While they fished the summer at 14-10, Repsher was more focused on his players’ participation. He said that he had an abundance of players at almost every league and tourney they played in this summer. He also liked their involvement in their open gyms this summer, another encouraging sign.
“I was really happy with the turnout,” said Repsher.
This summer they played in the Allentown Central Catholic summer league, the Patti Heffner Summer Classic at Parkland, the Cedar Beach Basketball Showcase (formally the Stellar Construction Catch A Rising Star tournament), and SportsFest.
Repsher said that they had their best showing at the Patti Heffner Classic where they made it to the playoffs before being ousted by Easton. Repsher said that they lost by just a point to the defending D-11 champs.
This summer was a chance to play a variety of lineups. Sometimes they went big with Grace Clary and Ariana Hines, while other times they stayed small and played from the perimeter.
Repsher said that at times they played really well, and at other times they struggled a bit, especially against Dunmore at SportsFest. Still, he was pleased with how his team played through June and July.
“I’m encouraged going into the season,” said Repsher. “I think we accomplished what we needed to accomplish.”
Moreover, he said that the girls are excited and that really bodes well for the upcoming season.