Get our newsletters

Girls basketball: Palisades beats Saucon Valley


Palisades’ girls’ basketball team had an optimistic outlook, returning some key players from a team that just missed the district playoffs last season despite having seven girls on the roster.

In the early going, the Pirates rediscovered some leftover chemistry, as they went 3-3 through their first six games under new head coach Gregg Dietz.

Yet, their recent 63-34 victory over Saucon Valley snapped a five-game losing streak that was given rise to mainly by unforced errors.

“Getting a win was big and gave us some confidence,” said Dietz. “We have been doing some good things, but we have too many mental mistakes. We just haven’t been able to get any continuity lately.

“We didn’t have a holiday tournament and were off for 13 days. That’s too much time away from playing. We had kids sick and kids away for the holiday. Our JV team isn’t ready to challenge the varsity yet.”

The Pirates have been led by returning leading scorer 6-foot-1 junior center Trinity Williams, who has teamed with fellow junior Sydney Odle to form a formidable duo down low.

Dietz certainly has high expectations for both.

“I have coached a long time and have had girls play at the next level and in the pros,” said Dietz. “Trinity has the drive and the work ethic to get there. We have been pleasantly surprised of what we have seen from her. She has been working through double-teams, and she’ll continue to get better.

“Trinity is a dynamic three-sport athlete who has room to grow.

“Odle had one of her bet games against Saucon Valley. Defensively, she is a maniac out there. She is a pure athlete and works hard for everything she gets.”

Williams believes Dietz’s new system can flourish for her and her teammates.

“I definitely think this has been a growing season for me as well as the team,” she said. “Making sure my teammates, coaching staff and I are all on the same page has taken some adjusting. Being double-teamed was something that I had expected to experience again. When I was a sophomore, it really frustrated me, but I have worked to strengthen my mental toughness and fight through he challenges.

“I have come to realize that my job on the team is not only base on points, but also executing the other things like rebounding, being vocal, and playing tough defense.”

Along with Williams and Odle, Dietz is looking for contributions from point guard Olivia Marton and guards/forwards Alayna and Libby Stiansen.

“Olivia Marton has played the point before, and she knows what she has to do to help us be successful,” said Dietz. “Alayana and Libby both have had good seasons, and they realize they have to step up their game.”

With a 4-8 overall record to begin the week, Palisades faces a challenging two weeks ahead to secure a district playoff berth. But Dietz remains optimistic they can find their identity and tighten their play.

“We’re great practice shooters,” he stated. “We have to execute better offensively and play better defense. We need to work on our strengths and keep pushing along to reach some of our goals.

“When we execute the way we are supposed to, we are a very hard team to stop,” added Williams.

Join our readers whose generous donations are making it possible for you to read our news coverage. Help keep local journalism alive and our community strong. Donate today.