Rebuilding a program is a big task.
And so it is for the Palisades girls basketball team.
But they remain undaunted despite the challenges.
“We’ve had our ups and downs,” Palisades senior point guard/shooting guard Ashley Amato said. “Teams beat us by a lot but it’s never difficult to get right back on the court. I’m excited to be here, excited to work hard to be a better player.”
The Lady Pirates fell to Colonial League foe Northwestern Lehigh, 45-6, in a Saturday matinee at home.
“These games are a little tough to take,” said Palisades junior center Cora Anderson, who is also the first singles player on the tennis team. “Last year we also had a similar frustrating season so we’re just trying to keep moving forward as best we can.
“We’re working on fundamentals and we’re clicking as a team. I think if we all keep working together, one of these days, it will all fall into place. We’re halfway through the season, so I hope that we can pick it up and get a couple of wins this year. I really enjoy playing with these girls so the season is never a chore for me but I do think it would be nice to get some wins.”
Anderson netted two points in the game. Juniors Kaylei Gruver and Bri Hunter also picked up two points each for Palisades.
“We have a couple of seniors, a bunch of juniors, some incoming freshmen and a couple of sophomores so this team is mostly juniors,” said Chesney Mosher, a junior point guard. “I really see a lot of potential with this group. We’re still working on things, we’re still working on bonding together, so communication-wise on the court we’re still getting things together, but it’s starting to click.
“I’m already seeing a lot of progress and I think by the end of the year I’ll see a lot more. We’re going to start re-playing teams that we’ve already played and I’m excited for that. I think we’ll do better the second time around.”
Mosher also plays tennis and softball for the Pirates.
Amato, who also plays field hockey and is the catcher for the Palisades softball team, is one of only two seniors on the squad.
“It hasn’t really hit me that this is my last year of basketball but I know that it is so I’m trying to have as much fun as possible,” she said. “I definitely think I’m leaving the team in a better place than where it was when I started. I think it will be fun to come back next year and visit and see what improvements they make.”
The Pirates have a new head coach in Karlee Krchnavi, their all-time leading scorer with 1,652 points. She returns to her alma mater after playing at Division I Binghamton.
“I know they get frustrated with themselves,” Krchnavi said of her players. “But they also understand that it is a work in progress. We are working every day in practice and we’re getting better and better and it’s just a matter of translating that into a game.
“Northwestern is a great opponent. We knew coming into the game it was going to be a tough matchup, and it was, but we learned from it.
“It’s a matter of learning to do the little things, to do the fundamentals. Those are the things that we really pride ourselves on because that’s what’s going to make the difference. Taking care of the ball, boxing out, handling the ball, simple things but important things.”
She is delighted to be the head coach of the team she once played for.
“It’s extremely exciting and very rewarding to be back coaching here,” she said. “It’s hard to put into words my feelings on what it is to coach these girls. I want to do give them everything possible; all the knowledge I have.
“I’ve been through the program, and I want to change the culture here. We have talented players and it’s just a matter of getting everything to work together and getting the puzzle pieces to fit. It’s awesome to be back here and I’m happy that I can share what I have learned with them.”
Palisades returns to Colonial League play on Thursday, traveling to Salisbury for a 6:45 p.m. contest.