The secret to Sayre's success: Post players play a big role for Redskins
In sports, it's often the people who put up the biggest numbers who get the most attention.
That is especially true in basketball where nearly every story lists the top scorers in the game.
Those who don't score a ton often don't receive a lot of attention.
For the Sayre Redskins the offense is often controlled by a trio of talented guards in Mollie Robinson, Elyse Skerpon and Kelly Villanti.
They are all capable of putting up 20 or more in a game and the offense takes advantage of their shooting abilities.
With the guards doing a majority of the scoring, there isn't often a ton of attention given to post players Kelsey Young and Adrienne Malorzo and Paige Wampole when she comes off the bench.
Like any other player there are times when it can be hard not taking all the shots and getting all the recognition, but Sayre's imposing post players put all their focus on other aspects of the game.
"It can be frustrating some times when you don't get the ball in the game," Malorzo said. "But, we just work on rebounding the ball and playing defense."
One of the challenges is sometimes not getting a lot of scoring chances, but being prepared for the games in which the Redskins do go inside more.
"Coach always tells us to always be ready," Young said. "You never know when you are going to get it and we have to be ready."
While they may not rank among the league scoring leaders.
They may not score 30 in a game or be the focal point of the offense.
Young, Malorzo and Wampole all know they play a huge role for the Redskins.
On Tuesday the Redskins handed Athens their first league loss of the season to move themselves into a three-way tie for the NTL East lead.
It wasn't a dominant offensive game by the Redskins, instead it was the defense that was key, holding the Wildcats to 19 points.
For Sayre's post players it was special being able to limit an Athens team that includes one of the league's top scorers, Christin Dunkling, inside.
"I tell myself before the Athens game, Christin Dunkling is not going to score," Malorzo said.
"We work really hard on defense," Young added.
The one challenge for both Malorzo and Young is that all of last year they had little depth inside, forcing them to stay out of foul trouble so they could play a lot of minutes every game.
"We have to play smart," Young said.
Now the two have some help with Wampole inside.
Just a freshman Wampole is learning as this season goes on.
"I just have to get used to it, it's different," Wampole said. "I have to get used to playing with new people."
Wampole has gotten a lot of advice from Malorzo and Young, the two senior post players.
"I have learned a lot from them," Wampole said. "Aidrienne is really good at boxing out and Kelsey is a really good rebounder."
Having an extra person to help out inside is a big help for the two upperclassmen.
"It's awesome," Young said. "Especially with Paige; she has so much potential. She really helps the team. Last year we didn't have a lot of depth there."
Malorzo knows that Wampole is capable of being a great player in her career.
"If she keeps improving she is going to be really good her senior year," Malorzo said.
Joining an established team that has all five starters returning can be tough, but Wampole thinks the adjustment hasn't been bad.
"I am close with the other girls, they all welcomed me," she said.
One of the other challenges for Sayre's post players is that they are not the biggest players in the league.
They have seen teams with multiple players over six feet tall so they know they have to make sure to not let size be an issue.
"We have got to think big and play big," Malorzo said.
A year ago the Redskins were a young team. They had watched a talented group of seniors graduate and many didn't know exactly what to expect from Sayre.
However, they had a strong year, making it to a one-game playoff for the NTL East title, before falling to Wyalusing.
This year they returned all five starters and their expectations are higher this year.
"Last year no one expected us to get as far as we did," Young said. "This year we definitely expect a lot. As long as we play as well as we are capable of, I think we can reach our goals."
While Wampole has three more years in her career, Young and Malorzo know this is their last season and they want to make the most of it.
"I want to go as hard as I can every game," Malorzo said. "I will not be here next year, I know this is it."
And, the Redskins hope to compete for the league title this year, they hope to do well in districts and have a chance to get to states.
For districts this year the Redskins dropped down to Class A, putting them in a bracket with schools more their own size.
While that can be a good thing, it also can be a bit of a challenge.
"We don't know what to expect, we don't know all those teams as well," Young said.
Right from the time this year started Wampole heard from the seniors that there were big expectations this year and she knows the seniors want to go out on a high note.
"They showed that from the first practice," Wampole said.