The Cowanesque Valley Lady Indians are coming off a season of transition where they were only able to finish with a 1-16 record, but are looking to turn the corner in year two under Head Coach Frank Nudd.

“Things have gone a whole lot easier this season for sure,” Coach Nudd said. “We have had time to put things together. Last year, it was a rush. I think we came at the beginning of January and then it’s like ‘Hey, you’re playing your first game’.”

This year, the team has had time to build as a group with a complete offseason and will look to capitalize on their chemistry on the court as well as lean on a mix of experienced ball players and some youth as well.

“This year, we got the majority of the core group of girls together in the summer,” Coach Nudd said. “We got to work out some kinks and start building those bonds that these girls are talking about. It’s a whole lot easier getting started now. Heading into the first big practice, we are building that system that we were trying to install on the fly last season.”

The Lady Indians will return just one senior but they return a strong class of juniors and sophomores who saw significant playing time this past season and will be looked to lead the relatively young roster of players.

One player who is expected to take on a major role as a leader on and off the court is Paisley Nudd, who put together a productive season in 2021-2022 despite her team only winning one game.

“I think we worked hard this summer and we had a lot of time in the gym,” Paisley said. “We’ve had some girls come back out for us so the numbers are going to help and I think we can go into the season and play with any team.”

The CV girls played in a lot of tight contests this past season, and in six of their losses were defeated by less than 10 points with one of them coming into overtime.

The Lady Indians were close all season to flipping the script, and with a year of continuity and a full offseason to improve their skills and system, they expect to take some of those losses and turn them into wins this season.

“We are going to walk into every game planning to win,” Paisley said. “We’re going to have a positive outlook and I think, right now, we are all confident. We can work well together and I think we’re going to have a great season.”

Another returning junior expected to make an impact this season is Janna Quick, who thinks the team’s added chemistry built over the past year and this offseason will pay dividends when they take the court in the upcoming season.

“I think we all put in the time and worked hard this summer,” Quick said. We all came in here and grew as a team. I feel like the bond that we have will make us have good chemistry on the court because it’s something that we all have off the court.”

Quick has also made it a point of emphasis to improve her game this offseason and improve her shooting, something the Lady Indians lacked last season and will be important to establish if they hope to succeed this year.

“I tried to push myself and I feel like every single one of these girls have put in the time and effort,” Quick said. “My coaches helped me with my shot and everything and our whole team has improved in that so I feel like that has helped me a lot.”

She also pointed to how improved play on the defensive side of the ball will be a big factor, as they expect to boast some lockdown players this season that will give fits to other teams’ across the Northern Tier League.

“I feel like our sophomores are quick and they are super hardcore defenders,” Quick said. “I feel like they’re going to play a huge role for us on defense.”

With the season slated to begin in just two weeks, the message in the CV gym remains clear, according to Coach Nudd, which is constant improvement and focusing on getting better every day.

“Be better today than you were yesterday and better tomorrow than you are today,” Coach Nudd said. “That’s our motto on and off the court for the girls as people as well as players.”

With a team that feels much more connected and in tune with the system they run this season, expect the Lady Indians to use their mix of young players and veterans to make a sizable improvement in the win-loss column this year as they compete in a relatively wide-open NTL field.

“We can pull off more wins this season,” Quick said. “I have the confidence that we will be able to do that. And I feel like we are going to do that on defense.”

The Indians will kick off their season in their annual Jack Bush Tournament at home on Friday, Dec. 10 against Northern Potter where you can expect to see a much-improved team take the court in the 2021-2022 season.

“I think that this season will be a pleasant turnaround from last year,” Coach Nudd said. “I hope and I think you’re going to see some exciting basketball and hopefully some competitive games this year.”

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