DRESDEN, Ohio- March 6 was the last time we saw the Tri-Valley girls basketball team take the floor, but it wasn’t supposed to be.
“I think it left a burning desire in our girls hearts,” Tri-Valley coach Kurt Kaufman said.
With a 45-43 win over top ranked Circleville in the regional finals, Tri-Valley booked its ticket to the state Final Four.
However, like we all know, a global pandemic put the sports world on pause and ended the Lady Scotties season, two games short of a state title.
“Obviously it was a tough ending to last year,” Kaufman said. “Credit goes to our senior class that set that bar.”
Tri-Valley senior guard, Riley Tracy said, “After a season like that, you just want to come back in the gym and keep the momentum going.”
Eight months later, there is a (2019-2020) banner hanging in the gym and this 2020-2021 group is ready to get to work.
“We’re like all close friends so as soon as we got back into the gym its just like another family reunion,” Tracy said. “We all get back into the groove and just pick it up where we left off.”
Kaufman said, “The effort is there. The whole time we were in quarantine we were having zoom workouts and our girls were zooming in and getting their shots. Very excited to see the girls and help them along in their journey and you know that’s what it’s all about.”
Just two seniors on this years team, Tracy and Tailor Dupler, but there’s still a good amount of experience returning for last years team.
Lexi Howe, who led tri-valley in scoring last season as a fresham, is back in the starting line along with Tracy. Juniors Jaine McLoughlin and Anna Krupa will be asked to play bigger roles for Kaufman.
“He’s given us like a lot of summer work,” Tracy said. “Everything we’ve showed up too and we’ve been working hard in the offseason to get us to that spot. We’ve improved our shooting so much this year.”
“Your goal has to be to improve on a daily basics. Get your team better. Get yourself better each and every time you step out on the floor and see where that takes you,” Kaufman said. “Hopefully, you’re playing your best basketball by the end of the season.”
Tri-Valley opens the season on Nov. 24, at home, against Morgan.