Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Ambridge Figures to Return to 'Normal'

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Ambridge Figures to Return to 'Normal'

Article excerpt

Ambridge Area hit a bump last season in girls' basketball after five consecutive winning playoff campaigns.

The Bridgers (3-1) are striving to get back on a smoother road with five returning starters. Ambridge has three experienced seniors on the roster: 5-foot-4 point guard Kira Rivera, 6-1 forward Amy Gottuso and 5-7 guard/forward Blair Bruce. Gottuso averages 19 points per game. Rivera averages 9 points and five assists.

"Kira Rivera is our floor leader, but Amy Gottuso is definitely our offensive leader," Bridgers coach Lisa Fox said. "She's taken over games and has really come into her own offensively, scoring when we need it. [Rivera's] role on the team isn't really scoring points. If she scores, that's a bonus, but she's really valuable to us with her steals, her assists and general floor play."

Gottuso and 5-3 junior guard Ashley Yaworsky got a late start to the basketball season because they were starters on Ambridge's WPIAL Class AA runner-up volleyball team.

That winning attitude from volleyball has Fox optimistic about the basketball campaign as it unfolds.

"I'm definitely excited about the season and I know the kids are really looking forward to it," Fox said. "It was a long, hard offseason. We've done one thing after another as a team and it's really coming together.

"Last year, we lost a lot of close games with a young team. When it came down to the last couple minutes, we were just looking around, waiting for somebody to step up because we didn't have Kelly Calderone [a 2003 graduate playing at Edinboro] around any more to step up. We had a tough time finding a leader because everybody was so young."

Ambridge has won three of four non-section games prior to its Section 2-AAA opener at home against West Allegheny tomorrow.

The only loss occurred in triple overtime against Ford City in the opening round of the Kittanning tournament. Ambridge lost a 55- 54 heartbreaker that impressed Fox more than her team's one-sided victories against Moniteau, 68-44; Aliqiuppa, 60-27; and Keystone Oaks, 47-35. …

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