PA, WA underclassmen with AAU teams

June 27th, 2015 1:40 am

First Posted: 3/7/2013

Liz Waleski, Allie Barber, Eastin Ashby and coach Kathy Healey are just a week removed from the high school season and helping Pittston Area to a 1-2 Wyoming Valley Conference Division 1 record and a semi-final appearance in the District 2 AAA topurney.

The next step in their basketball development is right around the corner.

Rock Solid Basketball, an Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) based at the Rock Red Sports Complex in Trucksville, has begun practice. Rock Solid has multiple teams competing in the AAU season, which extends from April to June with the possibility of national competition in July.

There is a strong Pittston influence on the sophomore girls’ team.

Waleski, Barber and Ashby, all starters for the Lady Patriots during the high school season, are part of the team. Ashby is a junior but plays with the team in most cases because it often enters tournaments at higher age group levels.

Rock Solid also gives Ashby a chance to play with her two sisters, Madison and Taryn.

Madison Ashby attends Scranton Prep where she is part of the Lackawanna League Division 1 champion Classics, who have qualified for Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association state tournament in Class AAA.

Taryn Ashby, an eighth-grader at Holy Rosary in Duryea, plays up on the sophomore squad.

The highest-level Rock Solid girls team, which is coached by Healey, has many players who have been together for all five years of the program.

Healey said the program is helpful in continuing to coach the fundamentals that players will carry back to their various high school programs.

“The second reason is to definitely get them college exposure and get them the best competition and playing at the highest level of AAU competition,” Healey said.

There are other local athletes in the girls program.

Sarah Holweg and Kate Wolfgang from Wyoming Area are part of the eighth-grade team that has the second-oldest group of girls players active with Rock Solid.

The fifth-grade team includes Ellie Glatz, Cassidy Orzel, Brianna Pizzano and Nicole Silinskie from Wyoming Area and Annie Bagnall and Samantha Yencha from Wyoming Area Catholic.

Teams were selected following tryouts in January.