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Preview Of Hopewell High School Girls Basketball Playoff Matchup Tomorrow Against Greensburg Salem

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The ‘Second Season’ starts tomorrow night for the Hopewell High School Girls Basketball program.

Tuesday evening, the Lady Vikings will travel to Greensburg Salem (15-7/7-5) for a WPIAL 1st Round Playoff matchup. Hopewell enters the playoffs as the 9th seed after taking the 2023-24 regular season with an overall record of 11-11 and 5-5 in conference.

HSN spoke this afternoon with Hopewell head coach Homziak about the matchup and it was very clear what the biggest obstacle facing them tomorrow evening was.

“We scrimmaged on Wednesday with South Side and Mohawk, which was good for us because both teams have some size and we’re going to face a team that has a lot of size on Tuesday night,” said Homziak. “It was good for our girls defensively to work against those teams. We had those teams’ kind of run what Greensburg Salem does, as they definitely look to go outside to inside. One of their post players is going to a division II program next year and they look to go to her first and then look to work it back inside to outside. The scrimmage was good, it kept our kids focused and we’ve also done a lot of drill and skill work the last couple of days.”

Twice this season, Hopewell has gone up against 6’4 sophomore Oumou Thiero from Quaker Valley. I asked Homziak was that a good test for what they’ll be facing against Greensburg Salem.

“Obviously, Thiero is a unique individual with where her skill is starting to get to along with her size,” said Homziak. “But Greensburg Salem pretty much goes 6’1″, 6-0″, 5’10”, with a 5’11” girls coming off the bench. So, across the board, they’re just bigger. Skill wise, like I said, the one girl is going D-2 and has skill. Not Thiero skill handling the ball, but she can shoot the ball, can shoot the three and then goes inside to post up. The other players are mainly around the bucket. That’s where we’re going to have to do a really good job of trying to box them out and limiting the amount of second chance opportunities that they can get.”

As Coach Homziak just mentioned, rebounding and defensive work in the paint is going to be a huge factor as to whether the Vikings can leave Greensburg Salem with a win.

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“It’s going to be a team effort. It’s going to take all five and we can’t just expect one person to get the job done. Especially on the defensive side, everyone has to rebound, everyone has to try and check out a girl from getting to the bucket. Sometimes we’re going to have to be good in doubling down in order to make the girl pass it off to someone else. When we were really successful in the middle part of the season, the energy was there on both sides of the ball. There was an unselfish theme throughout the team, and it didn’t matter who took the shots and those kids were able to knock them down. If we can do that on Tuesday, we’ll have a good chance to advance.”

Being able to advance in the playoffs was a goal that Hopewell set at the set of this season. Last season, the Vikings made the playoffs but lost in the first round to Knoch. With a roster comprised of just one senior, being able to pick up a playoff win on Tuesday is something that can be important for this program as they’ll be returning a talented roster next season.

“Last year, we qualified for the playoffs and our goal this year was not only to qualify but to be able to win a playoff game,” said Homziak. “Being so young, getting that first playoff win, even back in the early 2000’s. Those kids never had the experience of winning in the playoffs. Winning that first one is so important and lets these girls know what to expect and what it feels like. As we go forward with this group, if we’re able to get that first one tomorrow night, it can open up a lot of doors moving forward.”

HSN wants to wish Coach Homziak and his team the best of luck tomorrow night. Tipoff from Greensburg Salem High School is set for 7 PM.

Go Vikings!

 

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