The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


January 12, 2014

CORY ISENBERG | Milestone vindicates effort

Berlin Brothersvalley’s Shelby Coughenour knows a thing or two about adversity.

The 5-foot, 11-inch senior basketball forward, who topped 1,000 points for her career in Friday’s WestPAC South clash at Shade, missed the first half of her junior season because of an injury. Because of that setback it took her a little longer to achieve the points milestone and she was happy to go over the top against the Panthers.

Mountaineers coach Rachel Prosser was also excited for Coughenour, who will be attending Clarion University to play volleyball.

“She’s been a starter since she was a freshman and I wouldn’t trade her for the world,” Prosser said after Friday’s game. “She’s got a heart of gold and she’s worked hard every year in the summer to get better.

“Her skill level is top notch and her leadership is fabulous and she works hard both offensively and defensively and she understands the game. She’s been through a lot and she’s overcome a lot and I’m just so proud of her.”

The Mountaineers, who have three other seniors in the starting lineup, Erica Craig, Aleesa Fieg and Gina Trulick, remain unbeaten with a 10-0 mark and with the win over Shade took over sole possession of first in the WestPAC South.

Their biggest wins prior to Friday came against Southern Fulton, North Star and Goretti from Maryland.

“It’s amazing (to still be unbeaten),” Coughenour said. “We four seniors who have been together for like eight years now and we just kind of know where each other are out on the court and we’re playing really well together.”

Berlin, which was challenged by the scrappy Panthers on Friday, has a much easier schedule for the next few weeks until it journeys to Conemaugh Township at the end of the month and then rolls into the toughest portion of its schedule in February with Shade, Conemaugh Valley, Portage and Windber in back-to-back games.

“We have a target on our backs because we’ve had success and people want to beat us,” Prosser said. “I’m just really proud of them for working together and staying together and doing whatever it took to get the job done.”

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