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Valley Sports Report
ATHENS — Veteran Athens coach Brian Miller is pleased with his numbers, and excited to be back on the court preparing for the 2022-23 season.

“Our numbers are good. I’m happy with them,” he said. “We had a couple girls decide not to play this year, but that happens.

“We have 15 girls,” noted Miller. Coach (Dan) Lane and I are excited because they’re nice girls, they work hard, and they love the game of basketball. We’re excited to have them and work with them.

“Everyone is excited to back on the floor, and working hard to get ready for the season,” added Miller.

His roster, says Miller, is a nice mix of veterans and youngsters.

“It’s a good even mix — three seniors, three juniors, five sophomores, and four freshman.

“We’re excited about our three seniors — Karlee Bartlow, Emma Bronson, and Natalee Watson,” said Miller. “They are good leaders, good people, they practice hard, play hard, and communicate well. It’s good the younger girls get to see all that.”

Miller said he has a couple freshmen who could earn varsity time this season, but one could get the nod early in the season.

“Abby Burgess may see some varsity time pressuring the basketball,” he said. “She’s very fast and athletic, and we’re not very big this year, so we plan on pressuring the basketball more this year.

“I see her getting more time as the year goes on in that fast-paced tempo,” added Miller.

The Wildcats will open the season against Johnson City at the Johnson City Tip-Off Tournament, which also includes Union Springs and Chenango Valley. They will also play TIoga, Dryden, and Blue Ridge in non-league contests.

“We have a good mix of teams that will force us to play well to compete, and teams where we should be able to build confidence, and work on things for the league,” said Miller.

“I try to balance our non-league schedule every year,” he noted. “If I had one of the best teams in the state, I would try to play some of the best teams in the state, but I balance our schedule based on what we have. I think we did a pretty good job of that this year.”

Athens will scrimmage Tuesday at 5 p.m. at Odessa-Montour.


IN PHOTO 1: Athens coach Brian Miller. … PHOTOS BY TIM BIRNEY.

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