February 16, 2019
By: Tom Meikrantz
The head coaches of two of the most successful girls basketball teams this season bring up the same theme when facing adversity in a game and coming out a winner when the final buzzer sounds: resilience. Notre Dame head coach Josh Kopp used that word after falling behind 8-18 to Bangor in the Colonial League semifinals but eventually winning by ten 60-50. His number one scorer Cassie Murphy shrugged off a slow start and scored 10 of her 21 points in the 4th quarter. The Crusaders went through the regular season undefeated at 18-0 . Kopp is the picture of calmness during the span of a game no matter how much his team is winning or losing. As I write this February 15th, Notre Dame now seeks to dethrone 3-time Colonial tournament champion Southern Lehigh Saturday in the title tilt.
Jose Medina used the work resilience recently when his Bethlehem Catholic Golden Hawks led early, let Pleasant Valley overtake them in the 3rd quarter but righted the ship down the stretch to win 56-49 in the EPC quarterfinals. Like Kopp. Medina for the most part doesn’t lose his cool when the game seems to be getting away from his squad. In the first meeting with the Bears, Becahi fell behind 14-2 but responded with a 19-0 run and pulled out a lopsided 67-49 victory. Medina has coached Beca to District titles in 3 of his 4 previous years and the school’s first state championship in 2017.
Both Kopp and Medina are relatively young coaches and are good fits for their respective programs. They also come off as thoughtful, positive and complimentary of the opposition in post-game interviews. Notre Dame and Bethlehem Catholic are in good hands in girls basketball.