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 At the beginning of the season, the Palmyra girls’ basketball team wasn’t the Palmyra girls’ basketball team. There were departures to be replaced, there were roles to be filled, there were questions to be answered.

 If the Cougars were to realize their full potential, players were going to have to step up and personalities were going to have to be developed.

 No one epitomized Palmyra’s season-long emergence as much as sophomore guard Katelyn Becker.

 On Saturday at Altoona High School, the Cougars’ magnificent November-to-March run concluded in the quarterfinal round of the PIAA Class AAAAA playoffs, with a 48-39 loss to Thomas Jefferson. But Palmyra couldn’t have gotten so far, without contributions like those from Becker.

 Earlier this week, Becker and the Cougars had beaten Wyoming Valley West 42-24, in the second round of the state tournament, at Pottsville’s Martz Hall.

 For her part, Becker, along with fellow underclassmen Jess St. Clair and Zoe Smith, improved dramatically over the course of the year, physically mentally and emotionally. On the floor, Becker’s contributions came in the forms of three-point shooting, supportive scoring and improved defense.

  Moving forward, look for Becker’s role to morph into more of a leadership one.

 – Jeff Falk

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