Experience abounds for Lady Lions

Basketball season is getting underway for the Lady Lions.

The team is in a good position to start the season, with nine of the 14 members returning from last year’s varsity squad. All of the returning players have been playing together at the varsity level for at least two years.

Senior Alexis Miller brings the most experience to the team, having played varsity basketball since her freshman year. She scored all-district and all-region honors for the 2018-19 season and has been a leader on the team over the last two seasons.

Miller is joined on the team by two fellow seniors, Anna Filipkowski and Danielle Walton each with three years of varsity experience. The Lions also return six juniors this season: Alexis Chapman, Taylor Fifer, Sydney Perkins, Elizabeth Rosson, Julia Smith and Lydia Wilson. 

“Coming in with our team that we’ve had for multiple years now, we’ve all learned our strengths and our weaknesses [and] it just gives us a huge advantage for the season,” Miller said.

Head coach Nick Schreck is excited for the level of experience he’s got coming back this season.

“It’s a blessing,” he said. “Something we’ve been missing the last few years is an extended bench.”

That varsity experience is augmented this season with five players who are moving up from last year’s undefeated junior varsity squad. Sophomores Kyla Banks, Emion Byers and Shakiya Jones saw some playing time at the varsity level toward the end of last season, while freshmen Olivia McGhee and Haley Walker are new to the varsity level altogether.

“We have all the pieces we need,” Schreck said. “It’s just a matter of, can we put it together and be consistent night in and night out.”

All five new members are players that Schreck says bring both depth and athleticism to the team, and that’s something he plans to take full advantage of.

“You’re going to see us do a bit of a different style this year,” he said. “We’re able to get out and run a little bit more, to get out and press a bit more because that’s what they know.”

The players have been working hard in the off-season to prepare for the 2019-20 schedule. McGhee, for one, is pleased to see how both the returning and new players have come together so far.

“Everybody’s working well together and everyone has something of their own to add to the team,” she said.

The Lions open their season with a pair of home games, hosting the Caroline Cavaliers on Dec. 3 and the Patrick Henry Patriots on Dec. 6. 

“People need to come out and watch this team,” Schreck said. “It’s going to be an exciting style of basketball. These girls have been working hard and they need the support.”

Varsity action tips off at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 3 and at 6 p.m. on Dec. 6.