Lady Lancer basketball shoots for their goals in 2019-2020 season

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Photo courtesy of Ashley Rourke

The girls stand in a huddle as they prepare for their game against the Salem Blue Devils.

The Lady Lancers eurostep around their rivals as they head into their 2019-2020 season with high hopes and a fresh mindset. Head coach Nick Theos is ready to positively impact his team on and off the court.

“Our goals for each season are usually the same: maximize the player’s potential,” Theos said. “I don’t like to [have] numbers and wins for [my] goals.”

Another goal he has is to create a stronger team bond and increase communication on the court.

Junior guard Ashley Rourke said communication is important to her as well. She said she is driven to lead the team and accomplish this goal.

“Our team, off the court, bonds really well, but we do have some trouble on the court connecting as a team,” Rourke said.

Theo’s attitude towards coaching has changed over his many years of being a basketball coach. He wants to form bonds with his athletes in hopes to create a well rounded connection with them that will last beyond their years in high school.

“My philosophy used to be all about state championships and winning basketball games,” Theos said, “but over the years I’ve found that those things aren’t what I remember most about past seasons. The relationships that I build with the girls, the growth that I see, and watching them progress later on in life. I realized that it’s those things that I take the most pride in.” 

Forming connections is one of Theo’s main goals, even though forming these connections could improve the team’s performance this is not the most important aspect to him. He wants to lead the girls not only to victory, but to also help them create lasting memories. 

The girls have recognized their strengths and are preparing to improve their weaknesses with the help of their team connections. 

“Our biggest strength going into this season is our outside shooting and ball handling, considering we are a short team,” Rourke said.

Senior guard Katie Sullivan is hopeful that with enough practice and conditioning the team will become even stronger.

“We may be small, but our ability to push the ball quickly up the court will definitely help us through the season,” Sullivan said.

While working towards their goals, the girls also recognize their strengths as they prepare to take on the season head first. Junior point guard Ashley Schmitt is confident that they have what it takes to defeat their rivals.

“Our biggest competition is Bishop Guertin and Pinkerton Academy,” Schmitt said. “Though they are quick and strong, I think we have a shot this year.”

Bishop Guertin has been defending their state championship title since 2016. The girls are ambitious and ready to take on this tough competition.

“BG has always been the best team in the state, so defeating last year’s state champion would be a dream,” Sullivan said.

The team is filled with confidence that this season will be a huge step up from last year. Their motivation and goals will drive them into the season with huge strides.

“I’m really excited for the season to start,” Rourke said. “We will do really well if we work together and all have the same mindset.”

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