LIMA – Five returning starters, balanced scoring and a freshman who has been one of the team’s leading scoring early in the season could produce a very successful season for Lima Central Catholic’s girls basketball team.
The Northwest Conference has left LCC, but the Thunderbirds have 2013 first-team all-Northwest Conference guard Meredith Shepherd back this season. The 5-foot, 3-inch senior averaged 14.5 points and 8.5 rebounds a game as a junior.
Sydney Santaguida, a 5-3 junior guard, was honorable mention all-NWC last season. Sydney Mohler (5-7, senior), Liz Kidd (5-5 senior) and Kayla Verhoff (5-6, junior) also started.
In the early going this season, Shepherd is averaging 19 points a game and 5-7 freshman guard Madison Stolly is averaging 18 points a game. But through the first five games, five different players had scored in double figures.
LCC won 11 games last season and lost in the sectional finals, but it is already close to halfway to that total five games into the season after a 5-0 start.
That success comes from more than just offense, though.
“We play defense very well. We are hardnosed and aggressive on the defensive end,” fourth-year LCC coach Katie Krieg said. “We hope to wear teams down with our endurance and speed. We return a lot of experience and discipline.”
LCC hopes to bring its halfcourt offense up to the level of its transition game. Getting out and running with the ball is one of the Thunderbirds strengths on offense.
“We hope to wear our opponents down on both ends of the floor. Our aggressive defense will hopefully give other teams a hard time, giving us control of the game,” Krieg said.
“Our focus this season will be on our transition and halfcourt offenses. We are returning all our starters from last season and have a great freshman class coming in, so we are hoping to be able to have more girls in our rotation this year, helping us to run and gun.”
LIMA CENTRAL CATHOLIC
Coach: Katie Krieg
Years, Record at School: Four, 28-40
Letter winners: Meredith Shepherd (5-3, Sr., G), Sydney Mohler (5-7, Sr., G), Liz Kidd (5-5, Sr., G), Sydney Santaguida (5-3, Jr., G), Kayla Verhoff (5-6, Jr., F)
Top Newcomers: Natalie Snider (5-8, Soph., G), Madison Stolly (5-7, Fr., G), Samantha Koenig (5-6, Fr., G)
Season Outlook: LCC will blend experience with some outstanding younger talent and aim for a postseason run, with no league title to play for this season.