The whistle blows, and girls run up and down the court, as small beads of sweat slide down their faces, striving to finish the drill in time before the buzzer goes off. It’s a different year, but the same drills for warm ups during practice or tryouts. Everything is the same—except a new face has been added to the team.
After going 9-12 during the regular season last winter, the LB Girl’s Varsity Basketball team was assigned new coaches. This season, Tim Lucas has been named the head coach after previously coaching on the boy’s varsity team.
The transition from one team to another is a change in dynamic, but it is the same game in the end. Since Lucas was a coach on the boy’s team in previous years he hasn’t had the opportunity to observe the girl’s team, Lucas said, but this new position changes things.
“My view is that we as a program need to make basketball important,” Lucas said. “Making sure we make the gym available to our prospective players in the offseason, understanding that practice is a valuable time, and that we as staff care very much about the game of basketball and our players.”
Lucas said he loves the game of basketball and enjoys the opportunity of head coaching a team that has good chemistry and plays well together. Regardless of being new at this position, he still has set goals in mind and puts them into action.
“[One goal] for our team to compete everyday in practice,” Lucas said. “If we do that, then it will carry over to the game.”
The team had to go through a transition from one coach to another, attempting to adjust to the different coaching styles before the season started. Regardless of the sudden change, they were able to adjust smoothly due to their early start.
“The transition was easy. Coach Lucas got us to do workouts early in the spring, before our season, so we got used to him before the season,” junior Sydney Miller said. “By the time the season rolled around, we were comfortable with him.”
Offense was another major component of the game that was changed this season. Lucas said the focus for the offense is to share the ball and get it to the inside more often.
“We have switched to a quicker offense with more screens and cuts,” Miller said. “Before we just ran a five out pass and cut offense.”
With the change in offense, improvements had begun to showcase throughout the players after every practice and game as the season has passed.
“We have improved as a team overall because we are growing together; we are pretty much the same team, plus or minus a few, and have really learned to play well with each other,” Miller said. “Also, everyone worked hard in the off season and it really shows.”
Even though the team has had success and changes were implemented, there is always room for improvements throughout the entire team.
“We need to improve every facet of the game,” Lucas said. “Shooting, passing and moving without the ball are examples. There is room for improvement in all things.”
As the season passed, the team now has a winning record both overall and in the conference, which they hope to carry on as the season comes to a close in February.
“The season has gone well,” Lucas said. “There is still a lot work to do and a lot more basketball to be played. Our goal is to play our best basketball in February.”