Girls basketball trains for upcoming season

Senior shooting guard announces verbal commitment on social media


Ally Cesarini ’23 shoots basketball as Kennedy Wanless ’24 waits to shoot behind her at practice on oct/ 13 (Davis/LION),

Lillian Davis, Reporter

Unlike other seniors this time of year, Ally Cesarini ‘23 is feeling relieved about her college application process. After receiving many offers from Division III schools as well as a junior college, Cesarini recently committed to Lewis University to play Division II basketball. 

“Everything about Lewis drew me towards it, I really like the coaching staff, the team, and the girls,” Cesarini said. “I’m very excited to go there, I think it’s a good fit for me. My mom played at Lewis so she is definitely very excited about it [too.]”

Cesarini began playing basketball for LT as a freshman on varsity. Kennedy Wanless ‘24 has been playing at LT since her freshman year as well. 

“I’m so happy for [Cesarini], she’s such a great leader and committing to Lewis is such an accomplishment, she should be proud,” Wanless said. 

The girls basketball coaches are also looking forward to seeing Cesarini play for Lewis next year, varsity head coach Meghan Hutchens said. 

“I can’t say enough about Cesarini, she is loved by her teammates and peers,” Hutchens said. “Any coach would love to have her work ethic and demeanor in their program, we are extremely proud of Ally and her basketball accomplishments.” 

Hutchens is starting her fifth year as varsity head coach at LT, as well as her 10th year coaching overall. 

“My favorite part of coaching is seeing our kids grow together as a team and then seeing their individual growth within their skills throughout the year,” Hutchens said. 

This year’s girls basketball team prepared for the upcoming season with intramurals two to three times a week during September and October, then held tryouts on Oct. 31.

“I think our consistency on the court will be our most improved aspect of our game this season,” Hutchens said. “We have such talented players, and now that they are all a year older with a little more experience, that tends to lend itself to more consistency on the court.” 

Every member of the team contributes to improving for the betterment of their team’s success, Hutchens said. 

“I think we’ve been coming off of some really good seasons in the past so we’re trying to keep up our streak of conference champions,” Wanless said. “The goal is to make it past the sectional finals and get farther than last year.” 

This year the team starts two juniors and one sophomore, as well as two possible freshmen who would be the next people off the bench, Cesarini said. 

“I think we can have a really balanced team this year with a lot of kids contributing,” Hutchens said. “We have multiple girls that are threats on the perimeter and inside the paint and also have strength off the bench which will elevate our level of play.”

After a special graduating class of seniors last year, the team is looking to find their new identity this season, Hutchens said. 

“We play for ourselves and more importantly for each other,” Hutchens said. “We are a family like most [sports/clubs] at LT.” 

The first tournament of the season is the LT Thanksgiving Tournament starting Nov. 18.