The voice of Lyons Township students for more than 100 years

LION Newspaper

The voice of Lyons Township students for more than 100 years

LION Newspaper

The voice of Lyons Township students for more than 100 years

LION Newspaper

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February 20, 2024

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Girls basketball season begins, team trains for conference

Members push for new goals following last year’s successes
Gwen Smith ‘26 takes a shot at a home game on Nov. 18 against Conant High School.

In the moments before a basketball game, the energy is electric, tangible as it passes between each athlete. Their thoughts race between goals and strategies, the other team and their own.

Yet amongst the players, there is a sense of togetherness, a comradery. No matter what is about to happen, they have each others’ backs. The ball is thrown onto the court and the game begins. 

“I love basketball because you can really get creative, and even though it is a team sport, you have to individually push yourself and put in work on your own to get better,” Ashley Airhart ‘24 said. “[I have] become really close with some people I never expected to become close with. [There have been] times when I hated [basketball] and wanted to quit, but it has taught me perseverance, discipline, commitment, confidence, and the importance of perspective. I’m really grateful I stuck with it because I’ve learned a ton.”

Following an impressive season last year with a 28-5 record, the girls basketball team is beginning another year aiming for continued success, varsity head coach Meghan Hutchens said. After spending the summer and fall practicing and participating in games, and even playing against some of the best teams from surrounding states at Indiana University for their yearly university visit, the team is ready to triumph during the new season. 

“This year, I feel like the group has collectively come together much quicker than in previous years,” Hutchens said. “We’re further along with our plays, our knowledge, our skill and our ability. I’m really excited to see what they will present this season.”

Recently, the rules of high school basketball have been changed in many ways, Airhart said. The way that fouls are reset, the numbers of fouls before bonus, and how bonus shots are done have all been changed. Fouls are reset each quarter, and five fouls in a quarter result in bonus. Players now receive two free throws instead of one-and-one, which decreases injuries from rebounding. Though these rule changes have forced the team to reassess some of their strategy and knowledge of the game overall, they are still in a great spot for the ongoing season. 

“What I love most about basketball is how the game can change so fast,” Nora Ezike ‘25 said. “No matter what, the game is never over, and it’s never too late to win.”

With each new year of a sport, the team dynamic naturally changes with the loss of the graduating players, Kennedy Wanless ‘24 said. However, even just at the beginning of this winter sport, members have been working to establish close relationships with each other both during, and outside of practices. 

“Our success really comes from how close we are and how well we work together,” Wanless said. “This sport has allowed me to make a lot of really close friends. Even [during] my freshman year, when we were going through COVID, I met a lot of new people. Overall, it has brought me together with LT and helped me to be a part of my school.”

This year, the team’s goals include taking first in conference and being seated high for playoffs, Hutchens said. In working towards these achievements, the major theme for the season thus far has been attention to detail– in drills, skills, and games. The team is emphasizing the importance of the smaller details within the sport, along with the bigger picture. 

“The kids that we have on the team now are ready to step into the new roles [left open by graduating players],” she said. “The confidence, drive, and passion from them is remarkable, and I just can’t wait to see what they will do.” 

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Mckinley Huffman, Managing Editor
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