The Lyons Township High School girls basketball team provided an exciting glimpse of its potential when the Lions reeled off nine wins a row last season. With eight returning players from last year’s 18-10 squad, coach Paul Krick believes the Lions are well-positioned to contend for the West Suburban Conference Silver Division title.
“We’re in a good spot to challenge for conference this year,” Krick said. “We understand what it takes in terms of teamwork and hard work and playing for each other. With our depth and experience, it should be a very exciting year.
“We were young last year. This year, we’re still young but with so many returning players we’re definitelyly more experienced.”
Seniors Victoria Swift and Gaby Galassini will lead the Lions this season.
“[Swift and Galassini] have been playing since they were freshmen so that have great experience,” Krick said. “They will definitely step up and they have great leadership. We’re really looking forward to having the experience of the returning players overall helping out our younger players.”
Senior center Hope Miller, senior guards Marisa Kopping, Katie Lively, Megan Hickey along with junior guard Nina Scaramella also return this season
Varsity newcomers, sophomore Claire Purcell and freshman Sidney Bugaieski, are also expected to contribute for the Lions.
“Claire and Sidney are going to be our young guns,” Krick said. “They’ll definitely see some playing time.”
Entering his second year coaching the Lions, Krick likes the makeup of his roster.
“Our strengths are definitely going to be experience and depth,” he said. “We have a nice balance between our guard play and our inside presence. We can play up-tempo, we can slow it down, and we can go inside or outside. It comes down to conditioning, work ethic and experience.
“The girls that come in after playing travel and AAU basketball have come in really prepared this year. That will go a long way.”
The race for the West Suburban Conference Silver Division title should be wide open this year. Downers Grove North, York, Hinsdale Central and LTHS could all contend. Oak Park and River Forest, which was ravaged by injuries, is another dangerous team coming off a 30-plus win summer.
“When you play a member of your conference, you really can’t take a night off,” Krick said. “There are no cupcake teams.”