Coming off an 11-16 record and swift regional quarterfinal exit from the state playoffs in 2017-18, the Lyons Township High School boys basketball team is focused on both better play and results this season. The Lions return five seniors, who all saw playing time last year, to stabilize the lineup with plenty of experience.
Senior guards Tyrese Shines, Nolan Niego and Josh Berry headline a deep and versatile backcourt. Grant Niego and Michael Niedermeyer are varsity newcomers slated to back up Shines, Nolan Niego and Berry.
Shines is one of the best players in the West Suburban Conference Silver Division with Niego not far behind. Berry can pass, shoot and defend well.
Matt Sloyan and Jack Bloedorn are returning 6-foot-4 senior forwards set to provide an interior presence. Three more senior forwards in Will Bryant, Nate Vedok and Graham Sands are expected to contribute as well.
The rest of the roster includes Josh Heath, Bradley De Boer, Ben Engels, Anthony Georgelos, Stefan Vasic, Michael Shay and Evan Gardner.
With Oak Park and Downers Grove North pegged as the West Suburban Conference Silver Division favorites, LTHS hopes to methodically work its way up the standings.
In addition to conference games, the Lions will play in several tournaments including their own Thanksgiving tourney, the Jack Tosh Holiday Classic at York over Christmas break, and the Rocket MLK Classic at Burlington Central.
Hutchens in as new girls coach
After five years coaching in the LTHS girls program, Meghan Hutchens takes center stage this winter as the new varsity head coach. She replaces Paul Krick, who stepped down last spring.
The Lions went 18-10 overall, 8-4 in conference and advanced to a regional championship game last season.
“The girls have been working extremely hard to improve their level of game play and basketball IQ,” Hutchens said. “We want to play under control and but also push the tempo this season.”
Junior guard Lily Courier, versatile senior Jessie Nutter and senior post player Kelly Carlson are terrific players.
“Lily’s game is vast,” Hutchens said. “She has established herself as a force on the offensive and defensive end. Jessie is a smart basketball player that brings length, calmness, and the ability to rebound the basketball. She will be an inside presence as well as a perimeter shooter.
Carlson, according to Hutchens will be the Lions’ inside presence.
“She brings a voice to the floor and creates many opportunities for others and herself because of her constant movement,” Hutchens said.
Keep an eye on sophomore combo guard Lindsey Hahn as well. She has point guard skills and a good jump shot.
“Our team is full of kids that just want to work hard and improve their game,” Hutchens said. “They are all great kids on and off the court working diligently in the classroom and community.”