Expectations remain high for Lady Renegades
By John Conley email@example.com
As the 2013-14 season opens, the Westside Lady Renegades are back in a familiar place: No. 1.
WHS, which returns four starters from last year’s AA runners-up, is the pre-season No. 1 in the AP poll. And that’s how coach Jamie Lusk likes it.
“Being preseason No. 1 is an honor each and every time we are put there,” Lusk commented. “It’s something these girls have worked hard to achieve. It just goes to show the respect we have earned the last few years. “Now the hard part is staying there and finishing there. Polls do not count for anything if you don’t back it up and play like you are No. 1,” he added. “The end of February and the beginning of March are the games that matter the most and being ranked No. 1 helps with seeding and the girls know that each game we play is a battle for that No. 1 seed in the sectional, regional, and states,” said Lusk.
Losing in the finals last season after winning the title in 2012 “lit a fire in these girls to get to the last Saturday,” the coach stated. “They want to make it back and show that they can play better in big games.”
A veteran line up will give the Lady Renegades a good chance to do just that. “The top 9 girls have played a lot of basketball together,” Lusk observed. “They know what I expect from them and they know what to expect from each team we face.”
All-stater Hope Lester, a 6-1 junior, “is a great player and has become more vocal as a leader this year,” said Lusk.
Lester will score her 1,000th point some time this season. “She can score from anywhere and her three-point shot had added to an already powerful inside game,” the coach remarked. ” She is looking to drive to the basket more and that makes her even more dangerous.”
Senior Danielle Brown, a second team all-stater last season, “is a great shooter and has some of the quickest hands on defense that I have ever coached,” said Lusk.
Senior guard Faith Davis, special honorabe mention all-state, is usally assigned to guard the opponent’s best player. “She can shoot the three and is our best slasher to the basket,” stated Lusk.
Senior forward Megan Endicott was honorable mention all-state last season. The coach calls her a a good defender “with great post moves and can score with either hand. She works extremely hard every day.”
Senior Hope Davis “is quick and runs the floor well,” Lusk noted. “She is a good shooter and very aggressive.”
Mackenzie Endicott, a 6-0 senior, is healthy after suffering an injury last year. “She is strong and a great rebounder,” the coach commented. “She blocks a lot of shots.”
Junior Stephanie Brown plays the point. “She runs the offense smoothly and handles the ball very well,” said Lusk. “She is very unselfish, but we want her to look to shoot more.”
The coach calls senior Kristen Hash “the hardest worker on the team” and “can score from about anywhere.”
Lusk wants senior Lakyn Walker to shoot the ball any time she can. “We have full confidence she will make it,” he noted.
Kianna Lester, a 6-2 junior, can play the post and “really improved this summer.”
Sophomore Ashton Lester and Kaitlyn Smith will add depth to the club.
A tough schedule which includes Summers County, PikeView, Wyoming East and the Big Atlantic Classic will leave his team “battle tested,” Lusk says.
“Staying hungry” is the coach’s recipe for success this season. “We have to stay hungry and stay focused and most importantly, stay healthy,” he remarked.
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