Lawn girls' hoops squad positive about season
"We had played Martin early in the year and we lost to them, but when we played them the second time, we shot well and played well," Dave Pritchard, head coach, said. "We forced them into playing our game, and it worked in our favor."
The Warriors downed Martin 45-28, for their first win of the season.
By all accounts, the season was a "tough" one for the girls, who were sometimes missing two or three starters a game due to illness.
"We were a young team, and there were quite a few games where we played very tough only to lose," Pritchard explained.
Because the team was larger than in past years, it was sometimes difficult getting the young players the playing time they needed to have game experience, he said. A problem he solved by having the team play a few fivequarter games, a game where both teams and the referee agree to play one extra quarter at the end of regulation play.
Despite the adversity, Pritchard said that he was impressed with the way the team kept a good attitude through everything.
"Even after a few losses they were still singing on the bus on the way home from games. These girls are pretty competitive and I am proud of the way they played," he said.
Kelly Brown and Jessica Brown, both eighth-graders and co-captains, provided the leadership for the team this year.
"They both played strong and they were very good leaders," Pritchard said.
He also noted the contribution of eighth-grader Tori Delmonico.
"She came in when we really needed her and scored, and that was a highlight for her," he said.
Defense was the team's strength, although they struggled on the offensive side of the game.
"We had trouble putting the ball in the net and generating offense," Pritchard pointed out.
Point guard Nicole Perez, a seventh-grader, pointed out that while getting a win was fun for the team they also received satisfaction from a game well-played.
"Thompson was the hardest team in the league last year, and they were again this year," she said. "We played well against them and that was a good feeling."
Lawn does face some tough competition, being the smallest school in their league.
"Five or six years ago, we just played games against teams that we would pick up, like Prout and a few other schools," the coach explained. "But now we are playing in a league and that can sometimes be hard when you are a small school."
Pritchard is not daunted by the season, however because he saw improvement in his girls as the season progressed that will help the team next year.
"I would say the most improved player would be Cara Liberati. She went from a player who had trouble with her shots at the beginning to someone who gave us some good minutes. She had some nice looking shots at the end," Pritchard said.
The season ended for the Warriors with a 45-35 loss against Narragansett in the 2nd season tournament
"They got down, but they never quit. That is what this team is all about, their grittiness, their determination," Pritchard explained. "I am really proud of the fight that they showed."
He hopes that the returning sixth and seventh-graders will come back strong for next year. The key, he says, is for the girls to keep playing the game and learn from this year.
"If they use this season as a springboard, their game will get better," he concluded.