Hulne: Lyle-Pacelli girls are finding ways to stay competitivePublished 8:04pm Monday, January 27, 2014
The Lyle-Pacelli’s girls basketball team is ranked No. 5 in Class ‘A,’ it is outscoring its opponents 76.8 to 23.3 points per game and it has four players averaging at least 10 points per game.
Despite that, the Athletics are still looking to get even better.
LP has won its first 12 games of the season for its best start in program history, but its head coach Justin Morris does not want his team to get complacent.
“There’s been games where we’re up by thirty at halftime and I’m chewing them out. They kind of give me that look like ‘what am I doing,”” Morris said. “We need to get better and we have to remember there’s an end goal we’re aiming for.”
LP hasn’t head to sweat out any of its wins so far this season and almost all of its games were over by halftime. That could change this Friday when the Athletics host Southland at 7:15 pm. in Lyle. The Rebels (8-6 overall) have won four of their last five games and they love to get out and push the tempo up just like LP does.
“Friday will be a good barometer for us,” Morris said.
LP’s most dangerous weapon is its balance on both sides of the ball. On defense, the Athletics press with a frantic pace and they cause chaos in the back-court. On offense, the Athletics have plenty of scoring options — including 1,000 point career scorers Ann Rysavy, a senior, and Courtney Walter, a sophomore.
Rysavy and Walter are each averaging 15 points per game, eighth grader Brooke Walter is averaging 10 points per game, and sophomore Sarah Holtz is leading the team with 16 points per game.
LP made a big splash last season as it advanced to the Subsection 1A West Division title game and the team spent an much of its summer in the gym to get even better for this season.
“This group is significantly more mature on and off the court,” Morris said. “Courtney has seen a huge growth in her maturity. Year after year she’s become a much more of a complete player.”
After the Athletics found out that there would be no school on Monday, Morris found a way to get his team a good game in. He got the squad together on Saturday and divided the group into a blue team and a white team.
LP responded with intensity and the two squads pushed each other on both ends of the floor. The final score was 36-34.
“We just flat out got after each other,” Morris said. “It was so competitive. I think we made a lot of progress doing that. Practices help us improve more than games.”
LP has high hopes for this season, but it has a lot of work to do before the season ends. The Athletics will play 12 games over the next three weeks before they begins postseason play. LP will host LeRoy-Ostrander in Lyle Tuesday at 7:15 p.m.
Follow Rocky Hulne on twitter @RockyHulneADH.