Varsity basketball looks to overcome last year’s district tourney losses
Although winter sports have yet to begin, basketball is working hard to prepare for the upcoming season.
Varsity boys basketball looks to bounce back after being upset by Thomas Jefferson early in the playoffs last year, and aims to use that loss to finish this season with a better result.
Despite the early exit from the postseason, optimism for the upcoming season is high.
“I think varsity will do pretty well,” sophomore center Ryan Sharifi said. “It will be a bit of a rebuilding year since we lost eight seniors. We should be able to bounce back from the early playoff loss last year, and we should finish high in the district, and hopefully win the district tournament.”
Boys basketball has worked out since the end of last season holding daily open gyms, conditioning workouts and morning practices.
The coaching staff has been preparing as well, with head coach Andrew Duggan entering his third season, and JV head coach Shannon Byrnes and his assistant Evan Millar entering their second season.
Freshmen coaches James Parnham and Daniel Cincinnati will start their second seasons of coaching after replacing Byrnes and Millar.
“I really am looking forward to this season,” Duggan said. “While we lost a lot of kids last year, I do like our kids coming up. Our two seniors, Evan Keys and Junior Ebott, have done a really good job this off-season and are going to play key roles for us. Our younger kids such as Clayton O’Neill and Brandon Kamga have put in a lot of good work and made a lot of improvements. We are looking for those four, who are our captains, to do a lot of good things for us.”
Despite adjustments in the roster, expectations have not changed.
“Our goal is the same no matter what the year is,” Duggan said. “Our goal is still to win the district tournament, and I feel as if we have a good group of kids that can do that for us. It will be tough because Langley and Fairfax are tough teams, but I really like how our team has played over the summer, into the fall, and in the team camp we attended a few weeks ago.
I feel as though we can compete for that district title as we should here at South Lakes.”
On the other side of the court, the varsity girls’ team looks to repeat last year’s season in which they made it all the way to the quarterfinals of the regional tournament.
The girls are confident that the upcoming season will bring much success.
“I think this season is going to be great,” sophomore guard Angie McCarthy said. “There are some roster changes from last year that I think are going to bring a spark to this team and send us far into the playoffs.
Junior guard Caitlin Jensen agrees.
“The varsity season should be good,” Jensen said. “We have a lot of returning players and losing in the district championships is more motivation. I think that we can use that motivation and win districts this year.”
The girls have also prepared during the offseason to ensure that this season will be as successful as the last.
The girls will be led once again by head coach Christy Winters-Scott.