Today: May 22, 2024

Women’s basketball preparing for season

Photo courtesy Southernctowls.com
Lauren Allen played in 26 games last season, starting in 18 of them.

PAULA CAPUTOStaff Writer

Despite losing two exceptional starters and gaining two new assistant coaches, the Southern women’s basketball team has no difficulty adjusting to the changes.

“We still have a lot of leadership on the team with seven returners,” said senior guard Lauren Allen. “I feel like that’s a big part in bettering ourselves. We only have two freshmen, so it’s kind of easy for us to all be on the same page.”

Allen said the core of their strength is the experience they have going into this season. They’re knowledgeable and very aware of what needs to be done and what it will take to get them to be where they want to be.

Although losing starters Logan Lentz and Shelley Pierson may seem like an obstacle, Allen said the team feels no pressure in filling in the gap that they left.

“They were a big part of the team, especially Logan, our point guard,” Allen said, “so I think we all have the mindset that yeah, they’re gone, but that just tells everyone that they have to step their game up just as much to fill those shoes.”

According to senior guard Sylvonya Moore, the team is very capable of completing the task.

“There’s definitely no doubt in my mind that anyone on this team can bring a little bit more to the table than what we had last year,” Moore said, “and there’s definitely no doubt in my mind that we can get farther than what we got last year.”

Women’s head coach, Meghan Brown, said the team is losing a big piece with Lentz and Pierson gone, but will just pick it up in other aspects of the game.

“I don’t think you can replace things that you’ve lost; you just find different ways to win,” Brown said. “I think we’re going to have different strengths this year without them. I think defensively we’re going to be very strong.”

The Owls also made a change in their staff and picked up two new assistant coaches this season, Amy Sokaitis and Tina Streff. According to Brown and the team, these two women are going to be a huge asset.

“There seems to be a lot more trust in the program, and my staff works very hard,” Brown said. “They’re a great extension of me and what I try to do within my philosophy. They’re very on task, on board, on top of it.”

Allen said they’re a great addition because it’s a new and refreshing feeling for the team.

“For the past three years, I haven’t had this type of leadership extended from our head coach,” said Allen. “Coach Tina and Coach Amy – they really know what they’re talking about. They really have their hands in the pot. They’re really involved with our team.”

They bring an entirely new energy to the team that can be very beneficial throughout the season said Moore. The practice atmosphere is a lot better now and they help strengthen the team.

“Coach Tina brings her defensive and footwork knowledge to practice every day,” said Moore. “Coach Amy works a little bit more on the offensive end. She helps the guards with ball handling, dribbling and just fixing the little things that we need to help us win and to help us compete at the level that we can.”

Brown said since preseason workouts started in September, the team is looking very focused and determined.

“They have great work ethic and are very committed. They’re getting it done,” Brown said. “They’re working hard; they’re doing work.”

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