STRATTANVILLE — After suffering through a 1-21 season in his first year back of a second stint as the Clarion-Limestone Lady Lions basketball coach, Gus Simpson is hopeful that having a good summer turnout translates into a few more wins.
“This was the best summer turnout I’ve had as a coach at C-L,” said Simpson. “We consistently had 12 girls coming to those. I think we’re going to be much improved on the floor although our basketball IQ needs to improve some, but overall I think we’ve come a long way so we’ll see what happens.”
The Lady Lions, who open Friday against the hosts at the Brookville Tip-Off Tournament, do return several players who saw significant playing time last season. Senior Morgan Clark (6.4 ppg.) and junior Madison Craig (6.4 ppg.) are the top two scorers returning.
Juniors Ashley Daugherty, Anna Burns, Emma Smith, and sophomores Abby Simpson, Sarah Acree and Josie Gaetano all saw time on the floor last season. Senior Jess Ball and junior Brianna Sarvey also return.
“I don’t have a set starting five, but I think I can go with five out of seven girls to start on any given night depending on our matchups,” said Simpson. “Madi Craig, Morgan Clark, Jess Ball, Ashley Daugherty and Abby Simpson all saw a good bit of playing time last season.”
New to the team this season are juniors Elizabeth Gruver and Abby Carl, and freshmen Sydney Simpson, Anna Kennemuth, Janelle Pezzuti and and Monica Heath.
“I think our hustle is better than last season and that would probably be our biggest strength so far,” said Simpson. “We want to go out and compete every night and work hard possession by possession.
“I don’t know if I have a true leader on the team as it’s pretty much been a leader by committee as several girls have stepped in to take a vocal role so far,” continued Simpson.
Simpson wants to keep the team goals as simple as possible. “We want to go out and try and win as many quarters as we can. Games can be won and lost if you have that one really bad quarter. If we can string enough winning quarters together than that will translate into winning a few more games. We’re still learning and we’re still growing.”
Seniors: Morgan Clark, Jess Ball.
Juniors: Madi Craig, Anna Burns, Ashley Daugherty, Emma Smith, Elizabeth Gruver, Brianna Sarvey, Abby Carl.
Sophomores: Josie Gaetano, Abby Simpson, Sarah Acree
Freshmen: Sydney Simpson, Anna Kennemuth, Janelle Pezzuti, Monica Heath.
8-9-at Brookville Tip-Off Tournament
15-at Forest Area (Marienville)
27-28-at Redbank Valley Tourna3ment
6-St. Marys, 4 p.m.
24-at A-C Valley
2-at North Clarion
— Home games begin with JV at 6:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted and away games start with JV at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted.