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Lady Lions look to renew success

By Nick Sobel
Published: December 2009

After a season that included the team’s first postseason win in four years, an eight-game improvement in the win column, and a heartbreaking defeat in a semifinal matchup with Needham High School, the Girls’ Basketball team is locked and loaded for another shot at the title. With standout juniors Kendall Burton, Sophie Bikofsky, and Chloe Rothman returning, the team looks poised to improve on last season’s great success.

With all of these stars, the bar has been raised and the expectations for this year’s team are high. The girls have been working hard during the offseason to improve and have been motivated by the memory of their crushing overtime defeat in last year’s tournament.
“I was definitely disappointed after the end of last year because I knew our team could have done better and we could have made it much farther than we did, Bikofsky said. “The loss and the disappointment have motivated us [a lot] to get better as a team.

“I think that the positive energy and chemistry on our team this year will help us improve. I think that those two things plus hard work and dedication will add up to a more successful season.

Part of the girls’ great success last year, was the hard work and dedication of their second-year head coach, Sam Doner. After stepping in as the new coach prior to last season, Doner implemented a new style of offense which optimized the performance of his offensive players. The style, which he has described as “playing free, involves a loose idea of where players should be on the floor, allowing players the freedom to improvise “on the fly.
“[Playing free] keeps us calm at all times, Bikofsky said. “It’s also easier for us to get in a rhythm when we play our game. This opportunity, coupled with the teams incredible raw talent, creates a high-flying, fast-paced, and prolific offense greatly contributed to last season’s success. After a full year practicing in this previously unfamiliar fashion, the experience this year’s squad has gained is another reason to expect big things from the Girls’ Basketball team.

With a young but talented lineup including many skilled returning players, many of whom were leaders on the team last year, this year’s team is looking to be one of the best teams the Girls’ Basketball program has seen in recent years.

“I think that if we play our game and play to our full potential, Bikofsky said, “we could go as far as we want to.

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