With the official opening of practice scheduled for October 1st, Lackawanna's women's basketball coach, Joya Whittington, is anxious to get her team on the court. She is upbeat about this year's players and is looking forward to the November 1st opening game at Luzerne County Community College.
In discussing her squad, Whittington said, "I am very excited about this upcoming season. We have 3 returners who bring experience and leadership to a large group of newcomers. We have 9 freshmen and 2 transfers. Included in that group I have some local talent who will give us quality playing time. Those ladies are Freshmen Ariana Sanders, a Western Wayne alumnus, and Sophomores Lindsey Dippre a Holy Cross grad and Scranton graduate Mackenzie McAndrew"
In referring to her third returner, Alex Jackson, Whittington stated, "I expect her to have a breakout season. This is her season to showcase herself for the next level and we are going to do everything we can to make sure that happens. The offense will be run through her and she will get as many touches as possible."
In analyzing the remainder of the players on her roster, Whittington added, "We have some height and strength in the 4/5 position. Jasmine Williams has the capability to dominant the paint with her ability to play with her back to the basket basketball. Deja McKinney is young and raw but with more repetitions and experience she can develop into a solid player for us in the 4 position. Our freshmen guards bring speed and hard work. Teammates Teaira Hartley, Kiana Smalls and Rona Robinson (from East Stroudsburg North) have that grind it out toughness while Paris Thompson and Laquana Nagbe bring power and speed to our transition game."
Whittington concluded her analysis of her team by saying "Ciani Ballard, Quieterriua Gross and Brittany Roberts bring life experience and maturity that is invaluable to such a young group." She added, "If this group keeps the work ethic and intensity they've shown in our conditioning and, if they get it done in the class room, we could develop into a very competitive squad in a very tough league.