Lakeside High School might not have the tallest girls on the basketball court this winter, but the Panthers are going to try to be among the best conditioned.
They devote 45 minutes to conditioning twice each week before practice. They run speed and dribbling drills at practice. And afterward, they run based on how well they shoot free throws.
"Our workouts have been more intense this year," senior Kathleen Early said. "It allows us to play intense basketball the entire game."
Lakeside ran away with a 60-29 win against Aquinas on Nov. 19. The Panthers used a half-court trap to convert turnovers into easy layups.
Coach Maureen McCormack's team knows it will face stiffer tests than the Class A Fighting Irish. But the Panthers thought it was a good precursor to the tough Region 3-AAAA schedule to come.
"We'll probably try to use it against every team," sophomore guard Carolyn Hennecken said. "Against the faster teams, it will just get harder and harder."
Hennecken is part of a young Panthers core. Early is the lone senior starter.
Lakeside had two freshmen and two sophomores starting by the end of last season, when the Panthers nearly shocked area power Greenbrier.
The Panthers return a young team, but with last year to build on.
"They're feeling much more confident playing together and playing against the type of athletes we're going to be facing," McCormack said. "It always helps to win a few."
Sophomore Tishal Turknett scored 20 points in the win against the Irish. Hennecken and Early added 14 apiece.
The Panthers play Aquinas again Tuesday at home and play host to Greenbrier on Dec. 6 before beginning region play.
The Wolfpack should provide a test for the Panthers' endurance before the Region 3-AAAA schedule begins.
Lakeside boys hold on against Aquinas
Lakeside dropped its first four games last season and pointed to its slow start as a reason for falling short of a playoff berth.
The Panthers boys started with a win Tuesday against Aquinas, holding off the Irish down the stretch to win 57-52.
Aquinas led by 7 early in the second quarter before the Panthers took control. Coach Ryan Morningstar's team led by as many as 15 in the second half before the Irish battled back. Aquinas forward Josh Brown led the comeback, finishing 6-for-9 from behind the 3-point line, scoring 21 points. But Brown made only four of 13 free-throw attempts, and the Irish got no closer than 3 points in the fourth quarter.
Lakeside's Cody Marsh finished with 17 points.
Lakeside played Green-brier on Friday. The Panthers will play Aquinas at home on Tuesday.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.