LEWISBURG — As Jessica Spitler enters her eighth season as the head coach of Tri-County North’s girls basketball team she has four starters returning and she hopes that experience leads to more wins.
Spitler, whose team was 1-22 last year, is also excited about the overall numbers within the program as a whole.
”We unfortunately were unable to get many wins last year. However, we got valuable experience as a young team that I hope will carry over to this season,” she said. “The girls have put many hours in the gym this off season, including four-person workouts, summer workouts, summer games along with camps. We had over 50 campers in our youth junior Panther camps, which has been the biggest number that I have had in all of the years I have had camp.
“We also have seen the biggest numbers in our program this season with a full JV and junior high schedule to add to our numbers. We have been working to build the program as a whole for the last several years and we have seen the results this season with how many girls have come out. Now we are hoping to see us producing the wins moving forward.”
The Panthers will be led by senior captain MacKenzie Bacher.
“We will be having four returning starters this season,” Spitler said. “Our Lady Panthers team will be led by our solo senior MacKenzie Bacher, who will be helping run the point guard position and bring varsity experience as well as her leadership on and off the court.”
Also returning is junior post player Rilee Terry, who was special mention all-CCC last year. She led the Panthers in scoring and rebounding last year as a sophomore.
The other two key returners will be sophomore Hannah Webster (was second in rebounding and points last season) and Nicole Lefeld, who started midway through last season and will be helping in the guard spot as well as the wing position.
Spitler said juniors Sierra Baker and Madison Terry will be adding to the team’s experience.
A couple of freshmen will also be counted on.
”We will be adding two freshmen to our roster this season that will be seeing many minutes on the floor. (I’m) excited to see Nani Garcia and Gracie Hemp and what they can bring as additions to the varsity team this season,” Spitler said.
Spitler said she believes with the experienced gained last season her team can be competitive this year.
”We are wanting to bring competitiveness this season in our league and in our non-league games. We have worked hard and hoping to make progress week by week,” she said. “Looking forward to entering my eighth season and I believe that with a positive season and hard work rang we are going to start seeing the results.”
North opened the season on Friday, Nov. 19 with a 49-4 win at Northridge. Bacher finished with 15 points, 11 steals and three assists as the Panthers raced out to a 29-0 halftime lead.
Rilee Terry tossed in 13 points and had 12 rebounds. Lefeld contributed 10 points, 10 rebounds and five steals.
The Panthers (1-0) were scheduled to play at National Trail on Tuesday, Nov. 23 and will travel to New Miami on Monday, Nov. 29 and play at Stivers School of the Arts on Tuesday, Nov. 30.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 and follow on Twitter @emowenjr