Lutheran's girls basketball has a rugged challenge ahead this season but the Lions are starting to play better. The Class 4A school in Parker recently won the girls version of the Pride of Parker …
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Lutheran's girls basketball has a rugged challenge ahead this season but the Lions are starting to play better.
The Class 4A school in Parker recently won the girls version of the Pride of Parker basketball tournament.
Lutheran (6-1) defeated Class 6A Chaparral 43-35, got past 6A Legend 49-46 and whipped 5A Ponderosa 61-44 to finish 3-0 in the round robin tournament. Legend was 2-1, Chap 1-2 and Pondo 0-3.
“It was so much fun just to be able to compete against those big schools and for them taking it on and allowing us to schedule them,” said coach Josh Schneider.
“It was really cool for the girls to be able to come out and compete and not only compete but to win. It was super special.”
Schneider is in his second year as the Lions head coach after taking over from Mark Duitsman and he pointed out that this year's team is still getting used to a few changes.
“We're hopefully finding ourselves a little bit,” he said. “Last year we implemented quite a few new things. Our experienced players, the juniors and seniors, are starting to know what we are implementing. They are doing a great job of executing. They are starting to feel comfortable.”
And Lutheran, ranked fifth among 4A teams in the Dec. 19 CHSAANow.com ratings, will need to feel and play comfortable with the games still to be played this season.
“Last year our schedule was nowhere near as tough,” pointed out Schneider. “We knew that in order to compete and jumping up to the 4A level to compete in the post season, we need to be better. The way you do that is experience big-time competition. If we can compete against big-time competition, hopefully that will prepare us for the post-season.”
Lutheran played Eaton, ranked sixth in Class 4A, on Dec. 20 and then faced Holy Family, the top-ranked 4A team, on Dec. 22. The Lions face Severance on Jan. 3 and fourth-ranked University on Jan. 5 before jumping into the Pikes Peak League against teams like Palmer Ridge, Cheyenne Mountain and Air Academy. Lutheran's one loss in the early season was to Mead, which is ranked second in Class 5A.
“We have to get better every game and we really have to compete in practice to be sharp for games,” said Schneider. “The schedule doesn't get any easier.”
However, Schneider feels he has the players to compete, led by 5-foot-11 senior Raelyn Kelty, who can shoot from outside or power-up in the post.
After seven games, Kelty was averaging 15 points, 6.7 rebounds, two assists and 1.6 steals a game and was called the Lions' “motor” by Schneider.
Nikki McSpadden, a 5-7 junior, is scoring 10.3 points a game and is averaging 1.9 steals a game. She had 41 points in the three Pride of Parker games and made eight 3-point shots.
Joclyn Bassett is a 5-8 senior point guard who after seven games was averaging 7.3 points, five rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.4 steals a game.
“Two of our five seniors have been on varsity since their freshman year,” added Schneider. “We rely a lot of those seniors. They are seasoned and we need them to step up.”
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