Lady Crusaders are hopeful for a winning season​    By Jenn Hassler

The Helias lady Crusaders basketball 2016 – 2017 season is underway. The ladies opened their regular season with a win against Blair Oaks but fell to Camdenton in their second game making them 1-1 on the season so far. They are gearing up for a winning season with 8 returning players out of the 16 rostered under a new coaching staff.

“I feel confident that we will have a great season,” said senior Ashley Rehagen. “We have a few girls with a lot of varsity experience that can lead the team to great things.”

New head coach Alan Lepper, also known as Coach Lep, served as the assistant coach to the Lady Crusaders for the past 10 seasons. He is assisted by Coach Wyrick and Coach Bell.

“I think the new coaching staff will do nothing but have a positive impact on the team and the girls’ basketball program as a whole,” said senior Kelsey Schenewerk. “The coaches really want what’s best for the team and each individual person on the team. On top of that, they all know basketball and have efficient ways of teaching it to us.”

Crusader basketball practices every day after school, except on game days. They have been focusing on the fundamentals to ensure that they don’t have to think too much during the games about the basics.

“We have really worked hard on the fundamentals and drilling those into our brains so it becomes second nature and we just do it in a game without thinking,” said junior Erin Wyrick. “We’ve also added a lot of plays and transition plays that will help us get points on the board.”

The team knows it’s important to dedicate time off the court. They complete scouting reports to ready themselves for their opponents.

“We even prepare off the court by watching film and doing scouting reports on the teams we are about to play, making sure we are prepared for every game,” said Schenewerk.

The team is hoping to improve their season different ways. One way they hope to improve is by staying calm during games.

“We can improve on relaxing against high pressure teams and our free throw percentage,” said Rehagen.

Overall, the team is hoping not only to go far in post season but to also continue to learn as a team.

“Our team goal is to progress as a team throughout the year,” said Schenewerk. “We hope to build on each game and learn from our wins and losses and hopefully make it far in post season.”

The lady Crusaders are back in action on Saturday, December 3 against Incarnate World at Columbia College. The game is scheduled to take place at 4 a.m. as part of the Norm Stewart Classic 48 hours of hoops.

“I’m excited for the 4 a.m. game,” said Schenewerk. “I think it will be fun and a good experience just for something new. It will definitely be a challenge to be awake and ready to go that early, but the good thing is that the other team will be just as tired and in the same boat.”


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