As 2020 is coming to an end, the start of an exciting basketball season is looking to start here at Lakota West. Though COVID has put restrictions on the number of people allowed to attend, as well as procedures during and between games, the energy of the game remains. Since both of West’s teams are coming off successful 2019-20 seasons, hope for this season is strong. Last year, Girl’s basketball went 15-1 in the GMC and held a 21-5 overall record. The team ranked 11th in the state at the end of the season, making it to the Final 32 in the state tournament. Boys Basketball went 8-8 in the GMC, with a 14-12 overall record. The team kept momentum through the end of the season making it to the Final 32 in the state tournament. Loss struck against Centerville at the Cintas Center, in one of the last basketball games before COVID shut down the country. To get insight on this upcoming season, I reached out to both basketball teams.
Girls Basketball has consistently had phenomenal seasons in the past years, winning GMC titles the past six seasons. Talking to the players, I asked what the team had taken away from the last season going into this year. For the upcoming season, they knew they had to make up for the three seniors they had lost, including Neveah Dean who went on to play for Virginia Tech this year. The team’s focus in practice has been on quickness and boxing out. The girls are especially determined this year as they are striving to win their 7th straight GMC title, as well as achieving their goal of winning state, one of which has been ever-present since the program’s state win in 2015. When asked to describe the overall mentality of the team this season, shooting guard Liz Key, expressed that “the energy is always high when we are together.” The team has been working hard, improving on individual weaknesses to better the team as a whole. As always, it will be very interesting to see how far the girls can make it this year.
Boys basketball came off of one of their best seasons in years, having been in the Final 32 for the first time since 2005. However, the team looks a lot different than last year. With the loss of five seniors who played on varsity, there has been a rise in underclassmen on the team. The team is united by the goal of proving to people that they are a different, stronger team than years prior. Though the threat of quarantine and a much different atmosphere are making this year much different, the drive they have going into this season is stronger than ever. They want to prove that last year was not a fluke. Boys Basketball is set on being seen as a competitive team capable of winning, and it will be exciting to see how this season plays out over the next couple of weeks.
With a lot of excitement despite the circumstances of this season, our teams here at West are ready to take on the 2020-21 season. Look out for both teams as they take on their games set for December, including Lakota East for the boys on December 22nd.