by Cassie Mattia
Loveland, Ohio – It’s that time of year again that gives many, including myself, an endless amount of joy! You maybe asking yourself, “Well what is so significant about this time of year?” IT’S BASKETBALL SEASON BABY! Of course the single phrase has to be said in a Dick Vitale voice!
Basketball teams all across Ohio are preparing for what should be a very interesting season in light of COVID-19. The L.H.S Women’s Basketball team has not been letting the pandemic slow them down as they have been safely practicing hard in preparation for the first game that will be held on November 24th at the Tiger’s home gym against Lakota East at 7:30 P.M.
L.H.S’s Women’s Basketball team is coming off of a historical 2019-2020 season, grabbing their first league title, sectional title, and an outstanding overall record of 22-4. Although they have lost some unbelievable female athletes such as the Tiger’s top performer, Jillian Hayes who will begin her career as Cincinnati Bearcat this year, Head Coach Darnell Parker says that he has two incredible leaders returning in Seniors Jenna Batsch and Tess Broermann that are sure to give the team that fire they need to succeed this year!
So without further ado, here is the 2020-2021 Loveland High School Women’s Basketball Season Preview!
The following graphics and photos provided by team photographer, Gayle Rothmeeler.
Cassie – What have you and the Tigers been doing in preparation for this season?
Coach Parker – Preparation for this season started over the summer with our team lifting and conditioning sessions, as well as our super popular 6 A.M, Breakfast Club workouts. This is a great time for our kids as we start forming bonds and shaping the identity of this year’s team!
Cassie – What effect has COVID-19 had on your preparation?
Coach Parker – Keeping our Student-Athletes safe is our top priority. Each player, coach, and member of our program is diligent in following the guidelines set by our District and the OHSAA. Our kids have done a great job adjusting and it hasn’t affected our preparation too much.
Cassie – Who are some of the players that are returning? Any starters? Who do you expect to be a captain or “leader” for the other ladies to look up to this year.
Coach Parker – SR-Jenna Batsch(Kent State Commit, Second leading scorer last year 11ppg)-Captain, SR-Tess Broermann(4-year starter 6.3ppg last season)-Captain, SO-Olivia Raby(Lead the team in FG% 52% 3.5ppg), SO-Josie Early(3ppg, Strong tournament run last season), Jr-Nia Kemper(PG Transfer from Wyoming 14ppg, Excellent shooter and defender), Jr-Vivian Clayton(G Transfer from Sycamore 8ppg, Great Defender and strong guard attacking the basket).
Cassie – Any big games you and the team are looking forward to?
Coach Parker – We always enjoy the matchups with Walnut Hills and West Clermont. They have been the Gold standards in the league for a lot of years. This year we add three new teams in Little Miami, Lebanon, and Winton Woods. Starting new rivalries with these schools will be fun!
Cassie – What will be some of your primary focuses or things you would like to improve on from last season this year?
Coach Parker – This season we will really focus on sharing the basketball and attacking opposing defenses from a lot of angles. We have 6-7 girls that could get double digits points on any given night and as a coach that is very exciting! Defensively our pressure is going to be suffocating and we are going to be able to pressure teams for 32 minutes or more if necessary!
Cassie – Will the coaching staff be the same as last year or do you have any newcomers?
Coach Parker – We return our entire coaching staff from last year. Really helps with continuity.
Cassie – Do you have any Freshmen or Sophomores that you are expecting big things from this season?
Coach Parker – Josie Early and Olivia Raby received significant minutes and experience as a freshman last year. They are going to be a big piece of the puzzle this season!
Cassie – What are some of your personal coaching goals this year? Team goals?
Coach Parker – Personally my goals have shifted based on my health situation. Every day that I am able to spend with my team is a blessing! When I am physically able I want to be with the team. I draw energy from them. The team really wants to defend out ECC crown and get back and when a District title. The community has really rallied behind myself and this team, I really feel we are destined for great things!
Cassie – Will you be competing against any schools that you haven’t competed against in the past or haven’t competed against in quite some time? If so what teams?
Coach Parker – As Mentioned above we will start playing the new teams in our conference. We also open up with Lakota East who we haven’t played in recent times.
Cassie – Any new mottos this year other than your infamous #Ourway?!
Coach Parker – Haha, OurWay will always be the motto that we follow. With my diagnosis, the Girls have reached a Mantra of OURWAY, OURFIGHT. They are in this battle with me. That’s what Family does!!#OurWay
For more of the Sports 411 with me, Cassie Mattia, stay tuned!