After eight seniors graduated in 2012, the Lakota East girls’ basketball team opened the 2012-2013 season Saturday with a new young core of student athletes.In the season opener, the Thunderhawks took McAuley – the No. 3 ranked team in The Cincinnati Enquirer coaches’ preseason poll – to the closing seconds before falling 52-50.
Leading Lakota East – No. 8 in The Enquirer poll – in scoring was freshman guard Sam Rogers, who finished with 14 points. Sophomores Kandace Satterwhite (7 points), Leah Goodwin (8 points) and Cydney Franklin (6 points) also helped keep the Thunderhawks in the game.
Heading into the opener, Lakota East head coach Nikki Drew said she was frequently asked by the local media about the rebuilding process for her team since 2012 graduates like Molly Blomer (Nova Southeastern), Whitney Wyckoff (Yale) , Bernice Satterwhite (Carl Albert State), Alyssa Grevenkamp (Findlay), Tazzie Shaw (originally committed to Marshall) and Aleth Pashi (Otterbein) were all recruited to play college basketball.
“They were a special group,” Drew said. “They were with me for three and four years.
“Some will call it a rebuilding year, but honestly what has been making it easier is the group that I have now. They very much resemble, from a mind set and work ethic rate, my last group when they were sophomores.”
While the 2012 graduating class excelled offensively, Drew sees her young group as more of a defensive team.
“They are talented, so the promise is definitely there,” Drew said. “My group, who just graduated played a different style. They were more offensive oriented and my group now can get out and play defense. They are fast and super athletic. So looking at them on paper they look very different, but from the intangible standpoint they are very similar.”
The Thunderhawks will try to get into the win column when they host Carroll in their home opener Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. On Saturday, Lakota East will have to face Mason – No. 2 in The Enquirer poll – on the road at 2 p.m.