On Sunday, June 21, the 9U Lake Shore Lightning Girls basketball team wrapped up a dominant spring season by defeating second-place Davidsonville by a score of 23-5 at Southgate Elementary School to finish the county campaign with a perfect 10-0 record.
It is the second first-place county finish for the Lightning, who also won the county during the winter of 2013-3014 as 8U’s.
“The girls showed a lot of heart and determination, and it was a complete team effort during the entire season,” said Lightning head coach Jon Kelly.
The spring basketball season presents roster challenges for all teams as most girls play other spring sports throughout the season, and with only seven total players, the 9U Lightning played only two games with a full roster. The Lake Shore girls nonetheless displayed drive and versatility by playing different positions and styles of play while dealing with limited depth.
The total team effort was evident throughout the season as each game saw a different girls step up to lead the team to victory. By the end of the season, every player on the team had compiled totals of at least 18 points, 25 rebounds and 10 steals.
On the offensive side of the ball, the scoring was led by Ella Shannon with 64 points, Natalie Forman with 59 points, Savannah Sheetz with 41 points and Madison Tryon with 37 points. Five players on the team had more than 40 rebounds, with Sheetz leading the team with 69 boards and Emma Wilkins bringing down 60. Forman led the Lightning in assists with 20, while Tryon dished out 17 and Luray Cirul contributed 9.
On the defensive side of the ball, leaders in steals included Shannon with 41, Cirul with 23 and Madison Kelly with 20, while Kelly also protected the rim with a team-leading 19 blocks. Sheetz posted 13 rejections and Wilkins added 6 blocks to further fortify the Lightning D.
“The stats this season were awesome, but you can’t forget the plays that don’t show in the stat sheet, and these are the things Coach [Stan] Sheetz and I are the most proud of with the girls,” said coach Kelly. “Offensive movement, boxing out, setting picks, give-and-go’s, transition offense and diving for loose balls, that’s were we saw a huge improvement. Seeing those types of hustle plays on a weekly basis made this team so much fun to watch. We are very proud of the girls, and we’re really looking forward to seeing these girls grow as a team in the years to come.”