By Jim Newell
The Lake Orion Girls Varsity Basketball team is off to a 2-2 start, with solid wins against Linden and Troy high schools, but Coach Kevin Kopec knows the girls need to step it up when league play begins.
“I think our early season schedule has balance for us. We have had some success in two of our games and come up short in the two others – and that’s where we need to improve,” Kopec said.
“Our next challenge is to win some of these games against the stronger competition and take the next step. I am hopeful that the lessons we have learned in our two losses will help us grow and improve and be ready for the next challenge,” he said.
While the Lady Dragons beat Linden 58-26 and Troy 68-35, they had a tough game on Friday against Rochester Adams, losing 50-44. They also lost the first game of the season 47-33 to Romeo High School.
“I think our girls have done a nice job in our half-court defense,” Kopec said. “When we slow teams down and make them run their sets, we have done a good job of getting stops. I think we also have some players who are starting to understand their roles and are getting more comfortable with each game.”
As the season continues, Kopec wants to see the team transition better on both ends of the court.
“The team needs to work on our transition defense. I haven’t been pleased with it through the first two weeks of games, and we will be working on it every day so we can improve. We also need to look to push the ball more and be a little bit more up-tempo on offense,” Kopec said.
Lake Orion is a young team this year, and Kopec, in his first season as varsity coach, knows the girls well, having previously coached them on junior varsity. The team has only one senior this year.
“Our team leaders are emerging in different areas. (Sophomore Forward) Maddie Novak is obviously a gifted scorer, and she has had some strong games scoring the ball for us.
“(Sophomore Center) Sophie Wyborski has been tough in the post for us, and has been a strong rebounder for our team. (Junior Forward) Lauryn VanLoon and (Junior Center) Shannon Falter have been very strong defensively and on the boards,” Kopec said.
The team played Notre Dame Prep on Tuesday after press time, and will play Clarkston High School at 7 p.m. Friday at Clarkston.
By Jim Newell