LAKEVIEW — The Lakeview Wildcats girls basketball program is always in contention for league and district titles. Those again, are the expectations for this coming season.
The Wildcats went 14-8 a year ago. Their season ended with a 53-29 loss to eventual district champion Sparta Spartans.
With six returning letterwinners, the Wildcats feature a trio of seniors with leadership qualities.
“We have great senior leadership and an entire team with great attitudes,” Lakeview coach Corey Kohler said. “We have great team chemistry. This team gets along very well and plays unselfish basketball.”
Kohler (5th season, 73-40 overall) said the team is strong in the backcourt.
“We have a lot of experience returning at the guard position,” he said. “We also have some basketball IQ. We understand the game and see the floor pretty well.”
Megan Leach, Andrea Henry and Chelsea Lint are the three returning senior guards. Estelle Molitor (junior guard), Lauren Jaquays (junior forward) and Madison Shurlow (sophomore guard) are the other returning Wildcats.
Leach — three-year varsity player — earned second team CSAA honors a year ago. She averaged 12 points during league play, shot just under 50 percent and shot 70 percent from the free throw line.
“She is a point guard that transitioned into a scoring guard last year,” Kohler said of Leach. “She led us in most statistical categories last year and is a coach on the floor.”
Leach along with Henry and Lint will be the team captains.
“Andrea can play every position on the floor and can score inside and outside,” Kohler said. “Chelsea is our spark plug and leads us in hustle plays. Both players are three-year varsity players.”
As with any team, there are areas to improve upon as the season progresses.
“We want to improve on ball pressure, transition offense, attacking the rim offensively and rebounding,” Kohler said. “We expect to win our conference and be playing our best basketball at the end of the season.”
Morley Stanwood and Big Rapids dominated the CSAA a year ago. Kohler expects the conference to be wide open this year.
“Our league lost a lot of talent last year,” he said. “I look for Reed City, Big Rapids, Chippewa Hills and us to finish at the top of the conference.”
Newaygo will be playing its first season in the CSAA.
Lakeview opens the season Monday, Nov. 27 at Evart. They will host Montabella on Dec. 4 for their first home game.