The Lynchburg-Clay Lady Mustangs are poised to have yet another great season after a stellar 15-6 overall record last year and going 10-3 in the Southern Hills Athletic Conference (SHAC).
The Lady Mustangs graduated two seniors last year in Caitlin Davidson and Morgan Fittro, Fittro having four year of varsity experience, but this season, the Lynchburg squad will have a group of six seniors to fill in that gap and they are a group able to be bragged about according to head coach Whitney Lewis.
“We have six seniors this season,” Lewis said. “Ali Little, Madison Wills, Vanessa Thiel, Marissa Mitchell, Bailey Leininger, and Emily Roush. We look for all of these young ladies to contribute, even Bailey who is still recovering from her ACL injury this past summer. Our senior class is something to brag about. These players have been dedicated to the program for four years and are great role models not only for our underclassmen but to anyone who knows them.”
Having basically their whole starting core back for this new season has made the Lynchburg girls the preseason number one pick for the SHAC. Coach Lewis, even though being picked number one before the season is something every coach likes to see from their team, know that that ranking is something that will have to be earned. Every year brings an opportunity to start new, an opportunity to be better than the year before. This year, we are focusing on being the best team we can possibly be. We are working on a level of excellence every day in practice and look to make that translate not only to our games but in everything we do, on and off the court.
“We were picked preseason number one, but understand that we have to work in order to earn that spot,” Lewis said about the season ahead. “Our league is very competitive and we will need to be at our best every night to win. We understand that in order to keep that respect we have to perform at that level of excellence we talk about.
“We will have a lot of returning players this year,” Lewis continued. “On top of our six seniors, we bring back three juniors who have seen a lot of varsity minutes in McKayla Binkley, Hannah Binkley, and Lexi Waits. Peyton Scott is our lone underclassmen. We are looking to make sure everyone is on the same page early in the year and then continue to get better within our system as the season goes on. We are all working on the same level and look to hold each other accountable in order for us to be successful.”
Ali Little is one of the team’s returning seniors and had a big surge midway through the season last year, helping her team win some games with several double-double efforts.
“Ali is a tremendous athlete,” coach Lewis said about Little. “She is one of our senior leaders and I expect great things from her this year. She leads our team and steps forward to help encourage and be positive no matter the situation.
“We have a lot of goals this season, but most importantly we want to continue to improve with each and game. If we are not getting better than we are content, and that is not progress. Improve each and every play, each and every practice, each and every game.
“I believe that this team has a lot of potential. We have set our goals high and expect great things out of ourselves. Our motto: Demand Excellence EVERYDAY. From myself. From my teammates. From my coaches. From my team.”
The Lady Mustangs are already 1-0 after a 72-35 victory over Southeastern on Saturday. Peyton Scott led all scores with 25 followed by Hannah Binkley with 18, Ali Little with 11, McKayla with 10, Lexi Waits with five, Marissa Mitchell had two and Emily Roush rounded out scoring with one. They will have their home opener Tuesday, November 24 when they go up against Ripley at 7 p.m.
Reach Robert Stegbauer at 937-393-3456 ext. 1679 or on Twitter @RStegbauer.