“Last year was a tough year, we lost our top three scorers from the previous year’s team and we were very inconsistent offensively. Winning only three games in league play is unacceptable for this program,” stated Elk Lake girls head basketball coach Kevin Tewksbury.
But the third year coach of the girls program looks to instill a philosophy of “No fear, No limits No excuses” within the program.
“I have always stressed and pushed my girls to be tough mentally and physically. When our seniors leave the program at the end of the season we want them to take “No fear, No limits, No excuses” into life after high school. If they do that I will be a happy coach,” said Tewksbury.
The coach is looking towards senior Madison Tewksbury, sophomore Tamara Voda and junior Mercedes Zajaczkowski early in the season. Jackie Decker will also help lead the team.
Last season, Madison Tewksbury averaged eight rebounds a game, Voda lead the team in three-point shooting as a freshman, and Zajaczkowski was the leading scorer on the junior varsity squad.
Coach Tewksbury, who added EL basketball alum Katie Mitchell to the coaching staff this season, believes that his team is working towards common goals at practices.
He said, “We have been working hard on making sure everyone, both on varsity and junior varsity, understands what we want to do be doing offensively and defensively. Because we don’t have a lot of varsity experience, we will be asking a lot of different girls to play at varsity level, particularly some of our freshmen and sophomores.”
The lack of varsity experience is a sticking point for the Lady Warriors, but Tewksbury assures they won’t use that as an excuse- citing the work the girls put in during the off season.
He feels the defense will be the strongest factor in the Warriors game.
“The expectations for this is year’s team will be to improve in our overall league play. If we can get everyone to buy into some of the changes we have made defensively and also get through some of the early season jitters we will be okay. Our two returning starters (Voda and Madison Tewksbury) along with Mercedes (Zajaczkowksi) will have to show early season leadership as we figure out our rotations. This team has worked really hard during the offseason to improve individual skills and as a team. The girls are very motivated and if we keep working hard we will be a tough team,” he offered.
As for the competition this year, Tewksbury said very matter-of-factly, “We have a tough preseason schedule and we look at everyone in our league as a rival.”
The Lady Warriors practice and play their games in the Elk Lake Elementary School gym and open the season in Tunkhannock on December 8.
Roster: Seniors Kimmy Mosier, Kylie Mosier, Madison Tewksbury, Kelsey Day, Jackie Decker, and Brooke Arnold. Juniors Mercedes Zajaczkowski, Sadie Bosscher, and Lauren Herman. Sophomores Tamara Voda, Charity Kasson, and Destiny McCarey. Freshmen Krista Jones, Jenna Daye, Lily Decker, and Jenna Newhart.
Schedule: Dec. 8 at Tunkhannock Area, 6 p.m.; Dec. 13 at Meyers, 6 p.m.; Dec. 15 vs. Northeast Bradford, TBA; Dec. 18 vs. Scranton, 6 p.m.; Dec. 20 at GAR, 6 p.m.; Dec. 22 vs. Wyalusing, 1:15 p.m.; Dec. 27-28 at Susquehanna County Christmas Tournament at Montrose HS; Jan. 3 at Lackawanna Trail, 6 p.m.; Jan. 5 at Lakeland, 1:15 p.m.; Jan. 7 vs. Susquehanna, 6 p.m.; Jan. 10 vs. Mountain View, 6 p.m.; Jan. 14 at Forest City, 6 p.m.; Jan. 17 vs. Montrose, 6 p.m.; Jan. 21 at Blue Ridge, 6 p.m.; Jan. 24 vs. Lackawanna Trail, 6 p.m.; Jan. 28 vs. Lakeland, 6 p.m.; Jan. 31 at Susquehanna, 6 p.m.; Feb. 4 at Mountain View, 6 p.m.; Feb. 7 vs. Forest City, 6 p.m.; Feb.
11 at Montrose; Feb. 13 vs. Blue Ridge, 6 p.m.