Reflections on a successful season

| 28 Mar 2012 | 03:21

    Lenape Valley girls' basketball coach talks about what made her team tick this season By Josh Lashley STANHOPE — The Lenape Valley High School girls' basketball team demonstrated this season that team work and unity between players and the coaching staff can pay off in the long run, advancing to the quarterfinal round of the NJSIAA North I Group II Sectional Tournament this winter. The Patriots had an overall record of 16-10 on the season. Patriots head coach Kat Boger was pleased with the way her players communicated throughout the season. When asked which games in particular stood out, Boger said, “The games where I saw team unison, when the girls were working together to the end result of a win or loss. Games that stand out to me are when the girls worked until the last buzzer, but the end result wasn’t in our favor." Boger said her team was defeated by two very good teams, Kittatinny by three points and High Point by 10 points, but the defeats showed that her team had heart. "Even though both games added a loss to our record, it also made us stronger and we made a name for ourselves," said Boger. "Our theme this year was 'hustle' and I think the girls carried out that theme." Boger said that one of the most impressive games her team won this season was against Warren Hills in the first round of the Hunterdon/Warren/Sussex tournament. "The girls were focused and ready to play," said Boger. "They shot 75 percent from the floor and this is usually unheard of in basketball. We also had 10 three-pointers this game." Boger noted that several players chipped in to provide a spark for the Patriots this winter. “I don't think that our team had just one standout leader," Boger said. “They all took turns and have their own responsibilities to make us one. One of my seniors, Meagan Price, is a leader in a subtle way. She is a role model to our team. Her work ethic is incredible – she is a practice player and game player. Another senior, Kristina Bortfeld, is our mediator. Kristina holds us together when things get rough. Both of these girls also are scholar-athletes." Boger said one player on the roster who showed continual improvement throughout the season was junior Molly Byrne. “She has come such a long way since last season," Boger said. “She has improved all around. This year Molly was our second highest rebounder and went from playing some varsity minutes last year to being a starter this year. Molly had many defensive responsibilities this year besides rebounding - she had to defend some of the top players in Freedom Division." Although the graduating seniors will be missed, the future is looking bright for Lenape Valley. “We will be losing three seniors (Price, Bortfeld and Nya Dobbs) this year and everyone else is coming back," Boger said. Boger said she's looking forward to going to camp with the girls, participating in a summer league, and working on the team's weaknesses in preparation for next season. "We have another good year ahead of us, but we have to work to get better – there is always room for improvement," said Boger. "Jefferson and North Warren have been added to our division, so we're also looking forward to taking on other tough teams from the area, because this can only make us better."