Basketball: Lady Loggers bring experience to season

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Libby Head Coach Wally Winslow warms up the Lady Loggers Wednesday. (Ben Kibby/The Western News

The Libby High School Basketball team starts their season Saturday at home against Thompson Falls, and the excitement is building to face their first opponent of the season.

“Practice is always good, but it’s always much more fun to play, so the girls are excited about getting a game and seeing what they can do,” said Head Coach Wally Winslow.

Still, Winslow said there shouldn’t be a lot of surprises given the experience level on the varsity squad.

With six seniors and three juniors, everyone playing varsity this year has at least a little experience playing varsity last season.

“The learning curve is not nearly so steep. They’re aware of what we’re doing — what we’re trying to accomplish,” Winslow said.

The roster is full of student athletes who are coming off of fall sports, including several members of the team that recently took 4th place at the volleyball State Championship.

It helps to have players who worked on both their conditioning and skills in the offseason, Winslow said. But he is happy with what he is seeing from the entire team.

“I’m just glad they’re here playing basketball with me right now, all of them,” Winslow said.

Not as many came out for basketball this year as Winslow had hoped for, he said. Winslow noted that the incoming freshman class is small this year, and only three freshmen came out for girls basketball.

“But we’re pleased with the ones we got. The younger kids that we have are having a great time and they’re really working hard and learning a lot,” he said.

“We’ve got great energy. They’re enjoying themselves and their teammates. Our skill level’s pretty good,” he said.

Even with only three freshmen, Winslow said he likes what he is seeing there as well.

“The younger kids that we have are having a great time and they’re really working hard and learning a lot, and they have some ability,” he said.

And their older teammates are setting an example the freshmen can look up to, Winslow said. “They know how to compete, they know how to practice. They know what it takes to be a good teammate.”

It’s invaluable to have his players setting that kind of example, he said.

“I can talk about that and try to preach it, but until it’s modeled for them by the upperclassmen, the younger kids won’t be able to see that,” he said.

The Lady Loggers will face the Lady Hawks at 5:30 p.m. Saturday in the Ralph Tate Memorial Gym at Libby High School.

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