Veteran Lakers Anika Holowaty and Sydney Clarke can barely contain their excitement about this year’s Pen High senior girls basketball team.
Holowaty and Clarke, graduating players on the Lakers, love the mix with younger players (six Grade 11s, four Grade 10s) on the team. They embrace the chance to be leaders. Clarke said the younger players know many different ways of playing.
“It’s kind of nice to get their perspective,” said Clarke.
Having played together since Grade 4, they said it’s going to be a good final season together, but also sad. In being the oldest on the team, they feel its important to set a good example. Holowaty views it as more of a leadership role by encouraging the players and ensuring players have a good attitude and work hard, while supporting each other.
“I think it’s fun. You kind of know what to expect,” said Clarke. “You can kind of break people into that too. It’s cool.”
As they do that, Holowaty and Clarke strive to have their best final season. Both will be playing the post position, which is new to them, and counting on the younger players to help them, especially Emma Schneider.
“She is schooling Sydney and I in the post. She is such a gifted post,” said Holowaty.
“In a way it’s kind of strange to ask younger people for help. At the same time, they are so helpful,” said Clarke, a former shooting guard.
Over the weekend Holowaty and Clarke helped the Lakers win four of their five games in the Len Cox Lakettes Memorial Tournament. They started by defeating the J.L. Crowe Hawks 91-21.
Holowaty said that opening game went well for the Lakers as they played with energy.
“I think it’s a good starting point to base the rest of the year off,” she said.
Their second game was a 80-29 victory against the Immaculata Mustangs. Against the Salmon Arm Jewels, the Lakers won 61-45, then 67-55 over the Mt. Boucherie Bears.
In their final game against the Okanagan Mission Huskies, the Lakers lost 59-27. Lyndzie Caron and Celine Francisco were named tournament all-stars.
Holowaty said she is eager for competition and to get the season started. The wait was short as the Lakers hosted the Rutland Voodoos on Tuesday night. The Lakers won 46-45.
One thing Clarke feels will be key this season is the relationship of the players, which is strong.
“I think that’s a huge part of the season,” she said, adding that road trips play into that and they love the group.