If you're from Ohio, a week-long trip to California can be just what the doctor
|Senior Kaysie Brittenham|
For eight members of Lake High School's girls’ basketball team, the timing couldn't have been better. Three weeks earlier a tornado destroyed the field house they were used to playing in.
The Flyers' girls’ and boys’ basketball teams know they will be playing their 2010-11 home games at Owens Community College, but it won't be the same as playing in their own gym.
“Every time I go past the school, I still can't believe it,” upcoming junior Hannah Cox said. “Every time you go past it, it's devastating to see. Our home court is where we win, and it's sad to know we're not going to be playing there ever again. On the plus side, Owens is really close so it won't be too bad. We've had shootouts there.”
Senior Kaysie Brittenham, an All-Suburban Lakes League standout who plans to play basketball in college, said she's disappointed she won't get to play at Lake her senior year.
“It's definitely going to be interesting,” she said. “Not having that home court is going to be weird. Hopefully we're going to adjust to it. It's great that Owens is going to let us use their facility for home games. It will be good for us.”
When Flyers coach Denny Meyer took Brittenham, Cox, seniors Jessica Abbey, Drew Plummer, Carly Huston and Emily Whitmore and juniors Hunter Johnson and Lindsay Hoffman to a basketball camp at the University of San Diego June 23-29, the trip gave the Flyers a reprieve from dealing with the devastation from the June 5 tornado that killed several people and virtually leveled their high school. Lake was one of 62 teams competing against squads from California, Nevada, Arizona and Colorado.
“It was a good thing,” Brittenham said of the trip. “It helped take our minds off of it and have fun as a team.”
“It was nice getting away from everything and not thinking about it,” Cox said. “It takes our mind off it, and it was good for us. I was really excited for it.”
The team played six games at USD and went 4-2, and they also got to visit an amusement park and spend some time at the beach. The Flyers attended a basketball camp in Phoenix, Ariz., last summer; none of the players had ever been to California prior to last month.
“It was a neat experience,” Brittenham said. “The team had a lot of good times and good memories. There was a lot of team bonding when we were there. It was a little hard to come back, but it was good to come back and be in your own home. The (USD) campus was really neat, and playing against the good competition there was really exciting.”
Cox admitted that she got homesick after a while, but it was worth it.
“California was really fun,” she said, “but I was glad to be home. We did really good out there, actually.”
Meyer was glad to see his players enjoy themselves. It was a far cry from a June 10 game the Flyers played against Notre Dame Academy in a summer league at Whitmer.
“We weren't real focused and it was due to the tornado stuff,” said Meyer, whose teams have had back-to-back 20-0 regular seasons. “On the next Thursday after the tornado, we were terrible. We had zero focus and we kind of expected that at that time. And, we played Notre Dame, which is going to be one of the best teams in the City League.
“I know most of the girls had been out in the fields (picking up debris). We had an eighth grade girl who lost her house on Main Street. They're doing good. The house was left partially standing and it's torn down now, and they're going to build somewhere else.”
Lake played in the Whitmer summer league on Tuesdays and Thursdays in June, and it also competed in shootouts at Start High School and at Tiffin University before heading to San Diego.