Seasoned are Lake senior post players Lauren Lind and Heather Cox.
So is Lake sophomore phenom, 2007 First-Team All-SLL choice, and starting guard Kaysie Brittenham.
So is up-and-coming fellow backcourt mate and defensive demon Jessica Abby.
It seems like over the past year or so, the surging Lady Flyers’ basketball program has been quietly building up a powder keg of munitions to blow the top off of the Suburban Lakes League girls’ basketball world. Lake was 10-0 overall, 6-0 in the SLL heading into last Saturday’s match-up with Genoa.
The SLL, on an annual basis, is usually governed by such perennial heavyweights as two-time defending champions Genoa, co-champions with the Lady Comets in 2007-2008 and ’06-’07 respectively Elmwood and Eastwood, and the always-dangerous Gibsonburg Golden Bears.
But Lake appears ready to be rising to the top of those ranks.
Lind (5-10) and Cox (5-9) are certainly doing their part by gobbling up virtually every loose rebound on both ends of the floor, battling relentlessly underneath the basket, and pouring baskets into the net.
Brittenham has been every bit as good as advertised, too, after averaging 13.7 points and 4.5 assists in her freshman campaign.
In their ’08-’09 tip-off against Delta, these Flyers set the tone via a 65-31 thrashing of their opposition, thanks in part to Coach Denny Meyer’s smothering brand of defense.
Since then, Meyer and company proceeded to tear through teams like a new strain of an unstoppable epidemic, handing Northwood, Woodmore, and the coach’s old friend and former boss in longtime Oak Harbor head coach Don Christie and his Lady Rockets equally-as-devastating losses by scores like 55-23 and 61-29.
Lake has passed every test, rolling over much-improved Lakota, 63-30; taking out Otsego 59-50; handing last year’s conference co-champions, Elmwood, a 30-point beating, to the tune of 54-24; and outpacing Gibsonburg, 55-41.
This past Saturday (Jan. 10), Lake had to be feeling much more confident about their chances of hanging with Simone Eli and Genoa (also 10-0 overall, 6-0 SLL) in what was heralded as the first round of two (Lake hosts the Comets at home to close the ’08-’09 season on Tuesday, Feb. 17).
If the Lake ladies’ “core four” in Brittenham, Lind, Cox, and Abby (her team’s leading scorer in two of this season’s first four tone-setting games, with 18 from the floor in the second contest vs. the Rangers, and another 15 vs. Woodmore to open up SLL play, shooting a phenomenal 67 percent early on) aren’t enough, there’s more.
The Flyers have added a little more homegrown Oak Harbor flavor in junior point guard Kimberly Meyer. Kimberly averaged 4.0 ppg last season with the Rockets, she is Coach Meyer’s daughter, and she spent the earliest stages of her first go-around with Lake on the shelf due to a knee injury. Fellow O.H. transfer Rebekah Will is a battle-tested senior, and yet another guard on this roster of talent-laden backcourters for the blue and white. Will tallied 4.5 ppg with Oak Harbor last winter, and Coach Meyer calls her “one of the best players I’ve ever coached.”
Both former Rockets are capable of playing Coach Meyer’s signature, smothering brand of “D,” and subbing in and out to stay fresh, while their opponents slowly wear down. It’s a trademark belonging to Oak Harbor coach Dick Heller, too.
Coach Meyer didn’t circle Lake’s game with Genoa Saturday as anything special.
“Nah, I really don’t consider Genoa to be a big game for me personally, because I had been moved away from Genoa for so long, and then I was out at Oak Harbor for awhile. It’s not like I’ve been in, or around Genoa too much recently, other than for work,” answers Meyer.
He admits that the two dates with the Comets are huge games if Lake wants to get a taste of their first-ever SLL championship.
“The only thing that makes it a big game for us is, obviously, that they’re the two-time defending champions of our league, because that’s what we’re striving to be,” he continues.
“I look for the Genoa games to be great games, yes,” he allows, “because we have a lot of really good athletes, and so do they obviously, along with who many people think will be Player of the Year in Simone Eli. I think it’ll be a nice challenge for us to kind of measure how far we’ve come, but every game is a big game, and none is really more important than another when you’re working hard to try to win a championship. And that’s what this team does. We will continue to work hard in practice, and in every single game because we don’t want any team to ever outwork us.”