East girls basketball midseason update


Photo by Luke Borgmann

The Spartan girls basketball team huddles during a time out to talk things over in their 52-37 win over Lincoln High on Saturday night.

During the prolonged winter break, the Lincoln East girls participated in the Heartland Athletic Conference tournament, claiming the first game over Grand Island, but dropping the second to Southwest. Although the Spartans had more to play, the winter weather ended up being the downfall for the East girls in this tournament, as the rest of their tournament could not be played out. But the team kept working, according to head coach Dennis Prichard. “We have a great group of girls who are very hard workers, during and coming back from the break, we were getting to work right away,” said Prichard. “You may be concerned coming out of a layoff or break, but I don’t have to worry about that with this group.” Now in midseason, the Spartans have grown a lot, coach Prichard commented over the alterations the team has made. “We’ve adjusted well in the first half of the season to the kind of style of play, we lost four seniors along with their height, with a few being six feet or taller. We’ve had to change our approach a little bit, and I think the girls have done a great job at being successful.” East has indeed had to make adjustments while lacking height, the Spartans are focusing on overwhelming their opponents to create offense with their defensive play. This season the team has amassed 11.5 steals a game about two more than the national average, based on statistics by MaxPreps. The girls have taken the challenge in stride, but there is still work needed to be done in time for districts. As coach Prichard points out, “we need to have more people being able to score and learn to score more in different ways because that is the one thing holding us back, we often go on long runs without scoring. We just need to shoot the ball more.” East will look to do just that, as they host two tough opponents this weekend in Lincoln North Star Friday night, and Lincoln High Saturday night. When asked about the game plan, coach Prichard put it simply “we try to prepare for each game as if it’ll be the utmost of challenges because class A is so wide open. There are very few nights where you can pencil in that you’re going to win that night, and I know it is cliche, but we prepare for every opponent as the same.” As the second half of the season progresses, the Spartans will continue trying to impose their influence on the defensive side of the ball, while creating offense as well. With a wide-open race in the Class A standings, state will be a toss-up come district time.