As Lincoln High School’s winter sports teams are starting up, the boys and girls basketball teams are preparing themselves for the season as they hope to make it further than they did last season. The boys team finished last season with a first round loss to Tiverton in the RIIL Division III playoffs. The team had a mediocre season as they were quite young, consisting of two seniors, eight juniors, and three sophomores. Coaches Jay Kelley and Kenton Crooks, who had previously resigned in 2017, were reinstated, returning to coaching Lincoln High Schools boys basketball team. Throughout the season, the team was inconsistent, winning here and there, while mixing in a loss ever so often. The team had back to back first round round losses in playoffs but expect to go much further this season.
The Lincoln High School Girls Basketball team finished last season below the expectations they had for themselves. With many returning varsity players from the previous season, and a roster containing four seniors, the Lady Lions had a tough season in Division II. The girls finished with only one win, coming against Middletown here in the Lion's Den. Last season was also the freshman year of new head coach, Lindsey Lacey, who is a former 1,000 point scorer at Bryant University while also receiving an offer for basketball from Duke University. It was a year of the players and coach getting acquainted and used to each other, not winning.
Both Lions teams did not have the season they had anticipated, but are bound for success this season as both will be competing in Division III. Last season the boys team had five players score over 100 points throughout the whole season- the five players were Josh Jahnz, Nick Villanova, Tyler McNulty, Declan Quinn, and Cody Anter. The girls team had only one player score over 100 points, senior Kate Swanson who has been a varsity starter since her freshman year and as a junior last year, she scored 185 points.
The boys team this year consists of a varsity team with 13 players and a junior varsity team of 12 players. On the varsity team, there are 10 seniors and 3 juniors, and the junior varsity team has 2 juniors and 10 sophomores. The members of the varsity team consist of senior captains Brett Bessette, Tyler McNulty, and Marty Gaughan, while they will be playing alongside teammates Declan Quinn, Nick Villanova, Aaron Desousa, David Du, Christian Williams, Adam Zangari, Jayden Albizu, Josh Jahnz, Vincenzo Nassi, and Cody Anter.
The girls team this year consists of a varsity team with 12 players and a junior varsity team of 13 players. On the varsity team, Seniors Kate Swanson and Dalia Suslovich are captains, along with Junior Yaritza Lara. Alongside them, the varsity team consists of Drew Swanson, Emma Brunelle, Elizabeth Hien, Lilye Lasko, Madison Flaxington, Victoria Ryan, Alexis Claude, Julia Bolduc, and Lynsey Fleming. The players on the junior varsity team are Lynsey Fleming, Ashley Bourgeois, Gabby Passarelli, Isabella Decubellis, Lauren Rose, Aisha Sarr, Debbie Dimasso, Houstyn, Samantha Mcclean, Neriah Bernardino, Elliana Wu, Regan Derenthal, and Kayla Kumar.
Junior starter, Yaritza Lara emphasises, “This year the team is looking very good, as we have many returning players and most of us have been playing together for years now, so we plan on doing very well this year in Division III.” Lara plans on being a big part of the team’s success this season as they look to improve from a one win season last year.
Senior center, Aaron Desousa explained, “ We have a team this year consisting of ten seniors, and we have been playing together since middle school. Our chemistry is the strongest we have ever been so I believe we can win the title this season.” Desousa is going to need to play real well and rebound this season in order for the team to be one of the best in Division III.
The injury fund and non-league games have passed, as league play is starting up for both teams. The boys team open up their league play against Rogers in Newport on December 18th. The girls team opens up league play against Mount Pleasant on December 17th, here at the Lion’s Den. Both teams have great intentions for the season and are bound to have the type they have hoped for that they will never forget.