LHS Bruins seek hoops improvement

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By Robert Howey

The Lancaster High School basketball teams are looking for better results this winter.

Each team is optimistic this season after their share of tough nights a year ago.

The LHS boys of third-year coach Ricardo Priester are looking to improve on a 2-18 mark, while the Lady Bruins want to better a 9-13 finish.

The Bruins have their share of experience with nine returnees.

The group includes five seniors – 6-5 center Robert Fletcher, forwards Taniel Massey and Mitchell Belk, along with guards Wendell McIlwain and Casey Catoe.

Catoe, a 5-9 performer, earned the team’s Most Improved Player Award last season.

The guard slot is strong with all-region performer Shurdell Wright, a junior, back, along with junior Michael Catoe. Wright averaged 15.1 points per game last fall. He averaged 17 points a game in region play and was the runner-up for the league’s Newcomer of the Year Award.

Catoe hit five points and grabbed three rebounds a game last season.

Sophomore guard Gerard Brace adds back court depth.

Forward Teron Truesdale, a junior, is back to bolster the front court.

The LHS newcomers are sophomore guard Xavier Holloway, along with sophomore guard Avery Harris and freshman forward Ron Trapps.

Harris reaped the Coaches Award on the 14-2 LHS B-team and Holloway was the Offensive Award winner.

“We’re excited about this season,” Priester said. “Our players have worked hard since last season ended. They’re determined to perform well in class and on the court. I like their attitudes.

”The key to our season is to play our style and be consistent,” Priester said. ”We also have to improve at the free-throw line.”

Priester is assisted by Jerron Cauthen and Bo Silvia, a first-year assistant.

Priester said Region III-AAA will again be tough.

”The last five Class AAAA state champions have come from our region,” he said. “Fort Mill is ranked No. 2 and Northwestern is No. 10. Each night’s a dogfight in this region.”

The LHS girls are also blessed with experience, sporting six seniors.

All-region pick Miteka Trueheart, who led the team with a 12-point scoring average, returns. Trueheart, a senior guard-forward, also earned the team’s Offensive Award. Senior forward Tenisha Howze, who led the team in blocks and rebounding, returns after earning the Defensive Award with an 8.5 rebounding average. Howze also hit 7.8 points a game last season.

The returnees included junior guards Tamesha Fletcher, who averaged eight points a game, and Dimaya Jones along with junior forward Laquisha Stewart and sophomore forward Shaniqua Waters.

Senior forward Tesha Tipton, a transfer from Sun Valley High School, and junior guard Keondra Jenkins, a Buford transfer, head the newcomers.

Junior forward Quita Knotts, sophomore guard Courtney McCrorey, freshman forward-center Quana Jones and eighth grader Tarah Tipton complete the LHS girls‘ squad.

Knotts was a Coaches Award winner on the 9-4 Junior Lady Bruins’ team last season.

“I feel real good about this group,” said LHS coach Ronnie Robinson. “They learn fast and the’re athletic.

“We want to play tough defense and be more aggressive this season,” Robinson said. “We have more expereience and we want that to help us be better this season.”

Robinson, in his fourth season at LHS, is assisted by Dwayne Robinson and Shanethia Hamilton.

LHS visits Andrew Jackson it its opener Tuesday night.