CAMBRIDGE – It was all high spirits and high hopes in the Cambridge-South Dorchester High School gym on Monday, as the Lady Viking varsity and junior varsity basketball teams put the finishing touches on their preseason prep.
Head Coach Bruce Springer got his girls started on drills, and then stepped off the court to talk about the upcoming campaign.
“The last two years, we’ve been to the region final,” he said, as the varsity girls shot and passed nearby. This year, he said, the team is looking to break through that barrier and advance further in the postseason.
They’ll have to get past Pocomoke, though – the Lady Warriors have won the regional championship the previous three years. Otherwise, “I think North Dorchester is going to be very good this year,” Coach Springer said.
The Vikes will be led this season by four returning starters: Center Ashia Wright, the only senior among them; juniors Abby Robinson and Natalya Pritchett; and sophomore Brooke Windsor.
Coach Springer will be assisted by Andrew Bishop, who moved up from the JV squad, Dennis Wooten and Jason Bleyer. Christina Smith is head coach of the junior varsity girls.
As the coaches and players look forward to the season’s competition, they are also busy with the nuts and bolts of basketball.
“Our biggest issue is teaching the basic skills,” Coach Springer said. With many of the players having only casual experience with the game, much of practice is spent not on team concepts, but rather on shooting, passing and other tasks.
“We’re going to try to start a feeder program for girls,” Coach Springer said, adding that Coach Bleyer is the man leading that effort.
While the job isn’t done, the skill – and interest – levels for girls’ basketball have already been raised. Not only are the young ladies playing better, but fans have also responded with increased support.
Coach Springer said a recent scrimmage attracted more spectators than some regular-season games did last year. “They’re coming to see basketball,” Coach Springer said.
The team began its season with a home game against Kent Island on Tuesday, with results too late for this printed edition. Photos and the score can be found on The Dorchester Banner’s Facebook page.
The varsity team’s next games will be today at Wicomico, 5:00 p.m.; Dec. 12 at Kent County, 5:30 p.m.; and at home, versus Pocomoke on Dec. 14, 5:30 p.m.