Lady Lancers reach #1 rank in the state with balance and teamwork
Elba may be ranked number one in the state now but it's not something they think much about, said Coach Tom Redband after Friday's home victory over Pembroke 46-45.
"It's a fun thing for the fans and it's a nice thing to read about but it's not something we talk about or, you know, fixate on," Redband said. "You know we want to be as good as we can in the end; whatever that might be. We don't get into whether we're number one state or winning sectionals or winning states.
"It's just the personality of the team because of their work ethic."
And winning is a whole team effort, Redband said. The best example this year is Wednesday's road win over Avon 60-33 with no player on the team hitting double digits in scoring.
"We ended up winning by 27," Redband said. "I think that's pretty rare. I can't remember the last time we lost by 27 when the top two scorers on the other team had five points. I think that's just a testament to the girls developing and being ready at all times no matter what they did last game. You know, the next girl up when somebody is not at their best or injured or we need a little boost."
Elba, a Class D team, is 15-0 on the season now and among the reasons it's ranked number one in the state is five of those wins came against Class B teams and all but one of those other wins against Class C teams. The team has scored at least 60 points 12 times.
Friday night's win -- which Elba almost let slip away -- was another example of distributed offense with Brynn Walczak scoring 12 points, Leah Bezon with 11, Lauryn Engle, 9, Taylor Augello, 6, and Maddie Muehlig, 5. Engle hit three of her four three-point attempts.
Here's how Redband breaks down his team:
"Leah Bezon has been on the team for four years now. She's only a sophomore. She keeps developing and she has a humongous upside. She's our captain.
"Brynn Walzcak has been on the team two, three years. Maddie Mulehig three years, Taylor Augello, it's her second year starting and she's really come on this year. She worked really hard in the offseason to develop her game.
"Maddie Howard who is a senior, she'll be back soon. She was injured a couple of weeks ago. She'll be back soon. She's a great, great assist person, very unselfish looking to defend and assist.
"Then we have shooters like Adriana Long and Dakota Brinkman and Lauryn Engle, who at any point could hit three or four threes in a game.
"Kelly Mickey is a ferocious defender and then Izzy Riner who can kind of do it all.
"We're really not a top-heavy team."