Great thing about goals is there’s always a next one.
By many accounts, the Lexington High girls varsity basketball team’s 2012-2013 campaign has been a successful one: They’ve overcome a spot of adversity, doubled last year’s win total and achieved their goal of hosting a game in the MIAA North Division 1 Tournament.
Now, after a 15-5 season, coach Steve Solly’s senior-led squad is preparing to host Boston Latin at 7 p.m. this Wednesday, Feb. 27 at LHS, and setting their sights on the next goal – advancing to the quarterfinals.
“The girls came into the season with the goal of earning a home game,” said Solly. “I’m sure the goals have changed now.”
That’s not to say the No. 6-seed Minutemen are looking past No. 11 Boston Latin. In fact, when it comes to postseason play, the LHS squad will hyper-focus its goals.
“It’s about winning each moment,” said Solly. “When you’re in tournament basketball and there’s a loose ball, we have to win that moment, and dive for it and get that basketball. Or step in and take a charge; things that can win an extra possession.”
And Solly believes his team will be embrace postseason play, thanks in part to the senior leadership that’s been key to the squad’s success through the year. The Minuteman have six seniors, and three of them are captains: Kate Powers, Kristyn Kajko and Dana Dimodica.
“The beautiful thing about these three captains is they’re very complimentary to one another, said Solly, noting Dimodica is the teams best rebounder and physical presence, while Kajko is a scorer who has playoff experience and Powers is like coach on the floor. “And all of our younger players really learn from them and take that on.”
That and they’re battle-tested, thanks to a strong Middlesex League schedule and an invitation to the Spartan Classic invitational tournament, in which the Minutemen fell to a Lynn English team that claimed the No. 1 seed in the MIAA tournament.
“We’re fortunate to play in a very challenging league,” said Solly. “Every day it keeps you on your toes, because we’ve got some very good teams and it prepares us.”
Prepared though they may be, the biggest challenge—literally and figuratively—against Boston Latin Wednesday night will be the Wolfpack’s big center Maggie Mulligan.
“She’s very tall and very skilled,” said Solly. “We have to limit her impact on the overall game. She’s going to sore, she’s going to get rebounds, but she can’t go off. We have to hope that our five is better than one.”
But Solly says his team has seen height before, against league foes like Reading and Woburn. So the challenge will to make sure the highly skilled Mulligan doesn’t dictate pace.
To that end, the Minutemen will stick to their guns and defend tall 94 feet, using a full-court defense to fuel an explosive offensive attack. As another means for dictating pace and tone, Solly said his team would look to their supporters to amp up the home court advantage.
“We do have great supporters, but we’d like to get it to another level Wednesday,” Solly said. “This could be the last home game, win or lose, so we’re hoping for a packed house.”