Young Lyndon hoop squad opens on the road

LYNDON CENTER, Vt. — A young Lyndon women's basketball team takes to the road this weekend to open its 2012-13 season. The Hornets will face Nichols College in Dudley, Mass. Saturday at 2 p.m. before heading to Boston Sunday for a 1 p.m. matchup with Wheelock College.

The keys to Lyndon's success will center on the play of three-time All-North Atlantic Conference forward Donna Lawson and second-year point guard Chelsea Watson.

Lawson, who surpassed the 1,000-point mark for her career a year ago, averaged 28.5 minutes, 16.3 points and 9.9 rebounds per game in 2011-12. To keep the Hornets in the hunt for a berth in the NAC playoffs, the 6-foot-1 Lake Region Union grad may need to improve upon those numbers.

Watson, who joined the team as a sophomore last season, averaged a team-leading 30.1 minutes, 7.3 points and 2.6 assists per outing a season ago. In two pre-season scrimmages thus far, she has shown marked improvements in her ability to run the Hornet attack and become more of a threat on the offensive end.

Also returning to the Lyndon lineup are forwards Dannika Dobrowski, Amanda Martin and Britney Geoffrey, who will be asked to shoulder some of the rebounding and inside scoring load, as well as the guard trio of Emily Slayton, Emily Gray and Emily Strese. The latter threesome played solid defense last year, but will need to provide a little offensive production from the outside to take pressure off Lawson and Watson.

New to the Lyndon program in 2012-13 are freshmen Kaitlyn Kirk, Emily Barber, Chelsea Bagly and Aimee Thompson, a 1,000-point scorer from nearby Blue Mountain Union High School. Bagly has shown she can run the team in Watson's absence and Thompson, a solid scoring threat, has yet to hit stride due to a knee injury.

Rounding out the Hornet roster are sophomore Jillian Emery and junior Brooke Parciak. Both have shown they can knock down a perimeter jumper and bring a degree of maturity to a squad that has only five players above the sophomore class.

Lyndon will open the home portion of its season schedule on Thursday, Nov. 29 when it plays host to NAC power Colby-Sawyer College at Stannard Gymnasium. Game time is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.