LINDEN – The Lady Chargers are coming off a season in which a lot of young players got to see the court. As typically goes with playing young players, there were some growing pains for Ryan Nuppnau’s team as they ended their season with an overall record of 3-20. 

Last season’s struggles could now turn into success for the Lady Chargers who bring back those young players who have already experienced significant playing time. Nuppnau likes the direction his team is headed and is excited to get the season underway. 

“We really have a great group of girls who got playing time last season. Around 8-9 of them were able to get their feet wet with the varsity team. They’re now starting to pick up on a lot of things and are starting to recognize a lot more than last season. We’ve gone to a couple of different offenses and it’s neat to see the girls pick up on things really quick. I’m excited to see the offense play because we have a lot of girls that can score and they are they are starting to take things to heart and figure out what they can do to score. If we do things well this season, we will be able to put the ball in the basket a lot and I’m excited about that.” 

Nuppnau really isn’t focused too much on playing a specific style of basketball or having his girls be so oriented on a certain aspect. He is keeping very simple with his girls as he explains. 

“We just want them to have fun and learn the game offensively,” Nuppnau said. “To be able for them to read the defense and take advantage of what they are giving them is the thing that we’re focused on the most so far. We’d like to get down on offense. We have a few bigs who can post-up down low and score and even a few guards who can cause some miss-matches for the other team. Defensively we want to be more active in our help side defense and take away the second chance points. 

With still an overall young squad, Nuppnau talks about his goals and expectations for the upcoming season. 

“I think we can contend for the county title as well as finish in the middle of the conference or better,” Nuppnau said. “We’re going to be in a couple of tournaments and I expect to be in the championship game in those. We lost some games last year that we should’ve won and you’re going to have those growing pains with a young team, but this season we’re expecting those results to be more in our favor.” 

With the fall sports season wrapping up, Nuppnau talked about how he hopes those girls that competed in the fall, bring the same competitive drive to the team with the season getting underway here soon. 

“I’m a big proponent of multi-sport athletes,” Nuppnau said. “I prefer all my players to be playing three sports year-round. You can’t simulate the level of competition just by doing workouts. I think that’s one of the biggest thing especially in girls’ sports is finding that competitive edge and playing in many sports all year long helps grow that competitive nature.” 

The Lady Chargers will have two big girls down low as Nuppnau mentioned in Sophomore Katie Rice and Junior Makinze Rominger. Rominger is currently in the process of recovering from an ACL injury as she is working her way back to being 100 percent. 

“If we can get those two players down low working together and playing well will be big for us,” Nuppnau said. “If we can score down there then that will also open up the perimeter for our shooters. Girls like Madi Welch and Maddie Moseley can light it up from the outside. We’re going to be looking to use those inside-out actions. Lydia Dugard is another player who can take it hard to the basket so those girls will be key for us on the offensive end.” 

The Lady Chargers will open their season starting on Nov. 5 at they will travel to Frontier High School to kick off their 2019-20 season.