Stelly’s girls hoops team one of the best in years

High school hoops preview: Stingers a well-balanced team.

Stelly's senior girls coach Lynn Montgomery and player Lucy Skinner seen during a preseason basketball practice.

This year’s Stelly’s Stingers senior girls basketball team is a mix of great leaders and strong players, says their coach.

Lynn Montgomery, in her third straight year as head coach, said the team is one of the best she has seen in her nine years at the school.

“We are well-balanced overall. We have a lot of returning senior players.”

Montgomery was running her team through their drills this week, as the high school hoops season is set to begin next week at a variety of tournaments in the region.

“It’s a good group of competitors,” she said of the squad, adding she has noticed that more girls seem committed to the game and to honing their skills in the offseason.

“We have some good ball-handlers and we run the floor well,” she continued. “We also have some size in our post players.”

High on the list of her coaching points is instilling a level of confidence among all of the players.

One player with no shortage of that is Lucy Skinner, who has moved up from the junior team ranks this season.

“She has great hands,” said her coach. “She is a rower and rugby player who is energetic and strong. She’s one who will do a lot of scoring this year.”

On the defensive end, Montgomery points to Alynn Dagg and Sophie Blandford. Both work well together, although the coach said Blandford is coming off of a back injury. While she’s tentative right now, Montgomery agreed she’s showing signs of a wily veteran who knows how to be in the right place at the right time.

Holding the team together will be Rachael Ross, a Grade 12 player considered by Montgomery to be one of the squad’s best athletes.

The team will have to be on its game, she added, as they’re in the same league as Oak Bay — a team promising to be the AAA powerhouse among girls’ teams this season.

Claremont, too, will be tough competition, but Montgomery said Stelly’s will be in the mix.

The Stingers’ first league game is right before Christmas, with a few tournaments on the horizon. The season runs through February.

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Up next: Stelly’s boys and Parkland’s two senior teams will be profiled in the PNR.