PREP BASKETBALL

Lady Saints improving with effort, focus

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After going winless last season and much of the season before, the Clarendon Hall varsity girls basketball team has already had a much more positive experience in the current campaign.

The Lady Saints were 2-5 overall and 2-2 in SCISA Region III-1A heading into Thursday's non-region contest against St. John's Christian.

Head coach Anthony Reitenour, who took over as head coach of the team near the end of last season, is as encouraged by the way the Lady Saints have improved their outlook on the game as by collecting victories.

"They already have two wins under their belt this season and they're improving more and more every day," Reitenour said. "We started out the season kind of slow. I took them over at the end of last season, and they haven't had as much time to progress the way the boys team has, but they're getting there. Every game, you're seeing more and more improvement. Their intensity has picked up, they're starting to run a faster pace offense and defense. The effort is there, and it's really turning around for us."

The Lady Saints are paced by a trio of seniors. Mallory McIntosh leads the team in scoring and rebounding, averaging better than 10 points per game and six rebounds. Sydney Wells is adding four points and four rebounds to the mix and leads the team with slightly more than three steals per game. Brynne Baxley has been grabbing more than five rebounds per contest.

Reitenour said one of his biggest difficulties has been getting the team to keep its focus in tight games and not get discouraged.

"We've had some close games that we've kind of given up on," Reitenour said. "The biggest battle with coaching the girls sometimes is keeping them motivated to keep pushing forward and not giving up in the game. Where we are right now, I think they're truly ready and focused, and I think the second half of the year in conference, we're going to pick up quite a few more wins than we did in the first half. I'm expecting good things from them."