With most of their players back from last year's 23-3 State Runner-Up team, the St. John Lady Tigers basketball team should have another successful season, that is, as long as everyone keeps out of foul trouble, and as St. John's head coach Danny Smith puts it, "The success of our season will depend on our ability to stay healthy and injury free."
The Tigers will once again rely on their smothering defensive game, taking the ball away and getting much of their scoring off the transition game. But with a bench not as deep as last year's and minus All-Stater Teresa Wade who was their leading rebounder and scorer last year, the Lady Tigers will need to avoid making costly mistakes.
You can almost "bet the farm" that many, if not most teams will come at the Tigers using a collapsing Zone because one of last year's team biggest weaknesses was their outside shooting, especially attempting the three point shot. This is one area where this year's team can readily show improvement, and that could make a big difference, not only in scoring but also forcing their opponents to come out, leaving St. John's two big men more open for the score or rebound.
The Tigers will rely on their two seniors, All-Staters Morgan Osborne and Jamie Waters. They'll have the tall order to fill in replacing the numbers that Wade put up last year.
The shorter Tigers will need to do a better job of boxing out, capitalizing on what height they do have - their tallest man Teresa Christie standing at 5'10". St. John's other forward Alexis Witt will be the other bookend, using her 5'9" height and strength to overcome the Tigers' height disadvantage in several games.
Other players to look for from outside are guards Tia Smith, Tara Christie, Jessica Hanson and Maddy Lippoldt.
New-comers this year are freshmen Brandi Hanson, Marsena Irvine, Bella Haskins and Estrelia Fernandez.
"We feel really good about our team and we are looking forward to having a great season." said coach Smith.
St. John's assistant coach is Trish Wade. The basketball managers are Caleb Rudy and Breanna Towers.
Danny Smith - 5th Season, 9th Season overall (140-51), (95-10 at St. John)
St. John-Hudson's first game of the season will be on Friday, Nov. 30 at home when they'll play a tall Skyline team with two six footers in their lineup.