LAKE GEORGE - Every year as winter approaches, the Lake George Girls Basketball Team starts practice in their gymnasium under a bevy of banners that bear witness to the team's long history of success.
As the squad develops skills and works on plays, the players annually seek to live up to the tradition.
Last year, the talented Varsity Girls team lost the Adirondack League Championship to Whitehall in a 47-43 heartbreaker. This game ended the six-year streak for Lake George in winning the Adirondack League crown in girls basketball.
This year, the Warriors have reloaded and are well-positioned to be atop the league.
Returning are veterans Brittany Baker, Kelly Flaherty, Caroline Murphy and Chelsea Sipowicz, offering a balanced and talented lineup, Coach Rob Tefft said. They all have three years of quality experience on the hardwood, he said.
"We've got a good group back with some good experience since they were sophomores," he said. "Also, they've got pretty good size."
Their height will allow a lot of flexibility in creating opportunities both inside and outside, as well as moving players to different positions, Tefft added.
"With our size, the team has a lot of flexibility due to its interchangeable parts," he said. "We have some depth."
This deep roster in the guard position means playmaking options in the backcourt have also expanded this year, Tefft added.
"This year, we won't have to put too much pressure on one player," he said, adding that his team is goal-oriented.
"They work hard in practice, but they have a good time -they have fun when they play," he said, noting the traditional success of the Lake George program has been built on spirited play and skill development in the elementary and middle-school years.
"These kids have pride, they've stayed with the program, developed the skills, learned the plays," he said. "They're very coachable and fun to work with."