By Denise Tucker (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
The New Covenant Academy Lady Warriors return three starters, including one of the top juniors in the area, from last year’s squad that advanced to the Class 2 District 10 semifinals.
The Lady Warriors finished 21-5 overall and 6-1 in the Mark Twain Conference – an improvement from the 2017-2018 season when they went 16-9.
Gone from last year’s district semifinalists include Claire Cannefax and Susan Cha.
Cannefax, a forward and team captain, graduated after earning all-district and all-conference honorable mention honors.
“We lost a lot of leadership and toughness, and a potent scorer and rebounder,” said head coach David Anderlik, who enters his fifth season at the helm.
Not returning this year is senior Susan Cha, who was an all-conference honorable mention selection last season.
“(Susan) was one of our best shooters and our top defender,” Anderlik said. “Her loss hurts and will challenge our depth.”
But, the Lady Warriors do have five key returnees, including three starters, to lead them into the 2019-2020 season.
Leading the way is 6-foot-2 junior forward and University of Central Missouri commit, Izzy Rohlfing. Rohlfing was an all-district and all-conference first-team pick and MVP runner-up. She averaged 11.7 points, 9.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game. “She can score anywhere on the court,” Anderlik said.
Also back for New Covenant are:
• Lillie Bodeen, 5-8 junior guard. Bodeen averaged 8.1 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 2.2 APG and 2.1 steals per game. She earned all-district and all-conference first-team honors. “Lillie is a versatile guard who can shoot and get herself baskets inside.”
• Alicia Batten, 5-5 senior point guard, who was a second-team all-conference selection. She averaged 6.5 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 3.8 APG and 2.4 SPG. “Alicia is an excellent ballhandler and on-court leader. We are looking to her to score more, while continuing to get the whole team involved.”
• Olivia Lynch, 5-6 senior guard. Averaged 7.4 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 1.2 APG and 1.6 SPG. “Olivia is an athletic guard who can shoot and attacks the basket well.”
• Deb Seale, 6-0 senior forward. Averaged 5.5 PPG and 2.8 RPG. “Deb is another versatile player who can shoot and get to the rim. We are looking for an increased role from her to fill some voids.
Anderlik hopes to have some newcomers step in and contribute this season.
“We have some freshmen that might help with depth, but their overall impact is uncertain at this point,” Anderlik said.
The Lady Warriors open the season at home against Sarcoxie on Nov. 22 before competing in the Fair Play Tournament on Nov. 25-27.
“We will be strong with our first five or six, but we lack depth,” Anderlik said. “We will need to quickly develop role players that can help us in certain situations. We will be relying on our upperclassmen to drive the scoring.”