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Lady Pioneers set roster
Dribbling.jpg
Jaden Smartt, front, makes her way through cones during a dribbling drill, followed by Brielee Kelsey and Kam Nowlin.

Anthony Lippe wants to bring the swagger back to Warren County High School girls basketball. Lippe has announced his varsity and freshman teams for 2020-21 as he begins his second year at the helm of the Lady Pioneers.

“The No. 1 thing I want to do is get the culture where it needs to be,” said Lippe. “The girls are completely buying in to what we’re doing and what it means to be a Lady Pioneer.”

Playing with an incredibly young team last year, Lippe started two freshmen, two sophomores, and one senior in the final game. Lippe says it will be a young team again this year, but he’s convinced the Lady Pioneers will make strides from their two-win season.

“These girls have been in the system for a year and they understand the expectations,” said Lippe. “We have some young girls who want to win, who have that fire. We need to get to the point where we have a chance to win with four minutes to go so we can learn what it takes to win. I feel good about this team and I’m excited. Every team we played twice last year we did much better against them the second time.”

Lippe said the Warren County girls played the hardest schedule in the state last year, as determined by CoachT.com. The schedule includes a brutal district with high-powered teams.

The Lady Pioneers averaged 37 points per game last year. Lippe said that scoring average needs to increase to the mid-40s for the team to be more competitive on a nightly basis.

In his first year, Lippe inherited a squad that only had two girls who had ever logged varsity minutes. This year, the key will be turning a year’s worth of experience into more wins.

To bolster team morale, Lippe has a pink hardhat and a gold chain that looks like a Mr. T accessory to award to players who are shining. Lippe says the items can be given to a player who hustles in practice or who hits 7-of-8 foul shots in a game.

“Whether we’re up 30 or down 30, we’re going to work the same way,” said Lippe. “We’re not going to allow the scoreboard to dictate how we play. I give the hardhat out to hard workers and the girls love it. They hang it in their lockers and it’s a source of pride. The chain is the same thing. We call it our locked in chain and it’s for girls who are locked in to doing the right thing.”