TORRINGTON – Coming into the 2018-19 season, the Eastern Wyoming College Lady Lancer basketball team is looking to fill some holes left by outgoing sophomores, but head coach Tom Andersen is confident the team has the experience and depth to once again be competitive in the new season.
Gone are NJCAA All-American Pamela Bethel and All-Region IX player in Lauren O’Connell – the team’s top two leading scorers and rebounder.
“We’ll have some holes to fill, but we are looking forward to hopefully another great year,” Andersen said.
Despite that, eight sophomores highlight the roster.
“We have a lot of experience back. We have kids that know what they need to do,” Andersen said. “We have a good nucleus back, and that is always nice. It sets the tone for the new players coming in.”
The Lady Lancers will be led by Abril Rexach Roure.
“Abril started for us at point guard last year and is a very exciting player,” Andersen said. “I think she’ll do some good things for us. Her 3-point shooting has improved some and will make her a bigger threat.”
Roure is the top scorer back from a year ago, averaging 12.3 points and five assists per game.
Ines Salat Margarit is also back, averaging 8.3 points per game.
“Ines Salat is another one of our international kids who has some real speed and quickness will be a big factor for us,” Andersen said.
Nicole Cutler, Macie Mackey and Southeast High School product Emily Buchanan, who appeared in 30 or more games for the Lady Lancers a year ago, are also returning for their sophomore season.
“Emily is back and has really played well this fall. We hope she can carry that over,” Andersen said. “She is a real hard-nosed, hard-working kid. We are looking for some good stuff out of here.”
EWC has a number of freshmen who have had good falls and will look to contribute right away.
Paula Martinez is a 5-foot, 10-inch player who can play both inside and outside.
“Paula has played pretty well for us this fall,” Andersen said. “She’ll be a real solid player for us.
The Lady Lancers will also rely heavily on Croatia’s Barbara Trehub and her 6-1 frame to fill the void in the paint this season.
“She is strong kid who is going to have to play well for us,” Andersen said. “She’s a good rebounder and very patient in the post.”
Meanwhile, McKenzie Becker will provide depth at the guard spot, giving EWC another 3-point threat.
All-in-all, Andersen is happy with the depth and mix of experienced players with the newcomers.
“We’ve got some good depth and a lot of kids who can play,” Andersen said. “We’ve had some scrimmages, and we need to get into some real games and see what our new kids will do under that pressure.”
The big thing is just to get some games under the team’s belt.
“I feel good about where we are at, but we still need to improve our defense. Our rebounding has to improve,” Andersen said. “I think we’ll be an exciting team. We have some good guards, and it’s just a matter of putting everything together.”
The Lady Lancers open the season Sunday at Adams State in Alamosa, Colo. before opening the home schedule against Northwest Kansas Tech at 6 p.m.
“We will have a real busy week coming up,” Andersen said. “. Then Friday and Saturday, we jump right into McCook and North Platte. It’s going to be a real busy stretch for us, and hopefully, we’ll be up to the task and do some good things.”