Thursday, September 16, 2021

Experienced Lions have potential

Orange finished last season with an 8-13 record but the Lions are cautiously optimistic about their chances this season.

They return three starters and a host of others with varsity experience.

“Although we are a young team with only one senior, we are very seasoned with experience,” said Orange head coach Ship Collins. “We expect to give maximum effort, pursue making each other better and becoming a family.”

Three juniors and two sophomores are projected to fill out the Orange starting lineup.

The juniors include guard Casey Smith, a second-team All-Chagrin Valley Conference selection, forward Calia Gissentaner, an honorable mention all-league honoree, and forward Marissa Munsell.

Smith averaged 18.3 points and 6 steals per game while Gissentaner posted 6 points and 6 rebounds per contest. Munsell scored 11.7 points with 4 rebounds per game.

“Casey is the heart of the team who leads by action and not words,” Collins said. “(Gissentaner) is a tough-minded player whose competitive and team spirit goes unmatched.”

Munsell has fully recovered from the ACL injury that cut short her sophomore season.

Sophomore guard Kennedy Vickers and sophomore forward Kayden Lawson round out the projected starters.

Vickers averaged 5.6 points and 4 rebounds per game. Lawson earned honorable mention honors from the Northeast Lakes District.

“(Vickers) is a hard-working and determined athlete who continues to grow,” Collins said. “(Lawson) is a talented player who understands the game with big-game experience.”

Collins also expects sophomore forward Jessaca Hudson and sophomore guard Mahogany Sanford to make key contributions this season.

Steve Hare
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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