Defense is the key for Niles girls, says coach Butler

Sports

Lady Dragon basketball season gets underway with a trip to Mineral Ridge

Niles McKinley Red Dragons High School Basketball

Credit: leolintang/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Niles Red Dragons
Coach: MaKayla Butler
2019-20 Record: 5-18 (4-10, Northeast 8)
Returning Letter winners: Seniors – Emma Flanigan, Arissa Johnson and Cassie Pleacher. Sophomores – Abbey Reed and Alaina Thigpen.
…”The girls are getting in the gym as much as possible and putting in the work,” says coach Butler. “We only have two starters returning so we have a lot of open spots to fill. We want our girls to work hard and leave everything on the floor every night.”

Big shoes will have to be filled with the graduation of Aneziah Fryer, who averaged 22.2 points and 2.8 assists to go along with 5.3 boards per game. Arissa Johnson (4.7 rpg) and Emma Flanigan scored 2.5 points and 2.0 points per game respectively.

The biggest key to a Lady Dragon successful season is on the defensive end of the court. “We’re going to be a very young team,” Butler states. “If we can step up and be disciplined on defense – we believe we’ll have a very successful year. We preach to our girls every day that consistency and commitment will be the dividing factor. As a team, we’ll have to fight through the adversity and be the aggressor.”

2020-21 Schedule
Niles
Nov. 24 – at Mineral Ridge
Nov. 28 – at East
Nov. 30 – Howland
Dec. 3 – at Lakeview
Dec. 7 – Girard
Dec. 10 – at South Range
Dec. 14 – at Struthers
Dec. 17 – Poland
Dec. 28 – at LaBrae
Jan. 4 – Jefferson
Jan. 7 – at Hubbard
Jan. 9 – Champion
Jan. 11 – Lakeview
Jan. 14 – at Girard
Jan. 16 – at Jackson-Milton
Jan. 21 – South Range
Jan. 23 – Rootstown
Jan. 25 – Struthers
Jan. 28 – Hubbard
Jan. 30 – at Campbell Memorial
Feb. 1 – at Poland
Feb. 4 – at Jefferson

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