Golden Horde coach Mike Lufkin is setting high expectations for his team this season and with good reason, as he returns four key seniors and a bench that goes nine deep, which is nearly the opposite from last season's scenario.
With at least three players over 6-feet in Adam Garcia, Nick Anagnos and Emmitt Ackerman, Brian Harvey and Craig Duprey will also look to create an impact. This team should also be athletic enough to bang the boards for second-chance opportunities. Defensive rebounding and good defense will certainly be important to create some transition baskets.
In the season home-opener against Cabot, the Horde got 15 points from Adams and 11 from Ackerman in a 45-16 win over Cabot. Westside played stifling defense inside which allowed them to get their transition game in full gear.
The West Rutland girls' team is coming off about as good a season as you can get, after winning the Division IV state championship last season. Despite losing eight players to graduation and bringing in some eight freshman, head coach Carl Serani still has some experience left from the title team with Heidi and Holly Burns, Caroline Woods, Amanda Harte, Johanna Lee, Sam Lacz, Morgan Raiche and Mikayla Dambrackus.
With so many new faces looking to make contributions, though, this could indeed be a very challenging season for the Lady Horde, but challenges are created to be met and this team has enough experience from last year to continue that winning momentum.
The Westside girls' opened their season with a convincing 50-28 win over Cabot. The freshman Dambrackus led the way with 10 points, while Lacz and Raiche pitched in with nine and seven points respectively.