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New Lady Lions coach confident in Lambton College team

Published on

Barry Wright

The new head coach of the women’s basketball program at Lambton College has a matter-of-fact objective for the coming season.

“We’re making the playoffs,” Jillian Shelley says confidently. “That is definitely my number one goal.”

Shelley was handed the reigns earlier this month, replacing Pete Kaija who parted ways with the college in April after four years at the helm.

The Lady Lions won four of final six conference games of the season in 2014-15 and just missed the post-season with a record of 7-11.

The 33-year-old Shelley comes to Lambton after a high school career split between SCITS and St. Pat’s, local travel team playing, coaching experience with the Huron Lakers, a collegiate career at York University, and five years of playing semi-professional basketball in Australia.

She has yet to name her assistant coaches.

With seven veteran players returning for Lambton this season and some promising rookies on the horizon, Shelley hopes to play a heavy rotation in order to reduce fatigue over the long campaign.

“I hope to have a team environment where everyone is playing at least a bit of the game,” she said. “I don’t think you should have players on your team if you’re not going to end up putting them on the floor.”

She plans on moulding a cohesive unit that plays lockdown defence.

“If we aren’t letting the other team score, then clearly they can’t beat us,” she stated.

Among the returnees for the Lions in September is Melissa Ellis, the top rebounder in the country last season, as well as Sarah Goodman, Christine Fleischer, Yasmin Taylor, Paige Johnston, Maddy Campbell and Kayla Riley.

Lambton’s athletic director, John Faragher, said he is looking forward to watching the women’s program develop under Shelley’s leadership.









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