Photo by John Napalan/Art O’Neill
Lakewood coach Duane Cooper feels like his Lancers are ready to take a jump after a 10-17 campaign in 2018-19 and a fifth place finish in the Moore League. To do so, Lakewood will have to rely on a number of new players.
“We have a lot of seniors, but we don’t have a ton of experience at the varsity level,” said Cooper. “The goal is always to compete for the league title, that’s the expectation. I expect to be able to beat anybody, just so long as we play the right way.”
Leading the way will be a pair of seniors who impressed last year, Bonard Johnson and Donavin Roberts.
Johnson was a first team All-Moore League selection and he’s the perfect embodiment of the quick pace Cooper wants the game played at.
“Everyone will know who he is and try to stop him, so we need four or five guys in double digits,” said Cooper.
Roberts has continued to grow and will be one of the best frontcourt players in the league this year. Also expected to start is sophomore Coralii Mila, who was on the varsity squad last year as a freshman. This year the team will feature a ninth grader as well, Chris Willis, the son of assistant coach Rob Willis.
“Chris just gets it,” said Cooper.