Head coach Darnell Parker’s challenge goes beyond the hardwood this winter. Coach Parker is deep in a personal battle against cancer, but, like the girls who will take the floor for the Loveland Lady Tigers basketball team and the community, he is staying strong and ready for the season to begin.
Coach Parker is in his seventh year as a head coach and in his fourth year here at Loveland. He has accumulated an impressive lifetime coaching record of 106-64 including 58-15 as coach of the Tigers. He is assisted at LHS by assistant coaches Keith Braswell, Brad Early, Wray Jean Connor, and Mike Knellinger.
The team has a solid core of returning athletes from the 2019/20 team which went 22-4 overall while winning the ECC League Championship with a conference record of 13-1. At the same time, Jillian Hayes, Kate Garry, Sophia Raby and Sam James have graduated and moved on. That is a loss Coach Parker hopes will be overcome by key players returning this year.
He named senior Jenna Batsch, a Kent State commit and second leading scorer one year ago with 11 ppg, senior Tess Broermann – a four year starter with 6.3 ppg last season, sophomore Olivia Raby and sophomore Josie Early as returnees he’ll be counting on. Raby was the team leader in field goal percentage making 52% of her shots and scoring 3.5 points per game. Early had a strong tournament run a year ago showing signs of things to come for this season.
Coach Parker is excited about the new players he expects to be key contributors on the floor this year for the Lady Tigers. Nia Kemper is transfer from Wyoming. He describes her as an “excellent shooter and defender” who plays point guard and averaged 14 points per game at Wyoming. The other back court addition is Vivian Clayton who transferred to LHS from Sycamore where she averaged 8 points per game
“Great defender and strong guard attacking the basket,” said Parker, who also noted some exciting milestones in the offing for the Lady Tigers this season. “Tess Broermann is on pace to break the career record for games started in a career. This senior class is on pace to be the most decorated class in Loveland history!”
It is not surprising heading into the 2020/21 winter sports basketball season, Coach Parker cited COVID-19 and “keeping our kids safe” as the biggest concerns for the team. When asked though, he did say top competition in the season will likely come from Lebanon, Little Miami and Walnut Hills. The Lady Tigers have a goal for their season success.
“Our girls have aspirations of repeating as league champions,” Parker said. “We want to be the first team to win the New ECC.”
Follow the team with Coach Parker on Twitter @CoachDparker
Click here to purchase a T-shirt to help support Coach Parker in his battle against cancer. ($10 of every purchase goes to help Coach Parker)
Check http://www.lovelandtigers.org for more about Loveland High School Athletics
Check http://www.eccsports.com for schedule information, results and more.