New look for Lenape
With Foggie gone, others will have to step up.
For the last four years, the game plan to stop the Lenape girls' basketball team was a simple one to draw up but much more difficult to execute. Anybody who wanted a chance to beat the Indians had to hold guard Christina Foggie in check.
Now at Vanderbilt, Foggie was a two-time Inquirer first-team all-South Jersey selection. Last season, Foggie led South Jersey in scoring, averaging 26.8 points for the 23-4 Indians. Foggie finished with 2,137 career points, the most in school history, boys or girls.
So this season's team will have a much different look. And while the Indians won't start the season in The Inquirer's preseason Top 10, they could find their way there soon enough.
Due to the departure of Foggie, the Indians will be a more balanced team, one that will likely have to rely on defense early in the season until the offense comes along.
"Christina was an amazing player, and now we will have a different look," Lenape coach Lynn Brennan said. "We will have a lot of players who will be contributing offensively."
One of those players will be Moira Anthony, a versatile, 5-foot-10 senior who can play guard, forward, or center.
"Moira is our leader on the court," Brennan said. "She can play so many positions and is so dependable."
Even the Indians will have a period when the players will have to get accustomed to playing without a dominant scorer. Still, this is a confident group.
"Last year, we had a great player who was dominant, and now nobody knows what to expect from us," Anthony said. "We think we can be a competitive team."
While Cherry Hill East enters the season as the favorite in the Olympic Conference American Division, Lenape is considered the likely leading challenger in a division that is in transition.
Lenape symbolizes the drastic changes in the American Division. Defending champion Eastern, along with Cherokee and Lenape and Washington Township, lost quality players to graduation. So did Cherry Hill East, but the Cougars have two returning all-stars.
"Our conference is always difficult," Anthony said. "I think if we play to our ability, we will compete for the title."
Last season, Foggie suffered a finger injury late in the season that kept her out of the playoffs, and others stepped up.
For instance, junior forward Brianna Wylie had 14 points in an opening, 51-33 South Jersey Group 4 playoff win over Mainland and added 24 more in a 47-38 quarterfinal triumph over Williamstown.
Anthony added 13 points in the win over Mainland, and this year's point guard, Kayla Toomer, had nine points.
Other returning veterans include senior forward Advia Campbell, junior guard Carly Walters, and junior guard-forward Ashley Young.
One thing that could change is the starting lineup, especially early in the season, when Brennan will look for the right combinations.
"A lot of times our lineup could be determined by who we are playing," Brennan said. "It will be about matchups."
So there will be a different look to the Indians, but this is a Lenape team that no opponent can overlook.
"It will be different this year, but this group has worked hard," Brennan said. "We're certainly looking forward to the challenge."