It is one of the greatest debates in basketball and one of the oldest in all of sports. How does the performance of the individual affect the overall success of the team, and how does the overall performance of the team affect the success of the player?
It is a symbiotic relationship clouded in interpretation and perspective.
LebTown’s pre-season All-Lebanon County girls’ basketball team is loaded with talent, the best individual players that the locale has to offer. And while each athlete will play key roles in their respective teams’ success during the 2023-24 campaign, they are also products of nurturing programs and systems.
“We talk a lot about roles,” said Lebanon head coach Jaime Walborn. “Everybody has a different role on the team. All roles are equally important, which is why we had success last season. The girls know their roles and they play them well.”
“Now, some players have different roles,” continued Walborn. “Our team has changed. Everyone has to understand their roles, and if they can, we can have another successful season.”
Recently, LebTown, through the input and cooperation of the local coaches, unveiled the members of its inaugural preseason All-Lebanon County girls’ basketball team. It’s a group that possesses a lot of everything.
The squad is fronted by a pair of Cedars, junior point guard Kailah Correa and junior post Lilly Harrison, and features Annville-Cleona junior forward Ava Hoover, Palmyra senior combo guard Keely Bowers, Cedar Crest senior sniper Allie Metzgar and Northern Lebanon junior Olivia Shutter.
With another big season, Correa would take her place among Lebanon County girls’ basketball royalty – the Howers, the Munnions, and the Schwabs.
Using footwork, positioning and strength, there were times last year when Harrison seemed unstoppable around the basket.
Hoover is a hard-working, no-nonsense performer in the paint who relies as much on her intensity as she does her talent.
Fresh off an incredible fall field hockey campaign, Bowers is looking to carry that experience and competitiveness over onto the court.
A shooter with a deft outside touch, Metzgar will be looked to for leadership and defense by the postseason-chasing Falcons.
A versatile and emerging talent, Shutter led the Vikings in three-pointers and rebounds as a sophomore.
“It’s definitely exciting,” said Walborn of the beginning of the winter season. “Ready or not, our girls are excited to start playing games. They worked hard in the offseason. We’re excited about that first game, and then it’s one game at a time. The thing is, once the games start, the season seems to go so fast.”
Also receiving All-County consideration from the coaches and media were Palmyra’s Mackenzie Margut, ELCO’s Sara Miller and Kenzie Eckhart, Annville-Cleona’s Kendall Cooper, Northern Lebanon’s Kasey Weimer, Cedar Crest’s Kaila Francis and Lebanon’s Zariya Whigham, and Olive Brandt.
“We want to elevate every day,” said Walborn. “We want to get better every day, game to game. One thing about our team is we have experience, and we’re battle tested. We’re looking for our experienced plays to elevate their play and be leaders for the newer kids.”
Cedar Crest, Elco and Annville-Cleona opened their girls’ basketball seasons on Friday, Dec. 1. Lebanon begins on Monday, while Northern Lebanon and Palmyra play their first games on Tuesday.
“We don’t do that as a team,” said Walborn to the notion of season goals. “We set weekly goals, practice goals. Our goal right now is to win our first two away games off the bat. We don’t look long-term yet. We do that when we get there.”
Questions about this story? Suggestions for a future LebTown article? Reach our newsroom using this contact form and we’ll do our best to get back to you.
Do you want to see more from LebTown?
Support local news. Cancel anytime.
Already a member? Login here
Free news isn’t cheap. If you value the journalism LebTown provides to the community, then help us make it sustainable by becoming a champion of local news. You can unlock additional coverage for the community by supporting our work with a one-time contribution, or joining as a monthly or annual member. You can cancel anytime.