2022-23 women’s basketball preview


This picture is from last year and not accurate to this year’s team because of no other pictures being available. Photo via Lake Land College.

Darrius Frazier, Archivist

Coach David Johnson is entering his 24th season as head coach of the Lake Land College’s women’s basketball team. In addition to coaching, Johnson is also a Health and Physical teacher who coaches Basketball and Volleyball here on campus. Under his mentorship, the Lady Lakers have had many winning seasons and averaged 21 wins per season. 


More importantly, the Lady Lakers won the 2021 NJCAA Championship Game at Hickory, North Carolina, defeating the Johnson County (KS) College, Lady Cavaliers, 53-49. During the 2020-21 season, the Lady Lakers finished with a record of 25-2.


Johnson emphasized that the team’s strength is experience. He stated that “We have eight players returning from last year, so I think experience, knowledge and systems would be a big plus for us.” The eight players returning are Olivia Niemerg, Tayler Berry, Chloe Custis, Ali Watson, Lexi Niebrugge, Marissa Russo, Taylor Orris and Kylee Phillips. 


Johnson explained that the team’s weaknesses are rebounding. “We will put some extra focus as we move toward the start of the season. So that is something that I am very much aware of.” The Lady Lakers averaged 38.5 total rebounds in the game last year, which was 63rd in the country. He believes that based on the team’s experience and knowledge, the “Lady Lakers could compete for the conference, Region 24 Tournament and national title. We have a challenging schedule, and we are playing top 20 ranked teams this year as I like to play as competitive as possible to get the team ready for the conference and tournament.”


As of this month, the top teams the Lady Lakers will be playing during the regular season are Northern Arkansas Community College, Morton Community College, Kirkwood Community College, Illinois Central College, Parkland Community College and Lincoln Land Community College. He mentioned that the Lady Lakers’ main challenges would be, “playing Kirkwood Community College since they are the defending national champions, they are an excellent team. Illinois Central has a couple of players back from last year that were instrumental to their success, and they will be there at the top as well.”


On Saturday, Oct. 8th, the Lady Lakers will travel to Illinois Central College (ICC) at East Peoria, Illinois, to participate in the ICC Jamboree beginning at 9 a.m. The Lady Lakers’ first regular season game will be on the road as the Kankakee Community College Lady Cavaliers will host them on Saturday, Oct. 22nd at Noon. The Lady Lakers’ home opener at the Laker Fieldhouse will be on Wednesday, Oct. 25th, when they host the St. Mary’s of the Woods Lady Pomeroys at 5:30 PM.  


From Dec. 28-30th, the Lady Lakers will travel back to ICC to participate in the Holiday Tournament there. The Lady Lakers’ final game will be at home on Friday, March 3rd when they will host the Parkland Community College Lady Cobras at the Fieldhouse at 1 PM. The following week, the Lady Lakers will participate in the Region 24 Tournament at the site to be determined before playing in the national tournament.

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