Harvest Christian Academy Lions
Last year: 7-20 (2-5 Northeastern Athletic Conference)
Coach: Kelly Friestad
Top returning players: Juniors Kylee Knox (5-5, PG), Morgan Lockwood (5-8, G); sophomore Rachel Oostdyk (6-0, C)
Key newcomers: Senior Sydney Doby (6-2, C); junior Alex Rayappa (5-9, G-F)
Outlook: Friestad feels this year's Lions team has quite a bit of potential. "We have high hopes to be one of the top teams in our conference and to go after a regional championship," said Friestad, a former standout at Judson University. "We need to jell as a team and play with no fear -- have 'killer instinct.' We will have some speed as well as some size." Knox returns after averaging 12.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, 4.0 steals and 3.3 assists per game as a sophomore. Oostdyk averaged 5.7 points and 6.2 rebounds as a freshman last year. "A big key for us will be taking care of the ball and just playing with basketball IQ," the coach said. "Some illnesses and injuries have slowed us down a little, but we should be competitive when we're at full strength." The return of the 6-2 Doby to the basketball court will also help the Lions. A Grand Valley State recruit for volleyball, Doby sat out the basketball season last year but has helped Harvest reach the Elite Eight in volleyball the past three years. Friestad said Westminster Christian and Rockford Christian Life will be teams to contend with in the NAC this year. The rest of the Lions' roster features Hannah Hendricks (5-4, G, Soph.), Aliyah Ellis (5-7, G, Sr.), Gabi Rodriguez (5-9, F, Jr.) and Cellie Carrillo (5-8, G, Soph.).