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Lighthouse Christian High School

School Info
Conference: 1AD2 Sawtooth Conference
Classification: 1A D2

Head Coach: Tia Standlee

Years as Head Coach: 2nd season

Previous Experience: Seven years coaching

Assistant Coaches:
Tony Standlee
Sam Gomez

Photo By: Patty Theurer #11 Parris Gomez
Team Preview

Written by: Sven Alskog

One of the better stories from the 1AD2 state tournament is back in 2014-2015, expecting bigger and better things moving forward in Twin Falls.

If Lighthouse Christian is able to duplicate the success from their first year of the Tia Standlee era on the hardwood, the Dietrich Lady Devils might be facing a real threat to be removed from their throne atop the 1AD2 North Side Conference.

For the past four seasons, Dietrich has taken home the state championship, something which a senior-laden Lighthouse Christian team hopes to bring an end to this time around.

The Lions are led by the inside-out combo of the 6’0” Jackie van Vliet down low and the explosive playmaking ability of point guard Parris Gomez on the outside.

Gomez was an All-Idaho Second Team selection following her junior season.

While losing All-Idaho First Team forward Brooklyn Vander Stelt and her near double-double averages of 14.2 points and 9.8 rebounds per game is a big loss, van Vliet is primed to make an even bigger impact inside during her senior campaign. She is a good rebounder with a height advantage over most of her opponents. Physicality will be important for her though going against more aggressive interior players trying to get rebounds.

Offensively van Vliet has solid footwork and a nice touch on her mid-range jumper, something which she has continued to improve in the offseason.

Depth was an issue at points last year for the Lions, with the starters receiving a heavy bulk of the minutes. While talent from the first five will not be an issue again this season, the bench will be asked by coach Standlee to help keep the starters fresh for the fourth quarter.

“We have a good number [of new players] coming into this season,” said Standlee. “That's going to impact our program a lot. Having two strong teams is going to make a huge difference this year.”

In state tournament play, Lighthouse Christian was able to hang in all three of their games, winning the opener over Tri-Valley by a score of 36-31. They fell in their final two by seven and three points respectively to Mackay and Rockland, two of the best teams in the state, the first of which went on to advance to the state championship.

“The girls really believe in themselves this year, unlike last year they still were a little unsure until the end,” said Standlee. “We have some players coming in that really want to give it their all this season. Have some new ones to help our inside game as well as our outside.

Defensively the Lions were able to keep themselves in games last season. Utilizing their height advantage also helped to get rebounds. The task for the upcoming season will be to put more points on the board while staying within their offensive style of a balanced attack featuring van Vliet and Gomez.

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