Photo courtesy of the Bloomingdale girls basketball team. The 2020 Lady Bulls’ motto is ‘Together.’

The 2020 Bloomingdale Lady Bulls are looking to build off one of the best seasons in school history last year, wherein they won 19 games and made it to their second straight district final.

The team’s toughest task will be replacing the productivity and leadership of two senior 1,000-point career scorers, Nya King and Erin Leigh. They are off to a good start, beating Robinson High School 50-33 in their home opener.

The young group will feature six returning players, none of which are seniors, including sophomore Melody Womack, junior captain Kaylie Lewis, sophomore Eva Knauer, sophomore Aleissa Perez, sophomore Kyrstin Wolff and junior captain Emily Seltzer.

The Lady Bulls also have four newcomers, including an Armwood transfer, junior point guard Angelina Aberin. Aberin brings added experience and toughness to the program, having played a big role in her freshman season, in which Armwood made it to the regional finals.

Then there are junior Telicia Comer; freshman dual-sport athlete Faith Wilson, who also plays volleyball; and sophomore Cennya Gaskin, who transferred from Texas. Gaskin dominated in her November 17 debut against Robinson, recording a double-double (19 points and 14 rebounds).

Ten-year Head Coach Joel Bower is looking forward to incorporating his new players to the team. He thinks that team chemistry is a strong suit off the court, and he hopes that transfers quickly on the court as well while they continue to learn how to play together as a cohesive unit.

Bower thinks that his team will have more balance and versatility when it comes to scoring, and that it can come from anybody on any given night. He is happy with his team’s depth, and thinks they have a lot of potential.

“I think one through 10, we are better than we were last year,” said Bower. “The six kids who were here last year all got better. They worked hard in the off-season and improved. We have added four new kids to the mix as well. We miss our seniors from last year for sure, two 1,000-point scorers are hard to replace, but I think we are deeper and more talented overall.”

Junior captain Kaylie Lewis is looking forward to team bonding and hopes that it will help translate to a district championship.

“I really enjoy the family environment that has been created here,” said Lewis.

Junior captain Emily Seltzer is excited to help grow the team identity throughout the season. “I can’t wait for us to build trust within each other and continue the family bond that this program has,” said Seltzer.

The team’s motto this year is ‘Together.’ “We are in this together,” said Bower. “These 10 kids are starting to buy into ‘we over me’ mindset. This is a motto that we are trying to really live by here over the next three months.”

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Nick Nahas
Nick Nahas has written for the Osprey Observer since 2016. He has lived in the Valrico area since 2002 and has his bachelor’s degree in mass communications from the University of South Florida. He is dedicated to covering sports in Hillsborough County at every level.