The Lone Wolf program out of Colchester, VT, is now in its 11th year, and there has been one constant throughout the club’s history. Each and every year, Lone Wolf has participated in the prestigious Deep South Classic.
“We keep going back to the Deep South for two main reasons,” explained Coach Wayne Lafley. “The first thing is the competition. You know that you are going to have an opportunity to compete against some of the best teams from across the country when you play in the Deep South Classic.
“The other important thing is that you know the building is going to be full of college coaches. Kids join our program because they want to have an opportunity to play college basketball. When you go to the Deep South, you give your kids a chance to play against great competition in a gym that’s full of college coaches. That’s everything you are looking for.”
The 19th Deep South Classic will be played from April 21-24 in Raleigh, N.C., and it will once again be held at the magnificent Raleigh Convention Center. The entire event will be played under one roof, with action flowing on 20 courts.
Lone Wolf should be ready for the challenge in Raleigh this year.
“We’re pretty excited about the season,” Lafley said. “We have a little bit of everything this year. We have good size, we have a couple of kids who can handle the ball really well, and we have a couple of very good shooters.
“The biggest thing at an event like the Deep South is size. You have to have some size to compete at that level, and we have size this year. I’m excited to see what we can do.”
Leading the way for Lone Wolf will be Lisa Sulejmami (2018, 5-7, PG) and Brook Bjelko (2019, 6-3, P).
“Lisa is more of a true point guard who has a great feel for the game,” Lafley said. “She is very good with the pick and roll, and she really understands spacing and angles. Lisa can also score. She can shoot the three and she has a very good mid-range game.
“Brook is an athletic big. She runs well and she jumps well. Offensively, she gets a lot of points on put backs. She has very good hands, and she runs the pick and roll well. The biggest thing Brook adds is her rebounding and shot blocking.”
Lone Wolf is also expecting major contributions from Emma McDonough (2019, 5-11, W) and Hannah Earl (2018, 5-9, W).
“Emma is a very versatile player,” the coach said. “She can shoot the three, she is good in the mid-range, and she can post up smaller players. Defensively, she can guard multiple positions.
“Hannah is a slasher who really gets to the rim, and she is very good at finishing in transition. Her best asset is that she is a lock down defender who can shut down people on the wing.”