Harry Truman girls’ basketball team went through its fair share of growing pains this season. Leave it to the team most experienced player to get the Mustangs through it.
Senior guard Lisa Fields helped Truman turn its season around and earned the eighth seed in the upcoming PSAL Class AA playoffs.
“As a senior and captain, I asked a lot of her,” Truman coach John Burke said. “She took it on with her play and with her teammates. I give her all the credit.”
Fields, the lone senior, had to teach her newer teammates the team’s style of play and at first it that did not go smoothly, as the Mustangs started 2-11.
“We had to take time to get us to know each other because some of our players moved up from JV,” said Fields, who is averaged 13 points a game in league play.
As the season went on Truman’s play improved. Fields and junior standout Aneisha Lyons led by example helping to get the new members of the team on track and finish the year 12-12 overall and 7-9 in league play. Burke was impressed with the improvement he saw in Lyons, who averaged 15.8 points per game.
“Lyons became one of the best [shooting] guards in the city,” he said. “She went through a big adjustment from a role player as a sophomore to a leadership role. She brought young girls up with her especially, freshman Dyona Davis.”
The tandem led the team to a three game win streak before facing current No. 2-seed Murry Bergtraum, a team it lost to 78-56 in the beginning of the year. This time it almost beat one of the city’s top teams, falling just 69-68. Burke again credited his senior.
“In that game she led us,” he said.
Truman lost the following game to Boys & Girls and won two out of the final three contests. Not only did the team improve on the court, but also grew much closer as a unit.
“I was a positive person to keep them going and that’s how we win, when we are positive and play as a team,” Fields said.
Burke and his team closes the regular season against Lehman on Friday and then will get their first shot at a playoff win when it hosts No. 9-seeded Boys & Girls. To earn victories in the post season Fields is teaching her team to leave everything they have on the court. She wants to keep their season and her career going as long as possible.
“No one wants to go home, so just play like it’s your last game,” Fields said. “Keep playing and try not to regret anything because you want to keep playing.”