Cheri Caravano, the new coach of the Lacey Township High School girls team, wants the Lions opponents to remember playing Lacey this season.

"I'm looking for improvement from game to game," she said. "I want to end each game regardless of wins or losses with teams saying, 'Wow, that's a tough team.' "

Caravano is a product of one the state's premier girls basketball programs - St. John Vianney.

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Caravano, then Cheri Wittlieb, played for Vianney from 1998-2002.

She then played at Canisius University in New York from 2002-06 before becoming an assistant coach at St. John Vianney the past two seasons.

Caravano wants to bring St. John Vianney's style of play to Lacey.

"We were always a program of high-intensity defense and fast-paced offense," she said. "Fortunately, the girls at Lacey are very athletic so they fit into that system very nicely. I like to pressure the ball. We really look for our defense to generate our offense."

Caravano takes over a team that finished 15-9 last season.

"The girls have been great," she said. "It's a completely different system than what they're used to. But they've done a great job of buying in."

Caravano said the Lions have excellent team chemistry.

"That's something that was in place before I even got here," she said. "The girls have a really good knack of knowing where each other is going to be."

Contact Michael McGarry:



League: Shore Conference A South

Coach: Cheri Caravano (First season)

Last season's record: 15-9

2012-13 prediction: Rebuilding - Lions will look to pressure the ball on defense and use their defense to generate offense.

Key players: Brittany Biele, Jr., 5-6, G; Jennifer Coleman, Jr., 5-11, F; Megan Kazenmayer, Sr., 5-6, G; Rachel Brignola, Sr., 5-7, F; Rebekah Lawler, Jr., 5-10, F; Lexi Dellapietro, Jr., 5-8, F; Caylie Bowles, So., 5-4, G; Caylie Bowles, So., 5-4, G; Taylor Goodheart, So., 5-11, F.

Dec. 14: at Toms River South, 6:30 p.m.

Dec. 17: vs. Southern Regional, 6:30 p.m.

Dec. 20: at Toms River East, 6:30 p.m.

Jan. 4: at Brick Memorial, 6:30 p.m.

Jan. 7: vs. Brick Township, 6:30 p.m.

Jan. 11: at Toms River North, 6:30 p.m.

Jan. 14: at Manchester, 5:30 p.m.

Jan. 15: vs. Jackson, 6:30 p.m.

Jan. 18: vs. Toms River South, 6:30 p.m.

Jan. 22: at Southern Regional, 6:30 p.m.

Jan. 24: vs. Toms River East, 6:30 p.m.

Jan. 29: vs. Brick Memorial, 6:30 p.m.

Jan. 30: at Shore Regional, 6:30 p.m.

Feb. 1: at Brick Township, 6:30 p.m.

Feb. 4: vs. Toms River North, 6:30 p.m.

Feb. 8: at Jackson, 5:30 p.m.

Feb. 12: at Pinelands Regional, 6:30 p.m.

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