While the Lake Worth High boys basketball team continues as Palm Beach County powerhouses, the Trojan girls squad is trying to make a name for itself, too.
Or at least just post a single victory.
The Lake Worth girls team is on a shocking 46-game losing streak dating to January 2020 as it opens another season Wednesday hosting Inlet Grove.
The lesser-known Trojan hoopsters posted an 0-18 record last season, 0-17 in 2021-22, 0-3 in Covid-shortened 2020-21 and eight straight defeats to finish the 2019-20 campaign.
With a new coach in Kyle Demeo, a stronger post game and the return of 3-point specialist, volleyball star Alexandra Reiman, this could be the year.
“People mention it a lot,’’ said junior power forward Gracy Joseph. “They say, 'Oh, you girls haven’t won a game.' But we’ve been growing so that’s a win. We just have to have faith. People look at the boys and look at us and are like, 'What happened?’’
This will be Joseph’s third season on the Trojans and she keeps getting better – and stronger inside. The hope is the burly forward can score a bevy of points in the paint and be the team leader.
“I feel better about (this season),’’ Joseph added. “We’ve gotten better over the three years I’ve been playing. The chemistry is there. It’s not about my role. It’s all of us. If we all play our role on the court, we’ll be OK if we trust each other.’’
More girls basketball: Palm Beach County hoopers to know this winter season
Demeo, who recently moved from Long Island, has been what the doctor ordered for a dysfunctional program that’s now seen three coaches in three years. Last season, Dorothy Richards piloted the team but left for Orlando.
Lake Worth brings back just one senior.
“The mindset I’m trying to instill in them is progression,’’ said Demeo, who moved to Lake Worth from New York last year to become the school’s physical education teacher. “Let’s stack days, get better each day. What I told them after our preseason loss, I said, 'You girls win games. I lose games. There’s no pressure. If it’s not good enough, then it’s something I need to fix. We win games — it’s all on you. Just give 100 percent.'’’
The last time Lake Worth won a game was Jan. 14, 2020 – a 41-40 triumph over Boynton Beach.
“They’re all trying to get each other to be the most successful players they can be,'' Demeo said. "They push each other in the gym and classroom. They don’t want to see anyone down in the dumps and negative. They want a positive experience for their high school season regardless if they go 18-0 or 0-18.''
Lake Worth received a boost when Reiman returned to the team after a one-year hiatus. She left basketball after playing as a freshman – disillusioned with the coaching staff. Her freshman season saw scores 78-7, 80-8 and 70-5.
She’s back to provide a 3-point shooting threat and attempt to break the schneid.
“It’s bad,’’ Reiman said of the losing streak. “When you look at the boys team and girls team, it’s like they’ve won all these games. If we can make a comeback and win a bunch, we’d finally get some attention for winning. It would be really nice.’’
Early in the school year, Reiman met with Demeo, got a good feel and decided to play basketball again. Volleyball remains her main sport as a scholarship candidate.
“There’s not as much drama with the coaches,'' Reiman said. "Everyone has a good connection. Better the connection, the better the playing is going to be.’’
Demeo is delighted he got Reiman back. “I see her being a safety net for us from the 3-point line,’’ Demeo said. “She can shoot it. We’re trying to work on her dribbling the ball but she's a facilitator, passing inside to get it to our two big players down low. But she isn’t scared to take a 3-point shot and drain it.’’
In the interior, Joseph is joined by sophomore center Milan Smith, a strong rebounder and physical presence in the paint.
But Joseph is the one who will have to lead the team in scoring with her sweet touch and in the locker room with a personal touch. Demeo hasn’t named a captain but Joseph is top candidate.
“I feel Gracy can be not only a top player on the team but in the county,'' Demeo said. "She’s a leader on the court and rebounds very well and finishes around the basket. As a player, she’s grown since last year when it was my first year as a teacher.’’
The Trojans will get scoring from senior Christina Bell, whom Demeo says has a “Lebron James-like quality’’ in that she can shoot, dribble past defenders, get steals and rebounds.
The real mystery is at point guard where Demeo will rotate freshman Jocilynne Sweeney and sophomore Tamisha Wright pending matchups. Sweeney was in middle school last season but is impressing with her poise.
“She’s bringing a game-like feel in practice,’’ Demeo said. “She’s not scared about being a freshman on varsity against seniors. She’ll be my lockdown defender who will get steals on traps.’’
Wright is the better 3-point shooter so Demeo will have to play each game by ear to see what the team needs at PG.
Demeo says the boys team led by esteemed coach Frank Baxley, has been supportive, encouraging the girls to get the elusive win.
“I love my coach,’’ Joseph said. “He’s there mentally and physically. He doesn’t yell. He just corrects us when we do something wrong. The coach is good. The players are good. Honestly, this season is going to be very different. We’ll finally put a victory on the board.’’
This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Lake Worth girls basketball ready to end 46-game losing streak