Orion girls start season Monday

by Mindy Carls correspondent

COVID-19 kept the basketball season from beginning in November, but as the pandemic eases the Illinois High School Association has announced it’s time to play ball.

“It’s hard to tell how well anyone will do in this season with so many variables,” said Tony Stiles, Orion’s varsity girls coach. “We hope to be competitive in every game.”

Returning letter winners are seniors Riley Filler, guard/forward; Hailey James, post, and Marly Lillibridge, guard; junior Courtney Farwell, post, and sophomore Jennie Abbott, guard.

New to the varsity are senior forward Jenna Drish; sophomore guard Mary Mohr; soph forwards Kayleigh Kovac, Madeline Nightingale, Ella Sundberg and Adah Swanson; freshman guard Kamryn Filler and freshman forward Katie Christensen.

“On any given night we could have a different starting five, the coach said. “This is a very competitive group.”

Right now the starters probably be Abbott, Lillibridge and Filler at guard and James and Farwell at forward.

Last year, the Chargers were 10-18 overall. The girls lost in the first round of regionals. In the Three Rivers Conference, they were 4-6 for fourth place.

Stiles reflected on Orion’s conference prospects in 2021.

“Until someone beats Riverdale and Sherrard, they are the favorites with all of the rest of us close behind,” he said. “I would like to think that we could challenge them. This year is going to be very competitive.”

Stiles thanked the principals and athletic directors for working hard to put the season together.

“I just hope that with everything that everyone has been through, that this all will work out and hopefully everyone makes it to the end,” he said.

Orion has 12 games, most with Three Rivers opponents.

Below is the varsity schedule as of Monday, Feb. 1. Sophomore times are in parentheses.

• 7 p.m. (5:30 p.m.) Monday, Feb. 8, vs. Riverdale in Orion. Senior night.

• 7 p.m. (5:30 p.m.) Thursday, Feb. 11, at Riverdale.

• 1:30 p.m. (11:30 a.m.) Saturday, Feb. 13, at Monmouth-Roseville.

• 7 p.m. (5:30 p.m.) Monday, Feb. 15, at Rockridge.

• 7 p.m. (5:30 p.m.) Thursday, Feb. 18, vs. Rockridge in Orion.

• 7 p.m. (5:30 p.m.) Monday, Feb. 22, vs. Sherrard in Orion.

• 7 p.m. (5:30 p.m.) Thursday, Feb. 25, at Sherrard.

• 6 p.m. (no soph game) Monday, March 1, vs. Fulton in Orion.

• 5:30 p.m. (no soph game) Thursday, March 4, at Fulton.

• 7 p.m. (5:30 p.m.) Monday, March 8, at Morrison.

• 7 p.m. (5:30 p.m.) Tuesday, March 9, at Mercer County.

• 7 p.m. (5:30 p.m.) Thursday, March 11, vs. Morrison in Orion.