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Basketball Preview: Lake Shore coach Gerken steps aside; Eden girls to play tourney in Bahamas

GERKEN STEPS ASIDE — After 14 seasons heading the lake Shore varsity basketball team, Dan has stepped away as head coach. Photo courtesy of Ron Larson.
Brett Lyford admits he’s got some big shoes to fill as the new head coach of the boys basketball team at Lake Shore.

Dan Gerken, who has been a staple with Lake Shore basketball as a former player and coach, left the post to watch his son play high school volleyball and basketball at Frontier. But Lyford is happy to still have Gerken around at school to bounce ideas off. Lyford, Gerken’s assistant last season, knows the veteran coach is still very much present.

“One of the reasons I feel I got this position is because of what he’s given me,” Lyford said of Gerken, who coached for 28 years, including 14 heading the Lake Shore program. “Dan has lived basketball for years. But it’s reassuring that if I need anything, he’s there. He’s still around.”

Also locally in basketball, what a way to kick off a season. The Eden girls basketball team is going a long way for three games in a tournament, but it’s sure to be a trip to remember on and off the court.

Under the direction of head coach Marisa Fallacaro, the team will be heading to the Bahamas for three games, Dec. 5-7, against tough teams from New York, Pennsylvania and Florida. Fallacaro said that after what she saw from the team in offseason play, including a tournament at Penn State, the group deserved the chance. She brought it up to parents in August and even on short notice, it was a go.

“I don’t take the girls this far if I don’t think they can win,” noted Fallacaro, who took her team a few seasons back to a similar tournament at Disney World in Florida. She added among team bonding activities, they’ll swim with dolphins. “The competition will be tough and get us ready for the division season.”

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