Longtime assistant takes over Greenon girls basketball program

Greenon’s Lydia Henry (left) tries to dribble past Greeneview’s Hannah Ferrell during a game in 2017. Henry and teammate Regan Ware (not pictured) will be the top returnees for new Greenon girls basketball coach Lonnie Robinson. FILE PHOTO
Caption
Greenon’s Lydia Henry (left) tries to dribble past Greeneview’s Hannah Ferrell during a game in 2017. Henry and teammate Regan Ware (not pictured) will be the top returnees for new Greenon girls basketball coach Lonnie Robinson. FILE PHOTO

When Greenon passed the torch from a successful girls basketball head coach to the new one, it was a short reach.

Lonnie Robinson, Gary Falkenbach’s longtime assistant and close friend, is the new head coach.

“I believe that I’m prepared going into this season,” Robinson said. “I have a great group of girls that are actually prepared to try and compete for the league and make a little noise in the tournament.”

»RELATED: Longtime JV coach takes over Southeastern boys program

Falkenbach was good to his close friend when he stepped down after 11 seasons. The Knights are coming off a 10-13 season and a 9-7 showing in the Ohio Heritage Conference with all five starters returning, a deep junior class and a youth program that shows promise when the next wave of players comes through.

“We definitely have kids in the program now that are good quality kids and kids that are coming,” Robinson said.

The Knights will be led by all-Clark County performers Regan Ware and Lydia Henry. Both were double-figure scorers as sophomores. The other returning starters are juniors Sierra Potter, Katie Pry and Delaney Benedict. Alex Cunningham and Makenna Young are also returning juniors. Makenna Taylor is a sophomore transfer who moved back from Kansas, and Morgan Paulus is a freshman. Both will contribute as post players on the guard-heavy team.

RELATED: Former Cedarville standout takes over Southeastern girls program

Robinson, a 1981 Greenon graduate, began coaching girls when his daughter Whitney began playing as a third-grader. He was the eighth grade coach when Falkenbach started at Greenon in 2007. The next year he became the JV coach and varsity assistant. When Whitney graduated in 2012 he left the JV role to have more time to see his daughter play for Cedarville University. Whitney is now a varsity assistant at Franklin Monroe.

“Gary’s such a great coach and role model and brings a ton to girls basketball,” Robinson said. “When he decided to step down it was definitely a shock. He’s brought so much to Greenon basketball and the girls – just a great coach.”

Falkenbach led the Knights to three Central Buckeye Conference Mad River Division titles. When the Knights joined the OHC last year they had high expectations. But they finished a distant third in the South Division behind Greeneview and Cedarville.

»RELATED: Braxton Miller to host football camp

“We definitely knew it wasn’t going to be a cakewalk by any means,” Robinson said. “And we did have a little bit higher expectations in the league. We just came up on the wrong side of a few games that didn’t get us to where we wanted to be.”

Robinson said this year’s team will benefit from that experience. He said they must rely on defense and better execution in the half-court offense to challenge for a league title.

“We had enough ability and skill,” Robinson said. “Sometimes we got into situations that we didn’t handle very well. The decision-making was part of that, and that’s going to get better just because of having them another year and going through that as sophomores. Nothing’s better than getting experience.”

Robinson’s team got more experience and a glimpse into what the season could be recently at the Cedarville University team camp. The Knights had a 4-5 record over three days.

“We really saw a lot of our strengths at camp – what we can do – and we showed a lot of our weaknesses too,” he said. “It was a really good successful camp to be able to go into this coming season.”

About the Author