Prep Basketball

Xavier's Tom Lilly has girls' basketball team 'pulling in the same direction'

HS journalism: Team is on 3-game winning streak and sits 7-3

Cedar Rapids Xavier head coach Tom Lilly is in his 21st year at the school. (The Gazette)
Cedar Rapids Xavier head coach Tom Lilly is in his 21st year at the school. (The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — “Gracious, desire and excited.”

Xavier girls’ basketball head coach Tom Lilly used those words to describe this year’s team.

Lilly has been the varsity coach since 1998, the year Xavier was founded.

His own passion for basketball began when he made two free throws to win a game during his first year of competitive basketball, in fifth grade.

Lilly was hooked right way.

Mary Kate Moeder, a sophomore on the Xavier team, said Lilly is a very dedicated coach who would do anything for his players. She said he strives to make them better each and every day.

Moeder and Lilly agree good chemistry is important to a team’s success.

“Like every year, trying to learn more about each player and what makes them tick is always the challenge,” Lilly said. “Then putting all that information together to form a workable team with everyone pulling in the same direction.”

Moeder said the team is very close and complements each other in every aspect of the game.

“I know that every single person on our team has my back when I need them, and that’s really just what our team is about,” Moeder said.

The Saints are 7-3 and winners of three straight heading into Friday’s game against Cedar Falls at home.

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