If you attend a Stacy family reunion in New Richmond you can expect the talk to get around to Lady Lions basketball and championships.
Sisters Bailey and Bergen Workman were in uniform Jan. 31 when the Lady Lions clinched the 2014 Southern Buckeye American Division title with a 66-48 win over Amelia and on Feb. 8 when New Richmond won the Southern Buckeye championship with a 47-44 win over National Division champion Georgetown.
The previous championship by a Lady Lions team was in 1984 when twins Lisa and Lana Stacy led their Pat Hill-coached team to the Southern Buckeye championship.
Lisa Stacy is now Lisa Workman and mother of Bailey and Bergen. To make it more of a family affair, Lisa also is the mother-in-law of current Lady Lions coach Brad Hatfield, who is married to Brennan Workman.
Lana Stacy is now Lana Gilday and she’s connected to the current team as a former assistant coach for Hatfield during Bailey’s freshman and sophomore seasons.
“We do talk basketball but she (Lisa) never second guesses me,” said Hatfield, who has left Lady Lions fans with little to question after four straight winning seasons including this year’s 19-2 championship team.
If Lisa had any criticism about Hatfield’s coaching style, it probably would be he’s too soft on his girls.
“These kids have no idea what it was like to run and play for Pat Hill as a coach,” said Lisa. “We ran and ran and ran until no team could keep pace with us. I tell my girls all the time that they have it easy.”
“We’ve heard that a lot,” said Bailey, who has been a four-year starter for the Lady Lions. Bergen is a freshman and was elevated to varsity for the post-season.
Of course, Pat Hill’s 1984 team, which went 14-6 and won the league with a showdown win over Western Brown, didn’t have a 6-foot-6 Josie Buckingham, whose mother Liz Misheff played on New Richmond’s first championship team in 1974-75, in the low post.
What Pat Hill had was the Stacy twins plus girls like Lisa Taylor, Patty McMillian and Donna Hayslip who bought into her demanding style, which required tremendous conditioning.
“We only had seven or eight players on that team but we still were able to run teams into the floor,” said Lana. “We could outrun everybody.”
“We ran our offense off our defense where we would push it down the side,” recalled Hill, now the commissioner of the SBAAC.
“We called it Snowbird where Lisa would take off down the floor and we would get the ball to her and she would turn and shoot the ball.”
“I wasn’t allowed to go into the paint,” noted Lisa. “I was almost like a cherry picker, but I was shooting from the outside. We didn’t have the three-point shot then and that is the area where I took most of my shots.”
Bailey Workman has the advantage of the three-point line and has made 33 from long range this season.
“Everybody remembers Lisa and Lana for their offense, but they were both great defensive players and that was the big key for us winning that championship,” said Hill, who as athletic director at New Richmond hired Hatfield.