Sewickley Academy athlete of the week: Kamryn Lightcap

Monday, February 24, 2020 | 10:40 PM

Kamryn Lightcap

School: Sewickley Academy

Sport: Basketball

Class: Junior

Claim to fame: Sewickley Academy didn’t look like a contender to start the season, so few outside of their locker room anticipated their recent surge.

Coach Mark Gaither pointed to Kamryn Lightcap as one of the key reasons the Panthers have won nine of their last 11 games, including a six-game win streak.

Lightcap has recorded back-to-back double-doubles in playoff wins to lead Sewickley Academy to WPIAL Class A semifinals.

How much are you enjoying your six-game win streak?

We’ve had a lot of fun. Our chemistry has started to come together, especially defensively. We’re all feeding off each other, and our energy is up. So we’re enjoying this.

How good did it feel avenge two early season losses to Vincentian Academy?

Oh, it felt so good winning that game. I think we knew after those first two games, we wanted to see them again. Just getting that chance and being able to finally finish the deal was really exciting for our team.

The Royals scored 115 combined points in the regular-season games. What did you change to hold them to 31 points in the playoffs?

I think our half-court man has just gotten so much better since those two games. We also knew their players, so we knew which ones to help off of and which ones to shut down. We just played great team defense. We don’t have one or two players giving it their all defensively. It’s all five on the court giving everything all the time.

It’s been a tale of two teams this season. Were there any doubts that crept into your head during that 5-8 start?

We definitely had a rocky patch in the middle where we didn’t execute the way we wanted to. We also kept hearing from the outside that Vincentian and Rochester were the two teams that would go all the way. I think within our own team, we stayed positive because we knew we were a younger team that just needed to find our chemistry. We knew the potential we could have, but we needed to execute it.

Similar to last season, you’re a playoff underdog. How much do you feed off of that?

I think we embrace that. We have West Greene coming up, and they beat us by 18 the first time. We know that wasn’t our best game, so we’re coming in with our gameplan and confidence. We’ll do our best to execute it and have faith in ourselves against a really good team.

If you could change one rule in basketball, what would it be?

I think the three-second violation. I like to play in the paint, and when you have to play in the middle, it’s hard to get out.

Which team will win the NCAA Championship?

I think I’m going to put my money on Kansas.

What’s your favorite sports movie?