Ryann Lima is Shooting for Success

Christopher Tremblay
Issue Date: 
January, 2020
Article Body: 

Ryann Lima began playing both basketball and soccer in the Ashland Youth Programs around the age of 6 or 7 and has continued to play them since as she enters her senior year at Ashland High School. Although the senior two-time basketball captain for the Clockers has already committed to play soccer for Assumption College next fall she still enjoys basketball just as much as soccer.
“I really love both sports, she said. “But I had to be realistic and decided to play soccer as a forward for Assumption. I’m only 5’6” and knew that I was definitely not big enough to play basketball on the collegiate level.”
On the basketball circuit the Ashland native not only played for the youth programs in town but also played for the AAU team, the Shooting Stars, while in middle school. As high school approached she was hoping to make the varsity basketball team, but found tryouts to be nerve wracking.
While it may have been a little stressful at first the Ashland coaches and players were all very supportive of the girls trying to make the team and Lima found herself relaxed on the court.
“I made the team as a freshman and have been part of it for all four years. It was great that I was able to start with my friend and another freshman Kayla Madden,” Lima said. “The first year my job was basically to just shoot and I averaged about 10 points a game.”
Unfortunately, that season the Clockers were 5-15 and Lima and her teammates knew that something needed to change. Following her freshman campaign on the court she realized that she had to do other things instead of just shooting, so she started working on driving to the basket with the ball. Lima seemed to pick up the skill rather quickly and due to her aggressive style of play was making a difference in her game while helping her team win.
During her sophomore year the Clockers had a complete turnaround form the year prior by going 16-5 and advancing into the Central Division 2 Tournament where they we awarded the two seed. After a first round bye the Clockers were upset by Nashoba in the Quarter Finals.
“It (playing in the tournament) was like nothing that I have ever experienced. It was a crazy season and we had fun winning,” she said. “While we would have liked to have gone further we were eliminated by a talented Nashoba team. The loss was disappointing, but after the season we had a year earlier, we never really expected to be in the tournament that quickly.”
The squad reverted back to a sub .500 team last winter going 9-11 with Ashland losing its point guard to an injury and Lima was thrust into the position, one that she was not fully use to.
“I needed to step up my game and at first I found it difficult to control the team down the court, since I was primarily a shooting guard and had never played point guard on the high school level,” Lima said. “The position put a lot of pressure on me to perform. Instead of just shooting I had to run the offense and get the ball into the hands of my teammates to score. Luckily, I had Kayla (another point guard on the team) to help me through it all.”
As the Clockers get ready to take the court for the new season they will have to do without Madden, who tore her ACL and is out for the season. Once again Lima will have a lot put on her shoulders a senior captain to guide this young team.
“We are very young, but we have a lot of speed and I’m going to have to move the ball up the court fast and get it to my teammates a lot quicker than in the past,” she said. “I’m still hoping that we can once again make the tournament, but I know that it’s not going to be an easy task.”
Ashland Coach Dave Lyth, who took over the program in Lima’s freshman season, believes Lima has the talent to lead this team to success.
“Through her four years her game has definitely developed. Once she was more of just a shooter, but she now attacks the hoop, her dribbling has improved and she has become a defensive presence for us,” Lyth said. “I’m really going to be expecting a lot out of her this season, especially now that Kayla (who led the team in just about every offensive category) is out for the year. Ryann will be our leader on the floor offensively as well as defensively and I believe that she is up to the challenge.”
Through her high school career Lima and her teammates have been on a roller coaster when it comes to making the tournament. The team didn’t come close in her freshman year, then had a phenomenal regular season her second season and then last year once again missed the playoffs. Lima and her Ashland teammates are looking forward to another year with hopes that they make the tournament. This time the Clockers want to improve upon their last visit and win.