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The Day’s All-Area Girls’ Basketball Player: New London’s Serenity Lancaster



April 26, 2024 4:37 pm
• Last Updated: April 26, 2024 4:40 pm

New London’s Serenity Lancaster (5) puts up a basket during the ECC Girls Basketball Division I Championships at Mohegan Sun Arena Tuesday, February 20, 2024. (Sarah Gordon/The Day) Buy Photo Reprints
New London’s Serenity Lancaster (5) drives the ball to the basket against Fitch’s Ada Ellis (22) during the girls basketball ECC Division I semifinal game Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, at Fitch High School. (Dana Jensen/The Day). Buy Photo Reprints

In no particular order and with full admittance several family members have been omitted, there is Grandpa Gerry, Uncle Gerry, Aunt Clara, Cousin Rob, Cousin Mike and Cousin Troy, all of whom have delivered acclaim over the years to the Lancasters, the first family of basketball in this corner of the world.

And so perhaps it’s a bit clearer now that the old Shakespearean query “What’s in a name?” bears a different meaning to Serenity Lancaster, the junior at New London High, who bears more than just the responsibility of scoring, rebounding and blocking shots nightly in Whalerville.

How’s she doing?

Mercy of Middletown coach Tim Kohs: “You won’t find a better player.”

Norwich Free Academy coach Courtney Gomez: “Lancaster is the elite of the state. And I don’t even know if she has tapped into her full potential yet, which is scary. More than her as an offensive threat, she impacts the game on the defensive end so much that you really have to rely on outside shooting to have a chance vs New London. What impressed me the most about her this year, though, was her ability to handle every double team and physical play teams threw at her. She made the great pass. She is always a competitor and I hope a unanimous choice for Player of the Year.”

Indeed, Lancaster, the one her friends call “Big Ren,” is The Day’s choice for 2024 All-Area Girls’ Basketball Player of the Year.

As a sophomore, Lancaster, who had 32 points in the semifinals, finished with 24 points, 12 rebounds, six blocked shots and four assists in the Class MM championship game at Mohegan Sun Arena. The Whalers won the third championship in program history.

And then as a junior, with the family name hovering and the accomplishments of 2023 to be duplicated, Lancaster averaged 22 points and 13 rebounds per game. The Whalers were not able to repeat as state champions, discovering the treacherous waters of Class LL. But Lancaster’s season, awash in double teams and physical opponents, was superior.

Lancaster led the Whalers to a repeat of the Eastern Connecticut Conference Division I title, finishing with 25 points and 19 rebounds in her team’s win over Ledyard at Mohegan Sun Arena.

“Serenity had some exceptional games throughout the season. She was a strong force with tremendous impact on both ends of the floor,” New London coach Tammy Millsaps said. “She does so many things. On the offensive end, she’s getting double- and triple-teamed and makes the right plays. On defense, she’s an intimidator. So many facets.”

Earlier in the regular season, Lancaster eclipsed 1,000 points in her career — in her junior season — with a 19-point effort against Bacon Academy in mid-January. That was a few weeks after she was named the Rose Classic’s Most Valuable Player as the Whalers went 1-1 in a girls’ basketball tournament in New York City.

Lancaster scored 40 points with 14 rebounds and five blocked shots in a win over Archbishop Molloy of Queens, one night after she had 16 points, eight rebounds, six blocks and six assists during a loss to Xaverian of Brooklyn.

“I don’t see it as pressure,” Lancaster said of all the responsibilities. “Not really. I know I can push to be better. I’m doing stuff that my cousins were doing. I don’t look at it as pressure. All the pressure fades away in games after I get my first point.”

The Day’s 2024 All-Area Girls’ Basketball Team

Player of the Year – Serenity Lancaster (New London)

Gabby Dimock (Fitch)

Adrianna Hardison (Ledyard)

Katelyn Novak (Bacon Academy)

Emily Orcutt (NFA)

Angelica Tompkins (St. Bernard)

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