Girls hoops

Len Tarnowski, Lejeune’s girls’ basketball coach, instructs his players during a ball handling drill at LHS, Nov. 14. 

Lejeune’s new girls coach brings decades of experience to program

Len Tarnowski might be new to Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, but Lejeune High School’s new girls’ basketball coach has been coaching the game for decades. Now, the Devil Pups team is ready to build momentum this season following last year’s hiatus.

Tarnowski began coaching in 1980 after playing at Haverford College near Philadelphia, his hometown. An opportunity arose to coach in Germany, so he took it. After coaching in the German leagues, Tarnowski coached at high schools in Germany and Belgium. Now, he is back in the U.S. and brings his experience to the Lejeune team.

“All the stuff that’s going to happen in a game – the situation (at the) end of the game, two seconds left, you’re winning (or) you’re losing – it’s the experience of being in those situations (that I’ll bring),” said Tarnowski.

One major focus the first-year LHS coach will be harping on all season is fundamentals.

“I just want them to be fundamentally sound,” Tarnowski said. “That’s the main thing. Don’t make unnecessary turnovers, dribble and pass without making a turnover, floor spacing, reading the defense and reading the offense – just trying to get them aware of five on five instead of one on one.”

Although the majority of Lejeune’s players will be underclassmen this season, there are a few upperclassmen that will help lead the way. Whatever obstacles the Lady Devil Pups might face this season, Tarnowski has likely faced them before.

“I’ve had teams that were very successful and teams that weren’t successful and just kept striving for improvement,” Tarnowski said. “You’ve been through the whole spectrum when you’ve been coaching this long. You just take this group and hopefully they learn about it, learn about team sports and have fun.”

2019-2020 schedule:

Nov. 20 vs. Swansboro

Nov. 26 at Swansboro

Dec. 3 vs. North Duplin

Dec. 10 at North Duplin

Dec. 11 at Pender

Dec. 17 vs. Croatan

Dec. 20 at Dixon

Jan. 3 at Southwest

Jan. 7 vs. Richlands

Jan. 10 at Trask

Jan. 17 vs. East Carteret

Jan. 24 at Croatan

Jan. 28 vs. Dixon

Jan. 31 vs. Southwest

Feb. 4 at Richlands

Feb. 7 vs. Trask

Feb. 11 at East Carteret

Feb. 14 vs. Pender

Conference Tournament:

Feb. 17-21 at East Carteret

State Playoffs:

Feb. 25 through March 14