With the winter sports season coming to a close, the girls’ varsity basketball team worked to end their season on a high note. The team spent time refining their skills for their last games of the season and building team chemistry. With a lack of seniors, the team has considered this season only ‘part one’ and already looks forward to next year.
Head Coach Quinn O’Brien and Assistant Coach Judy Bailey led the team through daily practices and three-game weeks toward the end of the season. Despite this demanding schedule, the girls played consistently and with high energy. “I am really pleased with the amount of effort every player puts into practice despite it being the end of the season,” Coach Quinn said.
The team continued to improve on skills and play to the best of their ability. One of the several factors the team emphasizes is passing and communication. “The importance of hitting the ‘one more pass’ is essential for our offense,” junior guard Co-captain Aashni Patel said. “As mainly a guard team, when we share the ball, good things happen.”
“Good things” surely did occur for the team in the season’s final weeks. After a tough 32-51 loss to Greenwich Country Day on Saturday, Feb. 4, the team prepared for their next match-up against Pomfret School. The team took into account the performance in the Greenwich game and worked to improve their skills. This helped them to secure the win against Pomfret, 61-20.
The team also was affected by the outbreak of norovirus. One of their games against Kent School was canceled, and several players were infected. With three of their 10 players out, the team faced off against Berkshire School. The team played aggressively and had great ball movement. Winning 61-41, the team had a stellar performance despite the lack of some key players.
The girls played with enthusiasm and passion in their last game of the season against the Canterbury School. The girls took the lead early on, and everyone on the team scored. They supported one another on and off the court, cheering for their teammates. This positive energy contributed to their win, 61-33.
Junior guard Ashley Buckingham said she greatly enjoyed this season and getting to know her teammates. “This year, we had several new players, so we focused on building our team chemistry,” she said. “Towards the end of the season, the team became really close. We have a great team dynamic, allowing us to work better as a team.”
The season has been filled with memorable moments, from away games to team dinners. One moment that stands out was during their second game of the season against Williston Northampton. With seconds left in the game, Patel stole the ball and passed it to freshman guard Samaria Gonzalez for a quick layup. “Coach Quinn had yet to beat them in his five years of coaching, and to get this win was a great team moment,” Patel said.
Despite the lack of seniors, the team said goodbye to senior manager Alyssa Temkin. Temkin played an integral part in the team, keeping stats or completing the book. The team will miss her supportive energy and the help she has given them.
Overall, the team played consistently against a wide variety of teams. The girls were able to keep their composure during games against tough opponents and learn from these experiences. Additionally, everyone had the desire to play their hardest. “Throughout our season, their confidence and their skills have grown,” Coach Quinn said. “Everyone on this team played a key role.”
With a final winning record of 11-9, the girls’ varsity basketball team played with grit, perseverance, and strong team chemistry. The team already looks forward to their next season, when they will build on their pattern of success.