Row 1: Emily Roberts, Jena Niewinski, Alyssa Cuono, Riley Magin. Row 2: Sydney Kearney, Sara Hopkins, Gianna Uhl, Julia Makowski, Kristen Andrews, Hannah Wielgoposki, Alexis Armstrong, Evie Williams. Row 3: Coach Stepanski, Kaitlyn Kline, Andrea Shipton, Kate Snipas, Sarah Richards, Olivia Donnini, Bella Termini, Alyson Muse, Coach Miner.
This year’s girls’ basketball season officially started on November 18th. In the few weeks leading up to the first official practice, the girls worked hard during conditioning and improved both their physical and mental game. Evie Williams, a sophomore, says that “[she] feels very confident because of all the practice and conditioning.”
This year, the team moved up in classification from AAA to AAAAA. Last year, in AAA, the teams to beat were Nanticoke, Scranton Prep, and West Scranton. This year, the team will be playing against teams like Wyoming Valley West, Pittston, Abington Heights. But “even though we will be playing larger schools” says Coach Ed, “there are quality teams in every classification.” He believes that it is competitive at every level. “[But] in Division 1 of the Wyoming Valley Conference”, he includes, “ the teams to beat are Wyoming Valley West, Pittston, and, of course, our rival Hazleton.”
In addition to moving up in classification, the team “lost four of [their] tallest players along with the school’s all-time leading scorer, Maddie Ritsick” says Coach Ed. But, he believes that they will have a few players who will “step up and take a roll in the rotation and give us some consistent scoring.” These players will be an immense help in this upcoming season, with a newly placed “Power Rankings” system. Coach Ed says that “this year, all games are important, even exhibition games and crossovers” and that “every win is important to our ranking and seeding, not just conference play.” He sums it up by saying that “it’s going to be a battle every night.”
And the members of the team are up for a good fight. Bella Termini, a sophomore, says that she is “really excited for this season” and to “win lots of games this year with such a great bunch of girls.” Hannah Wielgopolski, a sophomore, agrees, “We all work hard, play hard, and have good times doing it. Can’t wait to kick butt!” Jena Niewinski, a sophomore, adds that she is “pumped for a great season with many wins.”
We will see if girls’ basketball will “kick butt” in their first game against Pleasant Valley on Friday, December 9th.