By: Amanda Bettin
Throughout the winter months, students can always find the basketball teams working hard at practice in the gym after school. This year the girls’ basketball team is looking forward to a great season. The team has been moved up a division, which means that the teams they will be playing against will be tougher to beat than in the past. The girls are motivated to step up their game and become a competitive team in the league. Because the team only lost one senior starter last year, the current players are familiar with being out on the court together and running plays. Senior Meredith Weber says, “Nothing would give me more pleasure than to win the Holiday Tournament and beat West Essex on senior night.”
There are a total of seven senior girls on the team this year, including Maria Ciccone, Monica Wojtal, Gabby Roselle, Emily Banaszynski, Ijeoma Ikpe, Victoria Leonardo, and Meredith Weber. Ciccone, Roselle, and Banaszynski will give the team speed this season while the other members of the senior class are strong post players and give the team height. In the words of Ijeoma Ikpe, “We have a group of girls who play very seamlessly.” Practices are mainly focused on shooting because the team’s strengths are dribble drives and post shots, so improving upon jump shots will make them unstoppable. Ikpe also commented that she will miss being a part of such a small and close team.
The first scrimmage of the season was against Villa Walsh and ended in a Chief loss, but the team quickly rebounded and won their second scrimmage against Summit. The Lady Chiefs are determined to play their best this year and are excited to compete against challenging teams.