Dedicated senior leadership at a suburban Chicago school and underclassmen who take it up a notch at a suburban Washington school have led the girls’ basketball teams at the two schools to a winning start in this young winter season.
“The underclassman have stepped up their game by starting off this season with a bang. Each player has contributed to the scoreboard, and each game the Lady Coyotes had a score ranging from 55-65, which is considered very high scoring,” writes Gianna Giacalone, a reporter for The Howl, the student newspaper at Clarksburg High School in Maryland’s Montgomery County Public Schools.
“It’s a lot different,” she quoted one junior player as saying. “It’s pretty cool playing with this new group of girls. We have a lot of fun.”
The team is off to a 6-0 start and hopes not to fall to the team from Walt Whitman High in the playoffs this year, like they did last year.
“The more experienced players are helping out and working together for the benefit of the team,” the paper quoted junior Xanthi Limber, who leads the team in points so far this season, as saying. “We are starting to click and all work hard to get where we are today.”
Meanwhile, the girls’ basketball team at Naperville Central High School in Chicago’s far-western suburbs is off to a 14-5 start, thanks in large part to the leadership of 5′10′′ senior Erin Moran, the Naperville Sun reports.
Although she has played the tuba in the school band for almost a decade, mostly because everyone in her family takes up a musical instrument, she told the local paper she enjoys basketball much more. “When I was in fourth grade, my mom was friends with our band director,” Moran was quoted as saying. “They needed a tuba player, so I was forced into it.” But, “It’s not my favorite thing to do.”
By which, she meant to say that basketball was her favorite extracurricular activity. She has worked her way up on the team to be the only senior starter this year. “Last year if I wasn’t having a good game, I obviously wouldn’t play as much,” she said. “But as a starter, I’ve got to get into the momentum right away.”
Having sunk 3-pointers to open the game as the team won against Metea Valley, then against Neuqua Valley, and then against Wheaton Warrenville South, Moran has brought intensity to her game this year like never before.
“There is something different about seniors,” the Sun quoted Naperville Central coach Andy Nussbaum as saying, referring to Moran, the aspiring marine biologist. “The finality of high school is close enough that they can feel it and see it, so if I’m ever going to do it, this is the time. It’s a pretty positive motivator.”