Strong set of returning seniors competes together for final year

Hayden Claesson, Reporter

Many basketball teams are built around pinpoint shooters or a strong frontcourt. However, this year’s LT girls’ basketball team is built around something that is a little different, something less tangible: the chemistry that the seniors have worked for years to create.

“A lot of the seniors have been playing together on the same middle school team,” Sidney Bugaiski said. “So we all have been playing with each other for a while.”

The team this year doesn’t just have experience, they also have expectations. Last year the team finished with a record of 16-11 and are hoping to improve, head coach Paul Krick said. Even though the team had a winning record, players were not totally satisfied with their performance last year.

“I believe last year’s experience left a bad taste,” Krick said. “This year the girls are excited to restore the roar.”

Many of the goals of the team go beyond the final record or numerical goals, but intangible ones that can only be seen by watching the girls play.

“The goal of our program is work as a team, first and foremost,” Krick said. “We then try to improve our individual and team skills to the point that we are playing our best basketball at the end of the season.”

This effort to work as a team this year is something that Krick has been trying to enforce, even if it means making sacrifices. Last year, Krick cut two returning seniors in order to allow juniors to have more time to play with each other, Bugaiski said. That, combined with the overall already strong connection between all of the players, is what had been fueling them to compete at their very best for the seniors final season.

“It’s almost like we’ve been building up to this year,” Bugaiski said. “I think that this year could be a very special year for us because we have so much experience under our belt, it’s almost like it is building to a climax and hopefully it will be a memorable season.”

In order to prepare for the upcoming season, many girls participated in preseason training and club practices, last year’s captain Kaelan Lee ‘18 said. This year the girls are excited to get back on the court to compete for their school.

“I think that there are just vibes around LT basketball,” Lee said. “There is a lot of energy and good facilities, and everyone works hard and is happy to be there.”

One of the team’s biggest challenges this year is the strength of their schedule.  The team will play at the elite Montini tournament on Dec. 27 through Dec. 30, which features many top teams in the state, Krick said. As well as a tournament schedule, the individual match ups include many hard games both in and out of the West Suburban conference. Despite this, the girls are ambitious in going as far as they can this season.

“[We want to go to] state, we don’t want to put a limit on our success,” Emma Fink ‘18 said. “There is no cap on our goals to how far we can go.”

The team’s next competition is Dec. 2 against conference rival Glenbard West.