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Girls basketball team prepares to build on previous season’s success

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Girls basketball team prepares to build on previous season’s success

The team practices a scrimmage game to improve their ball-handling skills and competitiveness (Kahn/LION).

The team practices a scrimmage game to improve their ball-handling skills and competitiveness (Kahn/LION).

The team practices a scrimmage game to improve their ball-handling skills and competitiveness (Kahn/LION).

The team practices a scrimmage game to improve their ball-handling skills and competitiveness (Kahn/LION).

Maggie Kahn, Reporter

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After a tough loss in the 2018 regional final against Montini Catholic High School, varsity girls basketball is ready to get back on the court and start stronger than ever, center/forward Patti Cesarini ‘20 said.

“[Last season] we had a difficult time executing the plays that we needed to,” Cesarini said. “We cracked sometimes under pressure. We have a lot to work on [this season], but once we get it down, we are golden.”

In order to build on last season’s performance, the girls are training differently, Cesarini said. The team is going back to basic drills of ball handling to instill confidence in their fundamental skills.

“We have just started practices, and we are doing a lot of conditioning to keep us in shape and to make sure we outlast our opponents in games,” Cesarini said.

The conditioning sessions this season will entail ball handling, power forward/center Kelly Carlson ‘19 said. Getting up and down the court with a ball in hand will help the team maintain control in high-intensity situations.

No matter what team LT faces, first-year head varsity coach Meghan Hutchens wants her team to feel prepared, she said.

“We want our players to feel confident coming into the game no matter how challenging the game may be for us,” Hutchens said. “Each team will present a new and unique challenge for us, and that’s the best part about competing in basketball.”

During the season, the girls have roughly two and a half hour practices six days a week, Hutchens said. To become more well-rounded players in these practices, the team will work on improving skills in all areas of play, not just one, Cesarini said.

“Players who can handle the ball well, but then also play in the post are always a bigger threat and more intimidating,” Cesarini said.

Players notice and feed off of increased fan presence, as seen during the boys varsity soccer playoff run.

To get the players fired up, LT students and faculty should promote the games and fill up the bleachers, Cesarini said.

“I’m sure that if people knew we had games coming up, and especially ones against our biggest rival, [Hinsdale Central], people would try to make it out to support us,” Cesarini said.

With the addition of new players who have never played before, such as forward Eileen Murphy ’19, the team will need to learn to work as a cohesive unit and adapt to each other’s playing styles, Hutchens said.

“One of our goals is to develop a positive team culture that is supportive and also extremely competitive,” Hutchens said. “Throughout the first couple weeks of the season, it is our job to determine our strengths and weaknesses and choose to implement the components every day that help us be successful.”

The team first competed in the LT Thanksgiving Tournament on Nov. 16 at 6:30 p.m. in the NC fieldhouse to kickoff the season. The team won against Lane Tech High School with a score of 63-45.

All in all, basketball brings a group of girls together that is ready to train hard and have fun too, Cesarini said.

“Basketball has made me learn that you can’t do anything without putting effort towards it,” Carlson said. “It has shown me perseverance and that I need to keep going even when I’m down.”

LT plays next in the Fremd Invite against New Trier on Dec. 1 at 11 a.m. at Fremd High School.

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Maggie Kahn, Reporter

Yes, I have a twin sister that looks exactly like me, and no I can’t feel it when you hit her.

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