Returning talent to girls basketball program brings early success for team this season

Team builds off last year’s work, hopeful for strong season heading into 2022


Hailey Markworth ‘22 dribbles the ball in Nov 27 Thanksgiving tournament game against Wheaton North (Chomko/LION).

Brooke Chomko, Sports Editor

The girls basketball season started Nov. 1, and with new and returning talent, they are hopeful for a successful season, varsity head coach Meghan Hutchens said. As of date,  the team is record , and started their season off strong with four consecutive wins in the annual LT Thanksgiving Tournament against teams from around the area.

Hutchens emphasized her excitement for the upcoming season, coming off of last year’s disappointment in only being able to play teams within the conference. 

“I’m honestly so excited for our kids this season,” Hutchens said. “They have the chance to play again in front of their family and friends, compete against teams in and out of our conference, and play LT basketball. We have invested in building leadership this season, so it will be great to see how that plays out with each of our kids on and off the court.”

Point and shooting guard Hailey Markworth ‘22, attributes a lot of the team’s success to a strong chemistry between the players and their ability to work well together.

“We work off each other well, no one’s just there to have a big game themselves,” Markworth said. “Everyone wants everyone to do good so we move the ball around, we’re not selfish. And this year I think we’re sharing the ball even more with each other and want to see each other succeed along with ourselves.”

Due to last year’s unpredictability in the midst of COVID-19, shooting guard Olivia Mezan ‘22 feels that this is her first chance at a complete LT basketball season after transferring her junior year. There are also some areas the team can look to refine altogether in order to succeed this year, Mezan said. 

“From last year, I hope we improve our communication on the court and execute our game plan better,” Mezan said. 

The varsity lineup also includes some talented underclassmen that are necessary to keep talent in the program for future years. This year, Kennedy Wanless’ ‘24 all-around athleticism on the court and Elin O’Brien’s ‘24 shooting and defense skills make them valuable younger assets, Hutchens said.

“[O’Brien is] a great shooter, [Wanless] is a great rebounder,” Markworth said. “Overall they’re both great players, and they’re definitely going to go on to do big things in the program.”

This year the team is hoping to raise more money than past years in order to fund different supplies and activities to give student athletes the best support and program possible, Hutchens said. The money will go towards a Hudl package, which is a program that will allow players to watch back and analyze film of practices and games with videos from a mounted camera. Additionally, the money will fund redoing the NC record board, a leadership training program, themed events, and more. 

Markworth and Mezan both have aspirations for their final LT season before continuing their basketball careers at Winona State University and University of Missouri-St. Louis, respectively.

“The first step is winning regionals and playoffs,” Markworth said. “Then I definitely want to get far in our sectionals and hopefully in state, just end my high school career on a good note.”