A young and talented girls varsity basketball team hopes to continue its upward progression as it returns to a full competitive schedule this year.
Two years ago, in head coach Mike Hickey’s first season at the helm, the team nearly doubled its win total from the previous season. In order to continue improvement, the players will need to learn a new offense and build strong chemistry, he said.
“I hope there is a seamless flow to our man offense and that I don’t need to call specific plays – rather, that they see what the defense gives them and makes the right adjustments,” said Hickey.
For many of the players, this season will give them their first game action in a Hotchkiss uniform. Of the 14 players on the roster, six are lower mids and five are preps. Captain Jordyn Harrison ’22 and manager Aleema Kelly ’22 are the only seniors this year.
Harrison recognizes her role in providing experience and leadership. “My main goal is to make sure that I do what I can to help the younger girls develop their skills and confidence with the ball,” she said. “It is important that everyone feels involved throughout the season and has an impact on the team’s growth and success.”
Although the Bearcats did not play games last season, Hickey noted that many of the players did get on the court with their AAU teams. His goal this season is to get the team back in aerobic shape and help them continue to learn his offensive system.
The interruptions of Thanksgiving Break and Winter Break could delay that process, he acknowledged, adding that he expected the team to get up to speed by mid-January.
“As a whole, we have high basketball IQ and good raw talent,” he said.
For Harrison, this season has extra significance. “It feels amazing to return to a full competitive schedule again,” she said. “Especially since this is my last season, this year feels a little more sentimental to me.”